September 2, 2007

Lutea Shell Modifications

Posted in How To's, knitting at 1:07 pm by nephele

I thought I’d do a quick post detailing the changes I made to the Lutea Shell pattern. If anyone wants to make similar changes you won’t have to start from scratch. As previously noted, I made the largest size listed. For other sides you’ll need to further modify things.

The first change I made was to purl the first round. I knew I didn’t want the rolled hem. I originally planned to crab-stitch around the bottom and I liked the idea of having the purl ridge as an added detail. From there I followed the pattern through all of the waist decreases. I’m  a bit short waisted so I took out 3 of the straight rows at the waist. Put another way, I started the increases 3 rows sooner. Other than that I did the increases as written.

The big changes started at the armholes. As written, the pattern has modified raglan style armholes. That is: decrease one stitch each side – repeat a bunch of times. I didn’t like this much. It even noted in the pattern that this would result in a deep-cut armhole on the larger sizes and might require an X-back or strapless bra. Ick. It would also make rather deep armholes. As a big gal I get enough of those from store bought clothes. I don’t need to make my own. No one needs armholes that go down to there waist! Also, since armholes are left unfinished, this technique left a bit of a pulled looking gap right where the two sides of the armhole split off. My solution? Scrap the whole thing and do my own shaping.

I started off by binding off 4 stitches on each side. At that point I continued working in rows on the back. I bound off 3 stitches on each side, then 2. Next I decreased one stitch on each side, every row for six rows, then every other row until I reached the stitch count called for in the pattern. I finished the back as written.

After the back was done I tried in on backwards. Why backwards? The pattern is the same front and back. I was pretty sure the neckline would be too high for me and this confirmed it. I wanted the neckline about two inches lower. This was slightly complicated because I would need to start the neck before I finished shaping the armholes but the neck starts with bunch of short rows.

It turns out it wasn’t all that difficult. I knew how many stitches were needed for the neck. I found the center and counted out from there placing makers to show where the neck section would be. The lace for the shoulders is a four row repeat. So all I had to do was to make sure that when I started the neckline the number of rows remaining in the armhole shaping was divisible by four. I wanted the neck to be about 2 inches lower so I went with 12 rows. So… when I had twelve rows left to do on the armhole shaping I started the neckline short rows between the markers. Once the short rows were done I continued with the armhole shaping and worked the lace pattern when I got to the markers. When there were no more stitchs on the armhole side of the markers, I just continued normally from there to the end.

Once the shoulders were finished off I tried on the top and decided it was just too short to look good on me. I thought about picking out the cast on edge and working down but then decided to make life easier and just pick up stitches and knit a few lace repeats.

The lace pattern alternates between 4 and 6 stitches but it starts with 4 so that’s what I worked with. The original cast on for the top was 220 stitches. I picked all of those up and I could have just gone with that but I wanted the front and back to be even. 220 stitches would have meant 55 repeats. So on the first row I worked two decreases on each side. That gave me 216 stitches or 54 repeats.

Since I was working with a stretchy lace pattern I didn’t worry about doing any shaping. I just worked 4 repeats of the lace followed by four rounds of garter stitch and bound off. That just left me a few yarn ends to deal with and it was done.

Gretchen said:

Your Lutea looks much better than the original– the lace hem suits it better than a stockinette curl. Good idea!

Thanks, I like it too. And really who needs a roll of fabric right at the high hip point? I’ve got enough rolls of my own.

knittingnoob said:

Do we get to see it on? It’s pretty, lovely color. And I certainly don’t blame you, I prefer longer shirts/sweaters.

I have no idea what you’re working on now, but I’ll guess something xmasy, since it looks red and white :p Hope its a fun knit!

-sigh- The things I do for the blog. I hate pictures of myself but I suppose it was inevitable that I’d have to do this someday…
lutea worn

At least it fits well. And you’re right, the new project is Christmas related. I’ve finished on and am almost done with number 2. Pictures next time. Probably of the Mystery Stole too.



  1. knittingnoob said,

    Wow I’m famous! It really looks fantastic on you, well done!

  2. Sarah said,

    Liz, that looks so cute on you! I’ll bet it feels great on, too, that Pima Silk is so soft.

  3. Robin said,

    Liz, your shell looks great, and fits you well. A nice color too. BTW, I washed my pima silk sweater, and it came out perfectly – gentle cycle, laid flat to dry.

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