I've been keen to get this laceweight top finished this week, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Originally knitted in Fyberspates silk, I chose Rowan Fine Lace instead and it has worked quite well (more on this further down the page). The pattern called for 2 skeins of Fyberspates, i.e. 2000m of yarn; this was because they only make this yarn in 1000m skeins. I guessed that it would take a little over 1000m so bought 4 x 400m balls of the Rowan. In fact it too only two balls to finish the body and the first sleeve, so I reckon about 900m, certainly no more than 1000m. I would have been pretty annoyed if I had bought two skeins of very expensive yarn!
The shell pattern is lovely, but I did have a false start as I missed an important change in the pattern part way through the 12 rows and had to rip it back. So for anyone tempted to knit this, do pay attention at row 7!. The shells blocked really well and the shaping at the bottom of the garment is lovely. Laceweight knitting is tricky though and one thing I did learn from this is to take extra care when breaking and re-attaching yarn as it has a tendency to create holes which are more difficult to fix than in a thicker yarn. Swiss darning was called for, and the problem was solved.
So now for my "but". The neckline is quite wide and with my narrow, sloping shoulders the sleeves seem to have a tendency to drop off the edge. My choice of yarn may have contributed to this, as it is more stretchy than silk would be, but looking at the picture in the magazine, the girl does have model-style shoulders which are wide and flat. The gathering in the sleeves does look lovely but it adds quite a bit of weight. I'll see how it goes, I did manage to "hitch" them up when I tried it on first time and it looked fine, but I haven't tried it on since blocking.
All in all, this has fired up my enthusiasm for lace knitting so there's definitely more of that to come...