SUMMER OF LACE: Diamond Swing Top by Chrissy Gardiner


Successful Lace Knitting

DD: Hi Chrissy, I’m so glad you were able to submit this lovely design to Successful Lace Knitting. What inspired you most in the creation of this design?

CG: This is a scoop-necked top with a front opening to accommodate a pregnant belly through all stages of pregnancy and beyond.  One of my goals with this project was to design a sweater that could be used beyond the nine months of pregnancy, since I was always sad to give up my favorite maternity clothes after each of my kids were born. This top is knit completely seamlessly with sleeves knit from the armholes down for easy fit adjustment.

DD: What stitch pattern did you use and why did you choose it?

CG: I chose the Inset Diamonds pattern simply because I love diamonds!  I was not disappointed – this was a very fun pattern to use.

DD: Did you make any changes to the chart, or use different decreases than Dorothy Reade used? If so, please explain the changes you made and your reasons behind them.

CG: I did not – I knit exactly as Dorothy charted them.

DD: What yarn did you choose for your project? What made this yarn particularly well suited for this project specifically, and for lace knitting in general?

CG: I used Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamb, which isn’t necessarily the first yarn you’d think of for knitting lace.  However, the lace pattern was beautifully defined and the knitter doesn’t need to be intimidated by small yarn and needles.  I think lace looks fantastic in heavier yarn weights, and this project proves that!

Diamond Swing Top

Diamond Swing Top

DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project?

CG: Since the sweater’s skirt is knit flat and the sleeves are knit in the round, the lace will be knit a bit differently so keep that in mind when reading the charts.  You can also substitute SSK for the k2tog-tbl for the left-leaning decreases, although I didn’t think this was necessary with this yarn.

DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace?

CG: I use my Addi Turbo needles for just about everything.  Some will prefer the sharper point of the Addi Lace needles for lace knitting, but I don’t – the blunt tips of the Turbos work great for my particular style of (English) knitting.

DD: Would you like to add any personal comments about designing this project? Perhaps you’d like to comment on any connection between Dorothy Reade’s foundation and your own creative spirit.

CG: One of the things I loved about working on this project was the strong feeling of being connected to the past and participating in the passing of these gorgeous lace patterns on to the next generation of knitters.  The silhouette and techniques used in this sweater may be modern but the lace pattern is truly timeless.

DD: Thanks for sharing your creative knitting tips with us and best of luck in all of your future design work.

Gardiner Yarn Works is the creative outlet for former software architect and company founder Chrissy Gardiner. After learning to knit from her grandmother at age 10, Chrissy dabbled in the fiber arts (including knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch and needlepoint) for years before discovering her local yarn shop and the lovely luxury yarns therein. Knitting became her new obsession after her kids were born and she left the corporate world for good and discovered that wool is not always scratchy.

Chrissy is a regular contributor to Interweave Knits magazine. Her designs can also be found in various pattern compilation books and yarn company pattern lines. She is a wholesale member of TNNA and is on the board of  The Association of Knitwear Designers as well as her local knitting guild. She keeps her skills sharp and gets feedback from all sorts of knitters while teaching at various shops around Portland, Oregon. Her biggest challenge these days, besides making sure her printer doesn’t run out of ink, is keeping her children from running with knitting needles.

Knitting articles by Donna

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