I tried so hard to focus this blog on free patterns. Patterns that are accessible to anyone with the desire and yarn to take them up. Then I met Topstykke.
Not only is this pattern not free, it's only sold in a kit, and the website isn't even in English. (I know that's not a requirement for a large portion of the globe, but I'm limited to English and some French so if the pattern isn't accessible to me, I'm going to call it unaccessible.) I really tried to figure out how to order it online, with no success. Maybe some of the featured knitters will be able to give us some ideas in the comments???
"What's the big deal?" you may be asking.
Yep, that's right. Not only is this tunic adorable in all adult sizes (we'll get to those in a bit), it also looks puppiesandkittenssnugglingtogetherinateacup cute on kids. (The kids version is called "Lille Topstykke" I believe.) If you want a less-blurry view of Lille Stykke, click on the image. I tried to edit out the cute baby face for privacy's sake and it blurred the image a bit. Dorthe knit this Lille Stikke with Geilsk 100% Uld on US 6s and I think we can agree that we all want one for our daughters!
Moving up a little on the size scale...
Laila's version in the purple is knit in a size L with a loose guage, so she claims it's actually an XL. Now, unless this is one of those patterns that is so completely missized so that the Olsen twins would fit a large, that XL totally looks like a M at most on Laila. The yarn is Noda Junik in Thistledown and she used US 2.5 needles. The scoop neck draws the eye down and frames her face beautifully. The a-line shape skims her body so there are no lumps or bumps showing through. (I'm sure there are no Lumps or Bumps to show, right Laila?)
Lisbeth, here in the grey, also used Geilsk 100% Uld, which I assume is the wool that comes in the kit? Am I right, Lisbeth?
She used US 4 needles and knit a size S. Her collar isn't as deep as Laila's, but I'm not sure if that's a result of the pattern size or a modification. In any case, the shorter neckline works here with the smaller bust. More fabric gives the illusion of more girth around the girls.
Our last featured project was knit by Tineke in a size M. Check out her Ravelry project page for another adorable Lille Topstykke. Tineke used US 4 needles with the 100% Uld kit yarn for the adult-sized Topstykke pictured here. Her neckline looks a bit square compared to the others and I'm not sure if it was a mod or just a fluke of the pattern. Some of the pattern reviews mentioned some difficulty in getting the pleats started, so that might be the difference. If anyone knows, leave a comment!
ETA: Tineke wrote me to say the neckline on her version is, in fact, the "correct" version. While I don't think I gave the impression that her's was wrong, I'd like to emphasize the pattern does have a square neck. She also pointed out the correct name for the child's version and the correct spelling of her name. I've corrected the errors above.
This tunic has the magic ability to look like the same size whether you knit a small, medium, or extra large (I still don't believe that's an XL, Laila. Small needle size maybe?) And that's sooo not a bad thing!
The scoop (or square) neck and cap sleeves add interesting details around the collarbone and present the face beautifully. The A-line shaping and slanting pleat pattern camouflage the tummy and hip area, slimming the trouble spots and giving the illusion of a long, lean trunk. I wish the pattern was more accessible because I have no idea how to reverse-engineer that pleating. (Not that I encourage that sort of thing.)
Have you knit a similar pleat detail? How does one order this kit? Will it break the bank? Are there other A-line tunics that slim and elongate the way Topstykke does? Does Topstykke mean anything, or is it just a name?