Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Annie Modesitt Silk Corset Top

Well, I had a choice yesterday. I could blog or I could knit. Knitting won. But only because I was so freakin' close to finishing the Annie Modesitt Silk Corset Top. Except mine is done in bamboo, not silk and was worked size 7 needles, not size 6 as called for in the pattern. I have to do the single crochet around the neckline today and I still need buttons, which I plan on getting this afternoon. I also plan on getting some grosgrain ribbon to sew in behind the button band to stabilize the opening and keep it from gaping. I may end up sewing the two sides together if the grosgrain plan doesn't work and just put it on by sliding over my head. We'll see. This thing is so beautiful. I'm very proud of myself. I didn't think I'd ever get this project this far.

Word of warning to the beginning knitter about this pattern:

1. Annie is a damn genius when it comes to yarn and sticks, but this pattern is not written for beginners. I consider myself somewhere in the beginning Intermediate range of knitting skills and it took frogging it 5 times for me to finally get the pattern. She assumes that you already know how to knit.

2. Some of the directions were not self explanatory. The mini-cables come to mind. Simple once you figure out which stitches to cable, but she doesn't exactly point this out. She also is not very clear on repeats of each section and how many times to do each.

3. When you do attempt this pattern, use lifelines and lots of stitch markers! I could have saved myself a world of trouble if I had bothered to do this after and or during each section of the pattern.

4. Also, it is critical that you look very closely at the long written out instructions about each section as you go along. This makes you have to constantly flip between the beginning of the pattern and the charts/knittese (my own made up word for knitting language).

5. This pattern requires concentration. This is not a pattern to do in the company of others while chatting. Also not good to do on the side of a basketball court when the basketball players are all 6 and 7 years of age and have no control over the ball. just sayin'.

6. One more note about the pattern. This comes in a .pdf. It prints out really wonky too. I know she mentions how to put it together, but this never worked for me. I just cut out each page, put it in the right order and made a booklet out of it with staples.

Those things being said and warned about, I loved this pattern. It's beautiful all knitted up and you don't get bored during the knitting process. (Possibly frustrated, but not bored.) I learned a ton of stuff during this project, mostly about reading my own knitting.

Here's some pics of the corset so far. Please remember this has not been completely finished and has not been blocked.
Overall view. pre-blocked

View of the lace-worked ruffled bottom edge./pre-blocked

View of the Neckline - pre-crocheted. pre-blocked


  1. Your work on the corset is wonderful! I'm wondering if you'll share your expertise briefly - I'm a reasonably advanced knitter but I've never come across a pattern that calls for a "twist" ie: in Chart D, Row 1 of the corset, it reads 'twist left k st over right p st'. Can you explain this? I'd be really grateful because if I frog this piece once more... sigh!

    Thanks so much!
    zoebis on Ravelry

  2. Hi Zoe!

    I'll gladly explain the "twist" for you, or at least I'll try. :) Her instructions can be a bit sparse to say the least. Annie's amazing, but she assumes that everyone knows what she's talking about.

    All it is is a mini cable. When you get to the part that says "twist left k st over right p st" You make your p st, your k st, then while gently pinching/holding the two take your needle out of both. Next, reverse the order of where the stitches are. Make sure that the k st is on top.

    Keep an eye on these directions. sometimes they are reversed (left p over right k) and it'll totally throw you for a loop.

    You might want to join the KAL on Yahoo groups. It's pretty helpful as well.

    And don't worry, I frogged 5 times before I finally figured out what I was doing. Oh, and thanks so much for the comments on my blog!

    Hope this helps!


  3. Oh!! Doh!!!!!!!!! There are times when this knitting indulgence makes me feel really... slow! Thank so much for your quick reply, I'm right in the middle and was thinking that it would be very frustrating to have to put it in a zip-top bag to both smother and banish it for a time. Vengeful knitter that I am!

    I wish you the best, thanks again,