In which I sew a top and reconsider the blog
The name “Volkstricken” originated as my online knitting handle.
I learned to knit from the internet in 2001 or 2002, before the video library of knittinghelp.com existed, and only just as the venerable free knitting magazine knitty.com was publishing its first issues. A pre-ravelry.com era demanded that one share projects on Flickr and blogs because if you wanted to see how a knitting pattern had turned out for someone else, Googling the pattern name was the first thing you would try. (I would argue that Googling patterns to see what other people had done was far more important in building the knitting community than any number of stitch-and-bitch groups.)
I don’t know how long the original blog ran, but in 2009 I began to feel odd about it. I was weirded out that there were so many public photos of me modeling my knitting out there on the internet. I was embarrassed that despite my fancy-pants art school degree, I was working two part time jobs and knitting instead of developing a fine art practice and applying for residencies and grad school. I felt it was distracting me from real work/becoming an adult/whatever.
So one day, I deleted it.
Without backing it up.
Long story short: I sewed this top and I’m not at all embarrassed about it.
It’s the Sencha Top from Colette Patterns, view 2. Fabric was something purchased on clearance from Joann’s last year – I don’t normally wear red, but this was love at first sight.
What I love about this top are the details.
The darts around the neckline, for example. I love how the stripes (almost) line up across those seams. Maybe once my sewing skills improve, I can make that happen.
The back is my absolute favorite. Tops that button up the back have really been catching my eye lately. And I had an excuse to dig out some wonderful vintage buttons from my collection – these have a great shape, although the color has faded in some spots.
I do have a handful of fit issues – it looks great with a belt, but terrible without. It sort of rides up in front and pulls down in the back. Although I think my general sewing skills are pretty solid, I am terrible at diagnosing fit issues and making adjustments – a skill I need to work on. I might start by making a new test top one size smaller than this and attempting to modify the neckline, as it’s just too high for my taste for everyday wear.
It’s also worth noting that this top has a decent amount of handsewing. The button band facings and sleeve hems are all handsewn. That might have scared me away if I had know this before purchasing – but all told, it was very simple and actually quite relaxing.
As for the blog, I’m glad it’s back.