Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Orange Crush

Orange Crush






Wearing a knitted wool bustier over a tee adds just a bit of pizzazz to a winter outfit.  This one is made on large needles with two strands held together for a chunky, tweedy look.  The shaping is made with increases and decreases at at fixed points, creating darts.  This would be easier knitted in the round, of course, but I think the side seams add structure and help the top to stay up.  If you are extra busty, you might consider adding boning to the upper side seams.

Here is the pattern as knitted for myself.  Notes on making the size larger or smaller follow.  To be sure of a great fit, SWATCH AND BLOCK.  The Plymouth Tweed yarn I used has very little give when knitted, and your finished bustier should be as close to zero ease as possible (this means it is neither made larger nor smaller than the body).  Yes, it stretches a bit but the goal is to get as close as you can to your actual measurements - be honest with yourself!

The back is made slightly smaller than the front.  Our backs are narrower than our fronts, and this keeps the side seams toward the back instead of adding extra bulk along the side line.

Gauge:  3 sts = 1" in Stockinette Stitch
Finished Size:  32 Bust x 26 Waist x 36 Hip - Overall Length 18"
(FYI my bra size is 34B.)

Materials:

Yarn:
5 balls Plymouth Tweed - approx. 540 yds (yarn held double)
Size US 9 needles - straight or circ

Abbreviations:
LLI - Left Lifted Increase:  k into the st 2 rows below the previous stitch on right needle.
Do this by poking the left needle through the stitch from front to back, now insert the right needle and knit as usual.
RLI - Right Lifted Increase: k into the st immediately below the next st.
Do this by poking the right needle through the stitch from front to back, and knit it as usual, then knit the stitch above it (next stitch on needle) as usual - counts only as one stitch.


Front:
Knitted from the top down
Cast on 57 sts.
Work in K1 P1 rib for one inch (4 rows).
Work in SS until front measures 4" from beginning.
On next RS row, k 13, ssk, place marker, k1, k2tog, k 23, ssk, place marker, k1, k2tog, k 13
Next row and all WS rows purl;
Next 4 RS rows:
Knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, k1, k2tog, knit to 2sts before next marker, ssk, k1, k2to, knit to end
After above decrease rows, 37 sts on needle.

Continue in SS until piece measures 5" from from last row of above decrease bust darts (or longer if you're long-waisted).  Maintain the markers in place, they will mark the increases for the next hip darts section.

**On RS row, *knit to one stitch before marker, RLI (right lifted increase ), k2, LLI (left lifted increase), * repeat from * to *, knit to end.
Purl the next and all WS rows.
Next RS row, *knit to 2 sts before marker, RLI, k4, LLI,* repeat from * to *, knit to end.
Next RS row, *knit to 3 sts before marker, RLI, k6, LLI,* repeat from * to *, knit to end.
Next RS row, *knit to 4 sts before marker, RLI, k8, LLI,* repeat from * to *, knit to end.
Nest RS row, *knit to 5 sts before marker, RLI, k10, LLI,* repeat from * to *, knit to end.
57 stitches on needle.

Continue in SS for 3" (or more to lengthen).
K1 P1 rib pattern for 1"
Bind off in pattern.**

**There are no waist shaping decreases.  If you want a smaller waist, after the bust section knit in SS for 2" only, then decrease one stitch at each side, two stitches in from edge.  Each set of two edge decreases will result in 2/3" smaller waist.  For each pair of decreases, you must also increase after the waistline - to do this KFB on each side, two stitches in from edge, until you have 37 sts on needle.

Back:

Knitted from the top down
Cast on 41 stitches.
Work in K1 P1 rib for one inch (4 rows).
Work in SS until front measures 4 1/2" from cast on edge.
Next RS row, k9, ssk, place marker, k19, place marker, k2tog, k9.
Next row Purl.
Next row Knit.
Next row Purl.
Next row k9, ssk, knit to marker, slip marker, k2tog, k9.
37 stitches on needle.

Continue in SS for 5".
Now continue as for front, from ** to ** above.

Block front and back pieces.  Sew side seams together.  If your yarn is bulky, use just one strand or a coordinating yarn.

Voila!


I will be adding some notes on how to alter for size.  The pattern as written should be a good fit for up to 36" bra size.  You might want to add some length to the midsection, or rows between the dart decreases.  In the meantime, if you just need to make the bustier larger by an inch or two, you can cast on more stitches BUT do KEEP THE MARKERS PLACED AS WRITTEN - our, ahem, nipples are closer together than you think!

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