How to become shapely in 23 days? First, you pick up some knitting neeedles. Then you add an amazing optical illusion of a knitting pattern, designed to showcase curves; a pattern so ingenious it does for the waistline what hours of crunches cannot acheive.
I have had less time to devote to blogging lately, but that doesn’t mean my hands have been idle. In fact, I have just finished knitting a sweater that took only 23 days from start to finish. (And this includes at least a week of no knitting at all while I prepared for a B-school presentation.) This is the fastest I have been able to turn out a project in some time. The pattern is the #11 Hourglass Top designed by Theresa Schabes for Noro Knitting Magazine, Spring 2013. It has a very interesting construction, which accentuates the waist, resulting in an hourglass silhouette.
The sweater is knit in two quick pieces and then seamed together. It is an especially effective construction technique for Noro yarn, which is known for its long colour sequences. At the waist, the stitch count for the back (which wraps around the front of the sweater) is three times that of the front (approximately 150 stitches for the back and 50 stitches for the front). This means that the stripes of any one colour will be deeper on the narrower knitted parts, and shallower on the wider knitted parts, which results in the mis-match of colour sequences along the seams. I don’t think a monotoned yarn, or a yarn with shorter colour changes, would be as affective as the Noro in this design.
This is not only an extremely quick and easy knit, but is also a very cheap one. I used 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn for this sweater. This makes it about the equivalent cost of two cinema tickets. This is definitely a win-win project.
I do think the pattern runs a bit big. I intended to add a lot of negative ease into the pattern, as I wanted to accentuate the waist. To do this, I tailored a size between the small and medium, casting on 112 stitches and then for the most part following the directions for the second size with respect to increases and decreases. The finished product actually has about zero ease. In fact, when it’s not on the body it appears to have very little waist shaping at all.
Here lies the genious of the pattern. It creates a very effective optical illusion: it looks extremely shapely without being the least bit snug or binding. Notice the rolling at the bottom of the sweater; this was even more problematic with the purled edging called for in the pattern. I ripped out the waist and armhole edgings and redid them in ribbing. This mostly solved the rolling problem, particularly on the armholes. The bottom still rolls up when the sweater is off, but behaves itself when its being worn.