Friday, October 15, 2010

Nautical Knits

Minquiers Breton Sailor's Shirt by St. James of Normandy

Nautical knits appeal to me. The crisp stripes in contrasting colors, usually some shade of blue plus white or écru, the flattering bateau neckline, easy fit, and perhaps interesting textured stitches, ribbing or cables are all design elements I like. I've made a few in my day, and wear them nearly year-round. To me they go beyond spring or resort wear; they are seasonless and timeless.

Here's my interpretation on a Martin Storey nautical knit. I used the flattering fit, bateau neck, and general dimensions to turn a striped sailor top into an evening sweater made of sparkly Filatura di Crosa Sera.
Milkshake finis
I still like the original, especially the red bobbles along the ribbing; I may make it yet.

This Cornelia Tuttle design was published in Vogue Knitting way back in 1987.
Stahl stretch merino
It needed bulky yarn; I chose Schoeller and Stahl Merino Stretch in Midnight (deepest navy) and Cream. It's actually light enough to be worn into May where I live, and the stretch in the Merino a nice body, clings without being too obvious.

Kristen Spurkland turned blue and white into black and taupe for Vogue Knitting in 2002. beige Avignon top
A novel twisted stitch that begins in the ribbing creates a rope-like plait. The taupe is Classic Elite Avignon (sadly, discontinued) and the black yarn is Lion Microspun. I wear this nearly year-round; it's good for warding off frigid air conditioning in summer; with a cotton turtleneck underneath, it's good for winter.

Though I haven't made this one yet, AS' Mystic has long intrigued me. I keep thinking I should make it more fitted, use one anchor motif in the center flanked by ropes and braids on either side. I'd like to use a DK-weight cotton-wool blend in a lovely shade of blue. We'll see.

I should have kept this cutie-pie gem I made for DD#1 (also worn by DD#2), found in VK Spring/Summer Special 1991.
I didn't make the matching beret, being that both Ds preferred baseball caps. I made it in Bernat Berella in a pretty aqua, rather than the specified yarn, Gloucester.

And speaking of Gloucester, we come to my current nautical knit, one I made previously of blue and cream Gloucester. This is Michele Rose Orne's toggle knot cable pull, also found in VK Spring/Summer Special 1991. I brought it along on a business trip to Switzerland so I could finish the sleeves and wear it. On the train from Grindelwald to Geneva, I finished the last stitch. I wore it to my conference, sightseeing to Annecy, France, and on the plane home. Wore it so much that I wore it out. Now I'm remaking it out of another cabled mercerized cotton, Reynolds Saucy in Natural and Denim, great buy from WEBS.
Toggle knot cable pull 1
Look at how well the knot pops out. I love dimensional cables. Saucy is a bit thinner than Gloucester, almost DK-weight. It'll be more fitted, which is what I want. I'll make it longer, instead of a crop-top. I'll make J-sleeves, rather than dropped shoulders. Just by decreasing 5 or 6 sts at the beginning of 4 rows is enough to take a lot of bulk away from the armholes. Will I keep the round neck or make it into the bateau neckline I so love? For that, stay tuned: I have yet to decide.

1 comment:

fleegle said...

Excessively handsome, matey :)