June 20, 2003

Color me purple, bay-bee.

Look, Ma! I made lace!

I'm in full tank swing now, and decided to start my Rowan Smooch tank as soon as I saw that Alison had started hers, too. [I'm an Alison wannabe. What can I say?]. It's such a neat tank, and Rowan's All Season's Cotton knits up into a beautiful fabric. I must admit that I'm not following the pattern instructions at all, but had to write my own based upon the photo because as soon as I read the instructions and saw the (somewhat lacking) schematic, I knew that this tank would fit me badly if I followed the pattern blindly*. I do this with a lot of the patterns I use, but am forced to 'fess up about it now because I'm knitting these tanks with other people. I won't share all of my changes here (such as resizing and reshaping) because chances are they won't work for you unless you have the exact same measurements I do, but here is something I've changed that others might be able to use:

In order to ensure continuity in the chevron and eyelet pattern when seamed (as written in the instructions, it gets cut off at the sides and probably looks broken when seamed), I decided to not use the eyelet pattern described in the instructions, but work a similar one over 8 rows and a multiple of 9 sts + 2 selvedges. If you're doing the extra small size, this will definitely work for you. Instead of casting on the number of stitches stated in the pattern**, cast on 128 stitches. Work the lace at the hem, and then the garter as established but do not decrease as the pattern states. You need the resulting number after working the lace at the hem in order to have your multiples of 9 stitches for the chevron and eyelet pattern, plus 2 extra stitches for the selvedges. After you work 8 rows of this chevron and eyelet pattern, work 2 rows of stockinette stitch. Then continue as stated in the pattern**.

Incidentally, the chevron and eyelet pattern I did looks like the one used in this tank pattern, but is not worked in exactly the same manner or over the same amount of stitches and rows. Instructions on how to do the one I used can be found on page 149 of Vogue Knitting, and you can see a closeup of the stitch I used in my photo here. It's easy, and fun to do! And as you can see on the left end of my work and on the right end of my work, the lace pattern is uninterrupted and will look seamless when sewn together. This may not be a big deal to some people, but to me, those details make all the difference in how a finished garment looks. (And are the details I always notice myself!)

*Unfortunately, most clothes of all labels fit me really badly because my measurements are all over the place, and I'm not kidding. I'm an extra small, small and medium, all in one. Because of this, all my suits, dresses, slacks - basically, everything other than my casual clothes - are tailored or custom made because it's cheaper than all the alterations I'd have to have done to clothes. I had to have my wedding dress custom made as well! And that's why I love knitting, and why I want to take up sewing. (Please tell Santa to bring me a Singer Featherweight this year for Christmas.)

**Sorry...I won't reproduce any specific instructions for the Smooch tank pattern here and prefer not to see any of it reproduced in my comments. I'm only sharing what I have written myself. If there's something you'd like to see from the tank pattern itself, please refer to it. (Ditto with the chevron and eyelet pattern in Vogue Knitting.)

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6 comments to this entry:

ooo, *smooch*. i have been lurking here all day hoping for an update!! hee hee.... love the color you chose. purdy lace. all you tank girls have done complete wardrobe overhauls this summer. it's amazing!! :) you'll probably be finished with this baby by Monday!!!

You know what? I think I just now figured out that you actually have to /add/ selvedge stitches to the pattern magazines provide. I have been merrily knitting along, just slipping those first stitches of every row like my mama taught me, and have never run into trouble with it. But that's probably only because I knit small baby things where it doesn't matter what exact size the thing will be. It might (would) matter a lot in a made-to-fit thing. And I think that's what you have been writing about now for a few weeks, Becky, and I never put 2 and 2 together until about an hour ago. Hello? How did I ever graduate University, I wonder?

oh yeah, marrije? I can beat that. I'm going into my 6th (6th!?) year of my Ph.D. and I only have the vaguest idea of what a selvedge is and why I should have one, but I've been too embarrassed to say anything until now.

You win Maureen! :-) Aren't these knittinglog thingies the wonderfullest thing? I would never have even thought about the different decreases that exist and how to alter patterns and expanding beyond the things I was taught in my first few months of knitting (years ago) if it hadn't been for all these great, accomplished knitters who share what they do online. It also helps to read that everybody runs into problems and has to rip things out, no matter how experienced they are :-)

Cool redesign, Becky. I feel for you little people having to do so much work to get your lace to line up right. I guess we larger folk got lucky this time!

So are you gonna be done by Monday like Carolyn says? We could do a double reveal!

Hey hey, Becky. Can't wait to see what you knit up with wire. I'm looking for a smaller gauge & have found it at http://www.parawire.com/30-32gaugemagnetwire.shtml. Course, ordering won't help me much because I want it NOW! ;)

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