Project Knitwear #1: Daphne Top

Today, I’m launching a new series on the blog: Project Knitwear! My mum is an avid knitter, so I learnt to knit at a very young age. Like all young & impatient knitters, I started out making small, simple items: think coin purses, phone cosies- basically, if it was in this book, I made (or attempted to make!) it at some point. As I got older, I progressed to making knitted toys and decorations- I got really into Alan Dart’s Tails of Yore collection, as well as Jean Greenhowe’s Christmas patterns (I actually made the whole Christmas Crib set, plus the bonus donkey, twice). A little while later, I subscribed to a magazine called The Art of Crochet, through which I learnt how to crochet. As time went on, crochet took over as my favourite yarn-y craft and my knitting fell a little by the wayside, so I never really got around to making any bigger, more wearable projects.

Long story short, I don’t have much experience when it comes to knitting clothes! Bar the crumbs of knowledge gleaned from making a couple of Weasley Jumpers and a single, fateful pair of socks (I was horrified when I (rather belatedly, I admit) realised I had to do the whole process twice), I really don’t know much at all about knitting clothes. Which, given the huge volume of beautiful knitwear patterns in circulation at the moment, seems like a complete oversight on my part. Because of this, I’ve decided to branch out with my knitting and learn how to knit clothes that I can actually wear in my everyday life!

One thing to note here: as I mentioned earlier, my mum is a super experienced knitter- I’m really lucky that I have her expertise to rely upon throughout this process. If you do not have a knitter friend/relative who can help you with yarn suggestions and understanding patterns, don’t worry! There are plenty of online resources that can help you: check out the forums on Ravelry, or head to YouTube for video demonstrations of specific techniques.

Now that you’ve heard my knitting story and know what my aim for this project is, let’s get into this instalment of Project Knitwear and look at my first garment knit. I actually made this top around this time last year, but I wanted to start this series at the very beginning of my knitwear journey!

Table of Contents

The Pattern

For my first proper garment knit, I decided to make the Daphne Top by Friday Knits. It was, perhaps, a slightly ambitious choice, but it worked out fine in the end (shoutout to my mum, for putting up with my e n d l e s s questions and mini-panics). The Daphne Top is inspired by the Regency era-style fashion in the Netflix series, Bridgerton, which, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while now, you will know that I am huge fan of! I came across this pattern on Instagram (you can follow @fridayknits here, if you’re interested in seeing more patterns from them!) and immediately fell in love. I mean, it’s just so pretty! Anyway, after a little persuading from my mum, I bit the bullet and purchased the pattern. Step one, done!

The Yarn

As soon as I saw this top, I knew I wanted to make it in a pale purple shade. Funnily enough, Friday Knits has since released a dress version of the top, with the sample made in purple, which made me feel very validated. Anyway, I like to think that I just like the colour, but I have a feeling my inner Bridgerton fangirl just wanted to match Daphne’s post-marriage colour scheme. Can you blame me? Daphne looked great in purple.

I was on the fence about which yarn to use- I have a real aversion to yarns that aren’t… smooth? Which I feel is actually a super blasphemous thing to say in the knitting community, because wool is supposed to be, well, woolly, but if I can find a suitable yarn with a soft and smooth feel, I will always choose it. Having said that, I also didn’t want to spend loads of money on the yarn, given that this project could end up tossed aside in frustration! In the end, after plenty of deliberation and lots more advice from my mum, I decided to use DROPS Merino Extra Fine, which is a DK weight, 100% wool yarn- it’s actually one of the suggested yarns for the pattern. Having used the yarn, I can say that I really liked it. I’ve seen lots of comments saying that finished garments made with it lose their shape when washed, but I haven’t noticed that with this project. It was a little bit splitty and there were a few knots, but I’ve had much worse!

