Here at last, after three attempts to get started, is some progress on what I hope will be an easy-to-wear summer top, knitted in Rowan Revive. The pattern is basically this design from Wendy (sleeveless version) but knitted in the round (there’s no shaping so, honestly, why wouldn’t you?). Although I’m glad I don’t have to work decreases into the pattern, this lack of body shape concerns me slightly, so I’m planning to give it the tiniest bit of sculpting by switching to smaller needles as I work up. Perhaps this will do the trick, perhaps it will have no discernible effect whatsoever – we shall see! I also plan to do a thinner, more decorative edging than the rather chunky garter stitch with scallop cast-off.
The reasons for the two false starts were disagreements with myself about which needle size to use (initially I went down because the tension is quite loose, but then decided I liked the idea of a slightly wider ‘peplum’, so went up again), and about cast on method. Having settled on 4mm needles and thumb method I’m finally happy.
If you’re wondering about the name Mon Plaisir, it’s borrowed from what is reputedly the oldest French restaurant in London. I was treated to a slap-up lunch there before heading off to the Oxford Street John Lewis to splurge on yarn, so the taste of their delicious onion soup and house Bordeaux are now inextricably bound up with this top. I’d been planning to pick up a plain cotton, but as soon as I clapped eyes on the Revive I changed my mind. It has a pleasingly rustic, Tweedy look which I love, and yet the colours are luminous and almost jewel-like. It’s a yarn type that Rowan pull off better than anyone, I think. Also, Revive is made entirely from recycled garments, so it has eco-credentials too, bless it.
I have to admit that it’s not as delicious to knit with as it is to look at. It’s somewhat stringlike on the needles, with no give at all. But I’m anticipating that all will be smooth and luxuriously drapey after blocking.
Sarah Neal is an avid knitter, magazine editor and book lover based in Essex.
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