Friday, March 21, 2014

Design Notebook: Gatsby Camisole

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Many, many years ago, when I was a new and foolhardy knitter hanging out at my beloved Smith's yarn shop in Oberlin, four balls of sparkly red Katia Gatsby sang to me a siren song of the cutest camisole ever knitted. Never mind the fact that I didn't (and still don't) own zero sparkly items of clothing, or that I wasn't really sure what the camisole actually looked like, or that Gatsby is an unusual yarn that is slinky and crunchy at the same time and likes to slough off its tube in great sparkly gobs, making it a spectacular pain in the ass for anything but sitting there looking pretty. That didn't matter - every time I'd see it, I'd touch it and sigh.

I resisted for month - because who needs sparkly yarn, right? - but then, every time I would get up from my chair at the back of the store to stretch and check out all the new yarn in the shop, I would be drawn back to it: something about that color, and that glitter, and the way it shattered all my notions of what a good yarn should be. So finally, when my birthday rolled around, I took it as a sign that it was not only still there waiting for me - it was on sale. I bought it and took it home and tucked it away, waiting for the day that it would emerge from its protective cocoon of confusion and sparkles and become the beautiful camisole butterfly it was meant to be.

So it's fitting that I should wake up in a cold sweat one day nearly five years later with the image of a slinky red camisole burned into my brain, every detail sharply in focus: the wide bands of stockinette rib and twisted stitches; the waist shaping that flows upwards into a deep v neckline; the stupid, fussy, beautiful red yarn winking cheerfully in the glow of lamplight on a hot August evening. The perfect camisole.

So yesterday I swatched, and I poked some numbers into a calculator, and I think I've got something. To say I'm excited about this silly camisole is an understatement.

Hooray for sparkles, and happy Friday.


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