If you’re into machine knitting or vintage knitwear, you’ve got to spend some time exploring Anna Kari’s website. She has a beautiful collection of vintage knitting machines and she’s complied some of her industrial knitting manuals and magazines from the 1920s-1950s which you can buy in PDF form. There’s also a free Dubied pattern book download which shows a lot of interesting stitch patterns. I’m totally clueless when it comes to machine knitting, but as a knitter I find this kind of reference material fascinating and so valuable. I mean how often do you come across this kind of thing?
I bought the Lace Triangle Doleman top from her Spring 2015 collection this past May. The collection was being featured at the Craft Ontario Shop (where I worked at the time) and I basically swiped this from the display. Not basically, I had this top off a mannequin and on my person before we even opened, then scribbled myself a reminder to pay for it when I had a free moment.
Nothing like an awkward backyard photo, is there? I so wish I had a beautifully styled shot of this but instead I have me pre BBQ dinner, which I think is OK too. I know this top could be dressed up and accessorized in some sort of fabulous way, but lets be honest, this is how I actually wear it. You’ll have to imagine the stylish possibilities.
This is my first time buying a ‘handmade’ machine knit piece. I was worried about it not holding it’s shape, snagging, or just feeling unnatural on. I’ve now worn it many times and machine washed it so I feel confident in saying this was a good purchase. A little run down…
Style: Lace Triangle Doleman
Fiber Content: Rayon, silk & linen
“These garments and accessories are crafted on vintage knitting looms that were built in the 1940’s and 1050’s. Each piece is carefully assembled from high quality yarn using traditional hand and machine finishing techniques.”
Care: Machine wash on delicate cycle in cold water and dry flat. Or hand wash with delicates soap in tepid water, soak, rinse, dry flat.
I believe the yarn blend she uses makes all the difference in how it wears. It’s fairly soft (definitely not scratchy like wool), retains it’s shape, and ‘moves’ with you. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a shell, it feels right, you know? I machine washed it, in a rather ghetto washing machine, and had no issues. Normally I’d hand wash something like this but I wanted to test it out, and I was impressed! It’s maybe gotten the slightest bit ‘fuzzier’, so for the sake of longevity I wouldn’t make a habit of machine washing it.
You can see where the shoulder seam is and how the sleeves are attached. The seam is stitched and serged so nothing comes loose, but it doesn’t lay flat. This doesn’t bother me as it’s not something I can feel against bare skin.
Both neckline and side slits are finished with a binding technique for really clean edges. The fabric hasn’t discoloured or anything. I think the side slit is a nice touch.
Not an award winning photo (OK none of these are) but can you see the two raglan style sleeve seams? There’s also a small dart in the middle of the sleeve, closer to the back. I’m not sure why the dart is positioned there, but it works!
Clean hemline on the body and sleeves which surprisingly doesn’t roll very much? I don’t know how that works, because if I hand knit a top in stockinette it would probably roll up into a belly shirt, but it lays quite flat.
This is the only imperfection I’ve noticed after 4 months of wear and washing, a few loose threads around the sleeve. Everything’s secure, nothings coming loose, I just had to trim these off. Not bad huh?
A quick peak at how it would look without a tank top underneath. Scandalous Kate, I know.
Favourite part: This yarn blend is perfection, and while a loose fit the cut is still flattering.
What I’d change: In my perfect world this lace pattern would be slightly less sheer so I’d be comfortable wearing just a bra under. But that’s super personal, and honestly, I like it as is too.