FO: Denis Top

I finished my Denis top this week. Another piece for summer, yay!

Denis Top

My list of what I want to knit for myself keeps getting longer and longer but I’ve gotten some really good cotton recently that I just want to dive into. I think once I finish my second Love Note I will cast on another wool piece for fall and simultaneously work on another cotton piece. It’s all about balance.

Denis Top

One of the things people ask me all the time is how do my knits fit me so well. Typically I say, “you have to know your measurements.” But I was thinking with this particular top and style, you also have to know what looks best on you. I typically knit for a 40″ bust but I know that sometimes the bigger and more ease in an item, the sloppier it will look on me. Instead of going up two sizes for the recommended ease, I only went up one. I wanted the fit to be roomy and breezy but I didn’t want it hanging off my shoulders. Just because they suggest certain things in a pattern doesn’t mean you have to do it.

Denis Top

I really love the open lace pattern on the body and just a little bit on the back. For pictures I put on a camel colored tank and it almost gives a nude illusion underneath this, which I like. The pattern was easy to memorize and I like the little details on the sleeves too, it’s a very well constructed pattern. It’s from the Quince & Co. Kestrel yarn collection but I didn’t use Kestrel yarn. At $10.50 per 76 yards, this top would’ve cost me $94.50 + shipping and that’s just not in my budget. I knit this with Berroco Maya, a now discontinued yarn, that I’ve used before for my Bar Harbor top and Bragita (which I don’t wear and should frog to use the yarn over). I bought this lovely red and a deep blue when it went on clearance on for $3.99 but I did find it on Little Knits on sale too if you want to snatch some up. They have a few colors left.

33 Replies to “FO: Denis Top”

    1. Sensational colour and sensible choice of yarn! Looks so great for summer.

  1. I love this on you. I also like that you keep it real. Yes I’d love to have an unlimited yarn budget 🤣, but in reality that’s not happening in this lifetime. So, it’s good to have options. I agree about keeping in mind what looks good on your body. I also have a 39/or 40 inch bust. And some patterns that tell you to have all this positive ease would make me look like I have a potato sack on (as my mother would say 🤣). It might work if you have like a 32-34 inch bust, but not 40. So glad you brought it up, because that is what I was thinking too. I’m glad I’m in good company with that idea. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and projects, they do inspire me. 💕

  2. Great to see what you are doing. My 14 year daughter has taught herself to knit from youtube, she loves looking at sites like yours for inspiration.

  3. Hi Dana! I would love to learn more from you about fitting/tailoring knits and how you choose/substitute yarns! I am learning so much from you both here and on your MDK column! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  4. I love every project you undertake. You’ve caused me to increase my Rav queue! I am always amazed (and jealous) at how quickly you must knit. I know it’s not a race, but I sure wish my sweater collection increased as quickly as yours. Thanks for the continual inspiration and motivation. Love your posts.

  5. Your Denis top is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing how to substitute and save money on yarn. I also like the other comments about more advice on picking the right size so your top fits the way you want it to.

  6. Great look! Wonderful fit too! And thanks for the ‘economical’ yarn alternatives. I always price the designer suggested yarns when considering a new project and I find more times than not, that I’m left thinking to myself that I must be the ONLY ‘budget conscience’ knitter on this planet because the suggestions seem to fall outside of my ‘yarn allowance’. I appreciate yarn makers and all they go through to produce a fine product and I appreciate and understand why some yarns are priced higher.

  7. Love this sweater pattern and your work – it fits beautifully! I appreciate your honesty about yarn cost, sizing, etc. Many thanks!

  8. Oh Dana that’s a lovely top on you! Great fit! I appreciate the pointers on fit and the yarn. Love your blog it’s so inspiring! Thank you!

  9. Gorgeous sweater! It looks fantastic on you:) I always worry about open lace but a tank top underneath is a great idea.

  10. Just enjoy reading your blogs. I’m in envy of the speed at which you finish things, especially since I’m currently feeling a little frantic about getting my summer knitting done this summer (of course, every project I’ve picked is on tiny needles). What I’m enjoying most about your pictures these days is that they’re giving me ideas of how to use the tons of yarn I already have for patterns that are similar or the same as ones you’re working. I, too, blanche at spending $100 to knit a summer tee (my particular problem yarn in this respect is Shibui, which I really love but only buy on deep sale).
    I keep looking forward to your sweaters (and cute dog)
    Joanna Koss

  11. OMG! I bought the same yarn in the same color from when it went on clearance. And I usually knit the 40”. Should I knit the same pattern and be your twin?! I doubt I would get it done as quickly. I’m as jealous of your production level as everyone else! Question: any tips on keeping your tension even when knitting cotton? I have some trouble with that.

  12. Thumbs up on your rendition of the Denis top, Dana. I’m going to bookmark this blog post for inspiration and encouragement (because I bought the pattern too). I love the tomato color, too. I have some Vanna’s Style acrylic in that color I might try.

  13. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your comments on fit. I have been knitting for 50 years and I STILL struggle with remembering that some pattern suggestions are just that, suggestions!!! I don’t have to make a garment with the ease the designer gave it. I just LOVE your blog!!

  14. Good morning from Seattle! May I post a picture of your FO on FB and link to you here? Please and thank you.

  15. I just love what you do and your inspirational colour choices. You’ve inspired me to try a lot of the same patterns and move away from the more conventional colour choices I would have normally made. You’ve changed me, definitely for the better, just don’t stop.

  16. Very cute top, and it’s smashing on you! Question: How did you choose this yarn to substitute for Kestrel? I’m knitting with Kestrel right now, and it’s very nice. But it lists as 76 yards/50g, and your yarn is 137 yards/50g. I never would have thought of that for a substitution! Is it just because you’re thinking worsted weight to worsted weight?


    1. They’re very similar in their structure, a chainette worsted weight yarn. But I’ve also used other worsted weight yarns in place of Kestrel, you just need to get gauge.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply! Ravelry lists Kestrel as Aran weight; it all comes down to swatching. Of course!

  17. Adorable as usual.
    Question: are you going to make baby Pengweenos by Stephen West? I’d love to see what you would combine with your color magic

    1. No But maybe one day I’ll make myself one. I did make his Royally Striped, you can search for it on the blog to see my color combination.

  18. I wasn’t until rather late in life that I learned your lesson about fit when a friend who was a clever seamstress looked at me one day and said ‘too much fabric.’ Apparently I had been engulfed in cloth and didn’t even know it. She changed my wardrobe and my outlook about myself for the better which seems to be your message also…One day in a coffee shop I spied the Maya yarn “in the wild” – on a young knitter wearing the original spring green vest pattern it was photographed in. Beautiful drape. Looked soft. Hope others still get a chance to use it! Look forward to seeing your Stephen West creation. I love his designs. Chloe

  19. Ooh! Lovely! You swapped out the eyelet lace. I like yours better, as it has that dropped stitch look. Very cool.

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