Category Archives: Fishtail Lace Top

Adapted pattern from The Point house pattern

2007 – The Year in Yarn

Looking back, 2007 was a year where my knitting made significant progress. When I consider the projects that I completed this year, I wonder where I found the time to make them all! By category, here are my 2007 finished objects:


  • Black and Red with Fair Isle Crewneck Sweater – Made from Karabella cashmere and silk blend. I created the pattern myself to use the leftover 4 1/2 balls of black that I had from another sweater. Since the yarn was purchased at the Lion and Lamb’s going out of business sale, I couldn’t return them!
  • Hairy White Sweater – Made  in an acryllic blend from Anny Blatt. I discovered that once knitted up my skin didn’t react well well to the material, so I gave it to my sister who is more resilent to fiber content.
  • Red Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk Sweater – Made in Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk  purchased at The Point. This cherry colored sweater is soft and warm.  I gave it to my mother for her birthday.
  • Rust Silk Sweater – Made in 100% silk purchased at Silk City Fibers. It was a birthday present for my boyfriend.
  • Yellow Silk and Grey Rayon Sweater in Wide Bamboo Stitch. Made in silk blend purchased at Silk City Fibers. I adapted a Sally Melville pattern from The Purl Stitch.
  • Pink and Lavendar Summer Sweater. Made from Misti Alpaca pima cotton and silk purhcased at the Knit Cafe in Los Angeles. I started out to make a sleeveless top and decided that the swatch was warm and soft. When I called to order additional pink yarn, there was no more. As a result, the sweater combines the two colors.
  • Laced-Front Sweater. Made from Brooks Farm Harmony purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This was a pattern from Knitted Lingerie.
  • Cross Your Heart Sweater. Made from 100% fingering weight alpaca purchased at Rhinebeck in 2006. This sweater was adapted from a Rowan pattern.
  • Origami Cardi. Made from 1oo% wool purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2007. This pattern appeared in Interweave Magazine in Summer 2007. It is probably my favorite project this year!
  • Fishtail Lace Sweater. Made from 80% merino/20% cashmere blend purchased at The Point. This was a store pattern that I adapted and added long sleeves.


  • After Dark Nightie. Made from Lang’s 100% Egyptian cotton in periwinkle blue purchased at the Joan Vass Sample Sale in 2006. I used the Mason Dixon Knitting book which inspired me to knit more lingerie. I have worn this nightie as a dress!
  • Dad’s Vest. Made from Noro blend bought at Webs. Since my dad claims that he has too many sweaters, I made him a vest based on his measurements without a pattern.
  • Red and Orange Ribbon Tank. Made from Seville ribbon purchased on sale at The Point. This project was a pain since the ribbon was so shiny that it kept twisting (required a rubber band on the ball to keep it in place!). Due to the lack of red, I added orange stripes.
  • Yellow  Cotton Tank. Made from 100% cotton purchased at Silk City Fibers. I used a reverse wide rib based on the threaded twist to the cotton. I was proud of the lines of the top despite the relatively simple item.
  • Shaped Lace Tee Shirt. Made from Lamb’s Pride Cotton Fleece purchased at Purl By the Sea. I used Knitted Lingerie’s pattern. It is a dusty rose.
  • Verona Socks. Made from Lion’s Brand (don’t cringe!) sock yarn.  These socks were started en route from Venice to Verona. I even knitted them waiting for the opera to start in Verona! Of course, they took me a year to finish!

Additionally, I made several scarves and triangular wraps for friends and family.

