Pattern Spotlight: Vail by Heather Zoppetti

I’m here on Anzula’s blog to give you a closer look at Vail. This was one of those projects that started as something else and then evolved into what you see now. Originally, I had intended it to be part of my Knitscene designer’s collection, however, with changes to the design, I couldn’t get it finished in time for that issue. Instead it’s be reborn in this special issue of Knitscene Handmade. I really love the idea of a handmade life. Perhaps I’m an old soul who used to make all my own clothes, or maybe I’m just preparing for the zombie apocalypse…but I love the idea of being more self-sustaining.

Vail calls for two Anzula yarns, Vera and Breeze. Both are the same blend of silk and linen but Vera is sport weight and Breeze is lace weight. I love unexpected blends like this. Silk and linen make a great duo---drapey, strong, and crisp. With all of Anzula’s beautiful colors to choose from, you can put together some great color combinations!

At first I had planned for a complicated all over pattern that required drawn up stitches. I even knit an entire back piece!

However, I fell out of love with it. The fabric was too stiff, too formal, and it strayed too much from my original vision of clean and simple lines with a dramatic ruffle as the focus. So I did the hard thing and ripped it out.

Now Vail is a simple top down raglan. It doesn’t even have waist shaping! Instead the waist is drawn in with a fancy cable in the back. The back “skirt” is dipped down ever so slightly with short rows and made fuller with a few increases hidden after the cable. The edges are finished simply with an applied i-cord.

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Let’s talk about that ruffle. Before I sent this garment to Knitscene I dubbed it “The Ruffle of Doom”. That’s not to say I don’t love the ruffle. It’s a great element. However, what happened was, the ruffle was not originally as it appears. At first, I went a little overboard and had the ruffle going all around, even behind the neck. After binding off and putting it on, I hated it. HATED. But, if you’ve ever knit a ruffle, you know that there are about a gazillion stitches at the end. So, I knew I didn’t want to rip and re-knit, besides, there was simply no time for that.

I decided to cut the neck section out. Yes, I Cut. It. Out. In other words, I did a little surgery. It was scary, but very rewarding. There were many ends to weave in, but this saved me so much time. I got the look I wanted and I didn’t have to re-knit. 

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

So what do you think? Was all the ripping and cutting and re-designing worth it? Do you love the way Vail worked out? What colors of Vera and Breeze are going to choose for your Vail?