I opted to use the colour way 36 (Amethyst), to get that pale purple shade I wanted. I purchased my yarn from Wool Warehouse and (I believe?) it was on sale at the time (DROPS often is!). I followed the pattern for the Medium size and bought 9 balls of yarn, but I did have about 1 1/2 balls leftover, even though I added quite a bit of length to the pattern in a few areas (more on that later), so I could probably have gotten away with buying 8 balls.

The Swatch

Is it too soon to say that I despise swatching? This was my first ever gauge swatch and I hated every minute of it. I am beginning to understand why younger Gemma preferred making tiny, swatch-less toys. Ah, those were the days. Unfortunately, swatching is necessary to ensure knitted clothes fit as intended, so swatch I did. Luckily, my mum is well-versed in making swatches, so had all the helpful equipment (wool wash, foam boards & swatching pins) at the ready. On the bright side, my swatch met the required gauge on the first go (looking back, I don’t know what I was complaining about? I recently did about 8 different swatches for a single project and I am MAD at my past self for being so angsty with this single swatch).

The Knitting Process

Finally, I was on to the actual knitting! As I mentioned earlier, I made the size Medium and, to meet gauge, I worked on the suggested 3.75mm needles.

Truthfully, I did find this project quite difficult. A large part of that was caused by my inexperience at reading patterns, so having my mum close by to help was invaluable. The other part of this pattern that I struggled with was the fit. I know, I know- I blame myself for trying to make something fitted so early on in my knitting journey! I did end up making a few adjustments for my top (with varying degrees of success):

  • Increased length for the bust

The pattern clearly explains how to do this, which was super helpful because I think it is designed for someone with a much smaller bust than me! I ended up doing about 9cm, instead of 6.5cm, for my bust, but I think I should have done a little bit more- the I-cord detail doesn’t quite sit in the right place on me, I don’t think.

  • Shortened length of the straps

I made my straps 1cm shorter than the pattern suggested, but I did still have issues with the sleeves falling off my shoulders (something I have noticed other knitters have struggled with when making this pattern too). I have attempted to prevent this from happening quite so much by threading some 3mm elastic ribbon into the I-cord straps. You can see the elastic from the inside, but not the outside, so I don’t mind it at all. I think that, if I were to make this top again, given that the shorter straps didn’t do much to prevent the slipping, I would leave the straps at the longer, suggested length, which might help the top fit better around my bust. I also wonder if attaching the straps further in (i.e. closer to the centre of both the back and front?) would help? If I made this top again, I’d be tempted to try that, because the whole slippy-sleeve thing is really annoying. The back is pretty wide/open anyway, so I think it could work!

  • Lengthened sleeves

After knitting up the sleeves, I felt like they finished at a slightly odd point on my arms, so I lengthened them a little. I’m much happier with them now!

New Techniques

While this project was quite challenging, that did mean that I learnt loads of new techniques to flesh out my knitting arsenal with, including:

  • Long tail cast on
  • Provisional cast on
  • I-cord straps
  • Applied I-cord
  • German short rows
  • Picking up stitches
  • Seaming hems

Quick note here: I know it’s a bit soon to say but… I think I might be a German Short Row Girlie?? Once I got the hang of them, I really enjoyed knitting them up. It was so cool seeing the shape of the top develop with each row!

Final Thoughts

First up, I am SO proud of myself for making this top! It was definitely on the more challenging side (considering my abilities), but I ended up with a super neat, pretty top. For the first project in this series, I think it was super successful!

I feel that my finished garment could have done with a few more adjustments- most notably increased length in the bust. Having said that, I find this top much easier to wear after adding the elastic to the sleeves, which don’t fall down so much now, so I’m happy!

I hope you liked this first instalment of my Project Knitwear series! Thanks for reading 🙂

If you're interested...

You can buy the Daphne Top pattern here.

You can see the project page on Ravelry for my Daphne Top here.




  1. Sheila Scott says:

    Absolutely gorgeous—difficult to believe you are an inexperienced garment knitter!

    1. Thank you Sheila! It was definitely a challenge for me, but I really enjoyed the process!

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