Further I extended my acquaintance with several yarn selling establishments. Among them were:

  • Yarn Seller – Good resource with near/in York, ME.
  • Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – Always an incredible yarn experience. While trying on the pocketbook, it’s great for your stash especially given the smaller local farms.
  • Knit Cafe – A mecca on Melrose in West Hollywood, CA.
  • Colorful Stitch – A two story yarn emporium in Lennox, MA which has swatches of the various yarns and unusual samples.
  • Webs – Well worth the trip! The back room/warehouse is a treasure trove of yarns at great prices.
  • Purl By the Sea – At the end of the world, at least from a NYer’s perspective. A wonderful assortment of brands, colors, price points as well as tools.
  • ArtFibers – A pink second floor enclave in San Francisco’s financial district. It allows you to test their various materials. It only sells their brands in colors to make your mouth water.
  • Chix With Stix – A large airy store in Forest Park, IL. It has two knitting tables and a wonderful sofa for significant others.
  • Loopy – Nestled in Chicago’s Loop this knitting treasure has a wonderful, helpful staff who don’t believe that you have to follow patterns religously! It carries a lot of small producers and a wide range of fibers.

Noteably, I wasn’t able to attend Rhinebeck this year. That said, my stash has grown very nicely.

P.S. Pictures of recent accomplishments will appear later.


Fishtail Lace Top-The Saga Continues

After testing a number of different lace patterns, I decided to use a plain stocking knit stitch for the top portion of the sweater and the main part of the sleeves.  The rationale for this design change was that using two different lace patterns involved more complex changes in terms of math and shaping and that the stockingknit stitch offset the beauty of the fishtail lace.

To offset the top portion of the sweater, I reduced the number of stitches to make it more fitted and used 4 rows of garter stitch instead of a ribbon used in the model.  I shaped the armholes to accommodate a set-in sleeve which I like. 

For the sleeves, I knitted 3 repeats of the fishtail lace to have a frilly cuff. Then I reduced the number of stitches and used 4 rows of garter stitch to set off the lace.

Fishtail Lace Sweater Evolves

I visited The Point to check out the sample of their Fishtail Lace Top to see how the fishtail lace meets the eyelet lace used for the upper portion ot the top since the pattern has no photograph to use as a guide. I discovered that where the two sections meet there is no rhyme or reason as to how the two lace patterns come together. I’m sorry to say that this didn’t surprise me since many patterns, like many mass produced clothes, neglect these details.

Fishtail Lace Detail

Fishtail Lace Detail

Since the Fishtail Lace consists of an 8 stitch repeat and the Eyelet Rib consists of a 6 stitch repeat, it’s less surprising. With the help of Jennifer, one of the new employees, I persursed the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year perpetual calendar. After reducing my options, I decided to use the Feather Rib (November 14th on the calendar) which has a 5 stitch repeat. I like the fact that the lace portion of the rib has a vertical which is similar to that in the center of the Fishtail Lace.

When I tried on the lavendar store sample, I realized that the pattern needed modification to meet my measurements. The drawstring came through the middle of my bust, which was neither comfortable nor attractive. As a result, I decided to make the body a bit wider than usual so that it would flair under an empire waist drawstring.

I plan to reduce the number of stitches at the drawstring. Based on my size, I will go from an 8 stitche repeat to a 7 stitch repeat. This will require an adjustment to the Feather Rib. Further I intend to have the verticals (for lack of a more professional word) align. This should reduce the top to a more fitted form.

Knitting Across Oak Park – Soccer Moms, Mexican Food, Cappucino and Beads

Oak Park VisitAs an added bonus to my Omaha trip, I stopped in Chicago on my way home to visit close friends in Oak Park where I can have stuffed pizza and Mexican food!

On the trip from Omaha to Chicago, I sat opposite a woman who crocheted a baby cap while I worked on my Fishtail Lace Top. I felt that I was making great progress learning the six row repeat until I realized that the four rows that I had knit needed to be unknit! Net knitting = 0 rows! UGH!

It was a regualr Saturday for my friends and their younger son was competing in his soccer team’s playoffs. So we headed to the soccer field where I put my lace issues behind me. Bundled in folding chairs on the sidelines, I watched my friend’s younger son and his team play soccer yarn in hand. Not having children of my own, this was a new experience. While some of the parents shouted words of encouragement to their sons, the rest used the time to socialize and catch up on the latest school gossip.

Soccer Mom Knitting in Oak Park

Knitting with friends during the soccer playoffs in Oak Park.

