Introducing The Shoals Top

Today I’d like to introduce the newest pattern from Vint Hill Knits: the Shoals Top.

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Perfect for a stroll along the seaside, the Shoals Top is a breezy, loose-knit blouse worked from the top down with a deep scoop neck, raglan cap sleeves and a beautiful seashell lace band around the bottom. Choose from curve-hugging waist shaping or a straight body then finish it off with seed stitch edging on the hem, cuffs, and neckband.
The seashell lace band is carefully demonstrated with a written pattern, charted pattern, and step-by-step photo tutorial so what looks fancy and complicated can be accomplished by an intermediate knitter.

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This one has been a long time coming. I started and finished all of the prototypes for the Shoals Top way back in May, wrote and graded the pattern, and sent it out for testing to my wonderful group of Thursday Night Knitters at my LYS with a deadline of July 31 for their test knits. They all diligently finished on time… and then I got pregnant and lazy!

I knew that seaside photos would be perfect for the “shoals” so I had a friend photograph this aqua version for me while I was at the beach over 4th of July but I wasn’t thrilled with how the pictures turned out. I had every intention of retaking the pics a few weeks later but my belly was already beginning to show by the time I returned to the beach. I hemmed and hawed over retaking the photos and finally realized that I wouldn’t fit back into my tops for a very long time and I really just wanted to get this one published. After all, I can always go back and take better photos and replace them when I’m ready.

Delays aside, here is the original version I worked up for my mom for mother’s day.

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You can see it has longer short sleeves, as she prefers more coverage on her upper arms. This adjustment is super easy to make, just transfer the sleeve stitches to your main needle size and work however many rounds you prefer before beginning the edging with the smaller needle. You may also notice that her edging is ribbing rather than seed stitch like the released pattern.

This pattern is written for a heavy worsted or aran weight yarn in cotton or another breezy summer yarn to keep you cool. At just 16 stitches per 4 inches, the gauge is quite loose so if you choose another yarn, be sure to check gauge to ensure that your resulting fabric isn’t too sheer like my black version here:

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Do those shells look scary? Don’t worry! Several of my testers were intimidated by the appearance of the finished product but once I showed them the step-by-step photo tutorial of the shell pattern, they were all, “Oh that’s easy enough! I can do that!”

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This pattern really guides you through it and makes this top look spectacular in the end.

Worried about the fact that it’s November and temps are dipping into the freezing territory here in the Northern Hemisphere? What about that vacation you have planned to Florida this winter? You’ll need something to wear! And what about the fact that you always feel like dropping your needles and yarn like hotcakes once the weather warms up? If you’re like me you have a lot more cold-weather handknits in your wardrobe than warm-weather wear because you like to cozy up to the fire and knit. Work this one up now while you snuggle up inside so you have it ready and waiting when you’re ready to ditch the needles and hit the beach next summer! One more bonus, your LYS probably has a pretty good sale on summer yarns right now!

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Hop over to Ravelry and download your copy of the Shoals Top today!

As always, you can email me at vinthill@hotmail.com for customer support should you every have any questions, find errata in my patterns, or if you just want to say how awesome it is and show me what you made!

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