I have a process when I get new yarn. Straight away I trawl through Ravelry, put in the amount of yarn I have, and find what patterns I love that might work with it. I never really look for anything in particular, I just save a bunch of favourites that look like they might work. In this case, I’d just been doing a little birthday shopping at Bendigo Woollen Mills while I was in Melbourne in January, and couldn’t help planning for my next project. I really have a thing for textures at the moment, so I was drawn to this drop stitch pattern – and the slightly slouchy fit looked great! I cast on pretty much the day after I finished the grey cardigan I was working on (these days new yarn doesn’t hide for very long) and found the drop stitch pattern pretty easy to follow – although the idea of just letting stitches slip off went so against what I was used to that the first slip row took ages, because I was terrified I was doing it wrong!
The pattern was actually great, it was really easy to follow with lots of photos to compare to. The construction is knit from the bottom up, then pick up stitches and knit the sleeves down. When I measured myself against their measurements I came out bigger than I expected, but I sized down in the pattern because I didn’t want it to bee too slouchy. I made the body longer than the pattern, because that’s just how I like them. I also made the sleeves shorter because I don’t have super long arms – I wish I’d realised that was going to be the case, as I would have done a few more sleeve decreases earlier on. When I tried it on after the first sleeve was done I noticed that the weight of the sleeve was pulling down the neckline more than I wanted, so I took that in another couple of inches on either side.
Overall the top is more on the slouchy side than I’d like… I could definitely have sized down again and been more than comfortable – I’ll learn about positive ease in knitting patterns one of these days! The yarn is more of a rougher texture than other 100% wool I’ve used, and it may soften up when its washed (I’m worried that if I wash it, it will bloom even more and get bigger! For now I’ll stick to steam blocking it) but the plaited ply made it super easy to work with, and the end result is still soft to wear.
We had to wait until a cooler day to take finished photos of it, because boy is it warm! Those drop stitches keep the warmth in a lot more than you’d expect. I can’t wait until things really cool down so I can wear it with ponte leggings and boots. I’d probably just wear a plain long sleeve top underneath to really show off the pattern.
Let me know what you think! If you have any other styling tips for a top like this or other patterns using this stitch that I should know about, please share!