Pattern Spotlight: Dear Prudence by Afifa

I'm Afifa, an indie designer who's been publishing knitting patterns for over a year now. In that time, I've designed everything from from fingerless mittens, to scarfs, shawls and cozy sweaters. As I have a background in fashion, I bring a modern sensibility and love of construction to the art of knitting.

So, how did Dear Prudence come to be? A couple of months ago, I reached out to Anzula asking them if they would be interested in working with me. Charlie, The Big Cheese, Ruler of This Universe, (Charlie is the office manager of Anzula) responded almost immediately and was so extremely gracious and generous in directing me towards the yarns in need of patterns. (Thank you for that, Charlie! I so adored working with Ava!) As a designer, it’s magnificent when a dyer is so open!

A few weeks later, Ava in the gorgeous Orchid colorway arrived in my mailbox. (Rumors that I was camped out or stalking my mailman, waiting for my squishy package, may or may not be true.) 


At first touch I could tell that Ava would become a special summer knit. And coincidentally I’d been wanting an easy-wear top with a bit of embellishment that would be a great on-the-go piece. (Seriously, it’s already become an indispensable part of my wardrobe!)

I’m not a huge fan of seaming – who is, right? So when I cast on for Dear Prudence I started in the round, from the bottom up. I think the rib is a fun little twist on a traditional, too. Increases are made every few rows to create a drapey, dolman style effect. (If you’re not familiar with a dolman, it’s the second most perfect summer attire– a breezy, flowing robe.)

Obviously this is the most perfect attire– a top that’s designed for the kind of ease that practically whispers, relax, chill, it’s summer!

And Ava yarn is so perfect for this design– it has the drape, softness and stitch definition to work really well with the subtle increases. Once the torso is completed, you’ll separate for the front and back and create the lacy cap sleeves. Now, my absolute favorite bit of this top is the sleeve design. I think it’s intriguing and a little bit sexy while bringing a definite summertime feel to the garment. Plus, everyone who’s seen me in this has said, “Super-cute, Afifa! Where did you find that top?”

Think we’re done talking about the sleeves? No way! See, initially, I had the lace pattern running along the edges of the armhole and all across the front and back of the neck. I finished it, bound off, put it on and stepped in front of the mirror with a happy goofy smile on my face. It didn’t last!

And, oh boy, talk about a hot mess! It looked – seriously – like I‘d taken two different tops and spliced them together. Not a pretty sight! So, back to the drawing board I went. I ripped it back down to where it separated for the front and back and, voila! I added a delicate, stepped lace pattern just where the sleeves hit. That way, you can have the delicate airy lace, and still wear traditional undergarments without looking like... well, use your imagination, okay? Like this, it’s comfy, pretty AND functional. Oh, and super-cute! A three needle bind off at the shoulders adds the perfect finishing edge.

I really hope you love Dear Prudence. I promise you’ll enjoy the process of creating it as much as you’ll enjoy wearing it (especially since you won’t have to rip it out to the arm pits and re-knit it as I did!)

Tell us which colorway you will use to make your very own Dear Prudence in the comments!