This easy-fitting top is knit in pieces but requires very little seaming, thanks to judicious use of picked up stitches and 3-needle bind offs. The centre front and back pieces are knit from the bottom up in a Star Mesh stitch from the Estonian lace tradition, and joined at the shoulders with a 3-needle bind off. Stitches are picked up along each edge to work the side body/sleeve sections. A Spearhead Lace panel runs down the top of the sleeve, where a series of decreases shape them. Meanwhile, another 3-needle bind off finishes the side seams, leaving only a few inches of underarm to be sewn up before cuffs are added. Finally, a garter hem completes the garment, giving the knitter flexibility for adding length to this relatively cropped silhouette.
This is an intermediate to advanced pattern, making use of Estonian lace increases and some unusual construction, though neither of those are particularly difficult in themselves. But this pattern does ask you to balance several sets of instructions at the same time once the side body/sleeve sections are underway: upper arm shaping, a lace panel, underarm shaping and a colour fade sequence. If this seems daunting, try working the pattern in a single colour. Making use of tools like row counters, spreadsheets or simple written notes is a good idea.
This top is named for the Villa Straylight, a location inside William Gibson’s Neuromancer.
6 Women’s Sizes: (S1/S2) (M1/M2) (L1/L2), (32/36) (40/44) (48/52)” finished bust. (All measurements given in inches.)
Tools & Materials
(915/980) (1105/1245) (1380/1485) yards fingering weight yarn - sample shown in La Bien Aimée Merino Singles (100% merino; 100g; 366 m/400 yrds)
- (360/360) (385/465) (540/565) yrds Colour A - sample shown in Undergrowth
- (340/390) (475/525) (575/650) yrds Colour B - sample shown in Victorian Mauve
- (215/230) (245/255) (265/270) Colour C - sample shown in Rose Quartz
- Largest Needles: 4.5 mm (US 7) for centre body and neck edging, working flat;
- Stockinette needles: 4 mm (US 6) for side body/sleeve
- Smallest Needles: 2.75 mm (US 2) for cuff ribbing (small circumference) and garter hem (32” or 40” circular)
- Additional needles for 3-needle bind off
- Darning needle
- Stitch holders
- Stitch markers
GAUGE: 23 stitches and 29 rows = 10 cm in stockinette