The Oriel Gallery (And A Bonus Gallery of Summer Wheat)

Oriel Lace Blouse

Imagine it's 3 PM on a workday. Lunch is a distant memory, going home early isn't an option, and the Snickers bars in the vending machine are starting to look like health food (Nuts and chocolate, right? Antioxidants and protein! Whoo!). Then, out of nowhere, your crazy coworker Sandi pops her head around your cubicle wall and says brightly, "Hey! Can I take your photo and your bust measurements and post them all over the Internet?"

Yeah, baby. Just another day in the life of an Interweave staff person. No one has coffee breaks like we do.

Today, with the gracious assistance of several Interweavers, I present not one, but two photo sessions for you: the Oriel Lace Blouse Gallery and a little bonus: the Summer Wheat Tank Mini-Gallery. You will notice that all of the models (including our ever-faithful Bertha) are on the petite side this time around. Sometimes the sample sweater is sized so that we can show it on a variety of folks; sometimes not. In truth, the Oriel, being all-over lace, is very elastic and might have fit one of the larger models, but none of us wanted to chance ruining such an exquisite garment by stretching it out of shape.

The Oriel pattern is in here!

And exquisite is precisely the word for the Oriel. Shirley Paden, you delight me with the way you bend lace to your will and make the loveliest garments out of yarnovers and decreases. The astute reader will note that the magic of this sweater lies in Shirley's clever shaping technique: Rather than disrupt the flowing lace lines overmuch, she uses larger needles where she wishes things to be bigger, and smaller needles where she wishes them to be smaller. (Someone needs to tell me to knock off the P. D. James novels, my prose is starting to sound downright prim.)

As for the Summer Wheat Tank: It is soooo cute in person. Would it look as cute on a busty gal like me as it does on the Willows and Nymphs in the photos? I'm not sure–I didn't have a model that fit those specs, unfortunately. So here's a little peek into my own thought process about this pattern–see if you agree, or if you would approach this differently. First: I've seen similar "overwrap" sweaters on large busty gals, and it's actually a rather attractive style–if the sweater fits properly. Second: I know the designer of Summer Wheat, Lisa Shroyer, and she is passionate about designing knitwear that will flatter a variety of shapes and sizes. So: If I did knit Summer Wheat for myself, I'd want to make sure that the overlap panel started below my bustline, instead of starting at the top of my bust and going diagonally across something that doesn't need more attention. Also: If the panel started at my underbust, it would help define my waist, which is definitely A Good Thing. In addition, I'd probably do some short-rows or something to increase the drape of the fabric over The Girls and to ensure that there wasn't too much extra fabric at the waist, where I don't need extra anything!

That's how I would start to think about the Summer Wheat pattern. Real women come in all shapes and sizes; not every sweater can look good on every shape and size. The trick is to develop your "critical knitting eye," and to develop a degree of honesty about yourself and about the patterns.
Bertha in a glam moment
We do not expect every piece of clothing in a department store to look great on every single person; the same is true of knitting patterns.

The truth is: I know without a doubt that this top would look gorgeous on my slender-yet-busty sister Liz. So in the end, if I just HAD to knit this pattern (and it's one of those that makes my fingers do a little Wanna Knit dance, I confess), then I would probably make it for her. (I said IF, Lizzie, IF…)

A note from one of our models: Bertha wanted you to know that she does not always stand so stiffly. She has a wild, artistic side to her. She asked me to post this photo so you could get to know her better.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Yes, folks, it's true: I will be ripping back the front of the Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan. Yes, I shall post photos of my infamous defeat pre-rip-fest, but allow me to gather up my courage first. New to the needles: About 15 inches' worth of cables for a new design coming soon to Knitting Daily. Someone asked if this was the ONLY thing on my needles…you caught me! I am the Unfinished Objects Fairy, spreading my little stardust magic over as much casting-on and as many needle sets as possible.

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