This is test version number three of a design called 'Krista' by White Lies - the trade name of an American designer called Joan McGowan Michael. I saw a photograph of the design in a knitting magazine and fell in love with it at once. I sent off to America for the design and launched in. Oh dear. Oh dear!! It doesn't look too bad hanging in the window - but nobody living is to be allowed to see how terrible I look wearing it! I'm not just talking yellow test yarn here, which admittedly wouldn't do any pattern any favours. I think there are problems in the lines of the design. I have added waist shaping by decreasing and increasing at the sides in this test version - but test version one had no shaping and test version two had the suggested shaping of using a smaller needle at the waist and I didn't like them either!
I wish I had discovered the Internet sooner. I paid for this pattern before I discovered the Ravelry and knit blog world. I'm not the only one with a horrible Krista, as you will be realising by now if you are - being smarter than me - looking to see what people have to say about the pattern before buying it. There are many good things about this design. The lace front is very pretty - I may add it into another garment one day. The effect of lightness in such a thick, quick-knitting yarn is very, very clever, but knitters be warned - this garment can only work on slender people. I wouldn't risk it on anything over a UK size 10. If you have even the slightest suggestion of a round tummy, forget it! If the tops of your arms are anything but honed perfection, heave a regretful sigh and move on.
It's also quite difficult to knit nicely. You can see on the Internet how many people have had trouble with the lace curling at the bottom edge of Krista. I spent months trying to find out how to make the lace trim at the bottom without it curling up. I hunted through every book I owned. I tried seventeen different cast ons in all different sizes of needles. I even emailed the designer. Unlike Rowan, she didn't respond. The best lace cast on I found came from Rowan, apparently, and was posted on a blog (thanks!) which I now can't find again so that I can post a link. You wind the yarn twice around the needle as you cast on, which gives a lot of stretch, but even with this cast on, the bottom edges of the lace trim still flip up, which is especially horrible on the sleeves.
The idea of this garment is so pretty that if just the right amount of bargain dark mohair came along I think I would try again, but then, I never know when I'm beaten!