Beyond brief words of greeting, I used the time to learn the six row repeat of the fishtail lace which I seemed to master by the end of the first match. I periodically looked up to watch the players run from one end of the field to the other impressed by the variety of red, orange and yellow trees surrounding the playing field.

After the game, we had a girls’ lunch at a local Mexican restaurant followed by coffee at The Buzz, a local cafe where I hear there’s a knitting group. The walls are filled with paintings by local artists and there are comfy chairs in the back. Unfortunately, there was a couple that appeared to be on a first date so we decided to sit at a table where we continued to catch up and I continued to add rows to my Fishtail Lace Top!

Knitting at The Buzz

Fishtail Lace Top close up with The Buzz Coffee Cup

Heidi Cohen With Knitting and Cappucino at The Buzz


Heidi Cohen in Noro vest, knitting and cappucino in hand

We surveyed a few of the local shops. I was enticed by the local bead emporium called Bead in Hand where I found materials to make some unusual stitch markers. While it wasn’t yarn, it did have a yarn use! Then we headed back to the soccer field for the next playoff game.

Omaha Bound in Stitches

I had to go to Omaha for a short business trip. Of course, it’s important to point out that while the time in Omaha may be short, it’s difficult to get from New York City to Omaha in a short amount of time since most flights require a switch in another midwestern city. Given how frequently flights are delayed, I made sure that I had a minimum of an hour layover which translates to lots of waiting time (read: knitting time!)

In addition to the work I prepared for my trip to Omaha, I made sure that I had not only swatched but also started work on my Fishtail Lace Top which was one of two projects that I brought with me. Having learned from my recent trip to Chicago, it can be a long, yarn deprived trip without a project in the works.

This meant swatching and math to determine how I wanted to knit my Fishtail Lace Top. I thought that the model in The Point was knit too loosely. So I swatched my mercash yarn on several size needles. The swatch police would have caused trouble if they knew that I only swatched stockingknit stitch! While I hit the jackpot in terms of having the same gauge as the pattern, I decided to knit the bottom fishtail lace on number 6 Crystal Palace Bamboo circulars and to switch to number 5s for the eyelet lace top. Unlike the pattern, I’ve decided to reduce the number of stitches for the ribbing at the top.

Fishtail Lace Top on the needles

Fishtail Lace Top on the needles

For my second or backup project, I brought my Origami Cardi. Having finished the back of the Origami Cardi, I made sure that the first of the front panels was started before I left.

Origami Cardi in Process

Origami Cardi – Front panel on the needles

I found that having these two projects was a good knitting strategy since the Origami Cardi was relatively easy straight knitting while the Fishtail Lace Top required concentration until I got the hang of the 6 row repeat.

Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Alternative – aka “Yarn Buying Adventure”

One of our friends celebrated her 50th birthday at the National Arts Club with dinner and dancing the same evening as the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival, Therefore, I decided to forgo what would have been my fourth annual trek to the Rhinebeck fairgrounds. While I felt disappointed at not going, I couldn’t really feel deprived since I had recently enhanced my stash in both San Francisco and Chicago. 

That said, I decided that a wool treat was still in order. So during my ritual Saturday afternoon visit to The Point, I  used my “20% off coupon” saved from last month’s wool donation.

I had been eyeing Punta Del Este Yarn’s Mercash, a 80% merino/20% mongolian cashmere blend, in either eggplant or olive green. To add to the fiber’s soft allure, 50 grams contains an amazing 264 yards! (Read: small knitting needles required!)

By the time I made my purchase, someone had already snagged all of the eggplant color making my color decision for me! The Point had a house pattern to make a “Fishtail Lace Top” since it uses a combination of fishtail lace and an eyelet rib. It is a cap sleeve baby doll top.

When I tried the store model on, I discovered that the pattern needed some adjustment since the ribbon which is threaded through below the bust hit above my bust. Further, I decided to make my version with long sleeves. As a result, I purchased an extra ball of wool and was thrilled with my purchase!