Rusted Root by Zephyr Style,
modified size medium, which gave negative ease at the bust
Cotton Fleece, Caribbean Sea, 3 skeins
US4, US5, US6 needles
I'm calling mine a Square Root because of the modifications I made to the neckline.
I knew that the neckline, as written, would be unflattering to me because it came up so high on the chest. So I decided that the easiest way to modify the silhouette, without messing with the lace inset, would be to simply drop the neckline. I cast on for the back, sleeves, and one stitch each for the left and right fronts, and knit back and forth until the neckline seemed to be at a depth that would work. For me, that was about 4". Then I cast on the front stitches, joined and knit on in the round as written. I'm very pleased with the result and feel that I could have gone down even further now that the ribbing is added on.
Many people have had problems with their sleeves being too tight or not puffy enough. I worried that I might, too, but I knit the sleeves as written, including going down from US6 to a US4 needle for the ribbing, and ended up with perfectly puffy sleeves that weren't too tight at all at the cuff.
Another modification I made was to add lots of shaping. This top looks pretty funny laid out flat... very hourglass shaped! Right under the bust, I placed steep mirrored decreases here at the side and also in two places at the back where a woman's shirt would have darts. After knitting straight for a bit, a added increases at these two places again for hip shaping.
I'm so pleased with how my Square Root turned out. If I had to do it all over again, I would have made the back darts longer and more gradual and kept the side darts the same. Then I would have added just a bit more increasing at the hip. From the back, you can see that the upper back is a bit looser than the lower back, but I'm still quite happy with the overall effect. So happy, in fact, that I'm having a bit of trouble choosing my next big project! I want another winner...
All of the modifications I made were possible because I had Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top beside me. I also referred to Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits. This was my first top down design and I'm eager for more. It was really motivating, as I was knitting, to know that there would be so little finishing after I cast off.
One last view of that neckline. How do you like my new glasses?