Sadly my life is not dressy and glamorous. T-shirts and jeans are my normal workwear, I only have to put on a skirt for comments to be made on my appearance – not always a good thing! Occasionally I’ll buy or make something for an event which sits at the back of the wardrobe until the next outing by which time it looks a bit dated. What I really should concentrate on are quality, wearable, everyday clothes, interesting to knit and with a detail or two to lift them out of the ordinary.
Working as a food stylist I see some beautiful props, but what I covet most are the vintage linens. Soft, old cloths and tea-towels, embroidered with their history in the form of dates, initials and laundry marks. No novelty tea-towels these, they were prized by the householder and she wasn’t going to lose them to the laundry!
These valued worn old fabrics were the inspiration for ‘Utility’ , something for everyday to be worn and re-worn, easy to wash and getting better with age. We had the ideal yarn too.
Louise and I were really excited when we found Erika Knight’s Studio Linen. We liked it’s re-cycled eco credentials but mostly we loved the colours, neutrals and rich tones with a fair bit of grey in them. They all co-ordinate and will not date, essential if you hang on to your clothes as long as I do!
Utility starts with an i-cord cast-on then a deep band of super easy, slipped-stitch tea-towel stripes.
It is knit on circular needles then divided at the armholes and knit back and forth to the shoulders. Studio Linen gives a beautifully even, heavily textured stitch and the weight of the hem adds to the drape of the finished top.
It has a little gently waist shaping, not too much as I didn’t want the sausage skin look, then I worked in stocking stitch to the shoulders. Some easy knitting in front of the TV or with a good book. When I first started sampling I found the splittynes of the yarn frustrating but I changed my normal super pointy metal needles for Chiagoo bamboo points and rhythm and speed improved.
The shoulders are joined with three needle cast-off and then the grown on sleeves and neck are finished with a neat i-cord. Here is a hanger shot of the front.
And the back.
Finally I personalised the top with a bit of my own domestic embroidery.
Well okay a coronet is a little pretentious but a girl has got to have some aspirations! The pattern includes embroidery charts for the crown and a full alphabet so you can personalise with your own initials should your ideas be equally grand.
Thank you to Tina for modelling and to her daughter Eliza for the photographs. I think they look fantastic.
The pattern is available to buy on our Ravelry page.