Tube top.

Strappy tube top!

With three skeins of cotton string and 3mm needles I'm going to make myself a strappy tube top! The pattern actually calls for 3.5mm needles but my swatch came out enormous on that size, and I'm betting it's the type of cotton that's making me want to knit big stitches. So I tried again on size 3 needles and it came out perfectly. And that's another reason to never stop knitting swatches even though I don't like doing it.

The pattern calls for the tube top to be knit in two separate pieces, than sewn together. There's no shaping, though. So I think I'm going to try knitting it in the round on circular needles. I've never knit anything larger than a hat in the round (on five double points besides), so this is going to be something new. And good luck to me.

At least I know how to achieve slanted knitting.

Had to ditch the idea of knitting my little tube top in the round. And I learned something new in the process! When attempting to knit something in the round while using a circular needle that is just a wee bit too long, your knitting is gonna look...well, like crap. My garment is supposed to measure about 28 inches all around, and because I temporarily misplaced my brain I thought "Hey! I don't have a 3.5mm circular needle that's shorter than the 30 inch ones I already have, but why go all the way to the store for another 3.5mm circular needle just because it's a few inches shorter? A couple of inches won't make a difference." Guess what! It does make a difference. In a big way. Don't ever attempt to knit in the round on a circular needle that isn't at least two or three inches shorter (from point to point) than what the garment is supposed to measure. Unless, of course, you want your knitting to look all stretched out and slant to the left. Which is what mine was doing, so I unraveled the six rows I knit. All 180 stitches. Someone, hand me a tissue.

In search of the short circular needle.

I finally got started on my tube top this morning! I resorted to knitting it in two separate pieces instead of in the round because it seems that the two yarn stores I visited yesterday do not carry circular needles - no matter what size - that are less than 80 cms (about 31") in length! That has got to be the silliest thing I have ever heard. Clearly, some people think that we all knit garments in the same size. I would have trekked down to a few other knitting stores to search for a shorter circular needle, but the heat was so bad yesterday I most surely would have suffered near collapse from driving around in a Fiat Punto that has no air conditioning. So two pieces it shall be. At least I'm good at seaming. Sigh.

Tube tops knit so quickly.

With an awful bout of the flu, the last thing I want to do is sit up in bed and knit with 3mm needles and some cotton string. So I didn't knit a stitch yesterday. But I'm feeling better this morning, and had fun knitting a few rows of my tube top. I'm about 3/4 of the way through on one piece and might be able to finish it before heading out today.

I also finished my son's summer sweater, sewed the buttons onto the button band on the left shoulder, and promptly became horrified when I saw that the buttons I bought are enormous! They make him look like he's sporting wheels on his shoulder, for pete's sake. So I'll be heading to the mercerie to exchange them for something in a more discreet size. And from now on, I'm going to wait until a sweater is finished before buying buttons, and I won't buy them in the size required by the pattern if it looks ghastly.

Quick knit.

Finished one piece of my tube top, and started the second. The straight knitting got a bit monotonous for me, though, so I'm knitting another toy ostrich at the same time. However, this tube top is definitely a project I recommend for someone who wants to learn how to knit and wishes to stray away from knitting scarves and dishcloths, or would like to start learning how to seam. And it's a quick knit. I feel like I'm knitting one great, big, giant swatch.

I hate ugly stitches.

I'm 3/4 through the second piece of my tube top, and might have finished it this morning if hadn't ripped out 35 rows last night. For some reason, my tension was totally shot over that group of rows. I like all my stitches to be straight and even, so I ripped out the fiendish 35 rows because I know that looking at them in a finished garment would have bothered me endlessly. And that's another reason why it's good to check one's knitting now and then. We don't always knit with the same tension, especially when we're having a glass of wine and blabbing the hubby's ears off.

Finished!

I'm nearly finished seaming my tube top. I sewed up the side seams using the mattress stitch and the top seam using a hidden stitch that is so meticulous to carry out I could just scream. Regardless, seaming was done in record time. I only dawdled over it for two days instead of the usual seven. Seaming is just so "blah". Don't you wish you had a little robot named Rosie to seam all your knitted garments for you? I do.

Tube top is finished!

I finished my tube top the other day, and yesterday I washed it in the gentle cycle of my washing machine so it could dry flat overnight. I'm really pleased with the way it came out. I'm pretty small (did you think the name skinnyrabbit.com was pulled out of a hat?) so I modified the pattern by cutting two centimeters off the width of the garment to fit my size. Additionally, I added on one extra centimeter in length as I'm long-waisted. It's a real custom fit. Here's a peek at the finished garment, and if the weather permits I might just wear it this weekend!

Remind me to epilate.

Don't I owe you a picture of the tube top I knitted this summer? Why, I believe I do. So I took advantage of my husband being home on vacation and despite the not-so-hot weather, pulled on the top and had him snap a picture of me (albeit sans head and legs) wearing it. Doesn't this top just scream, "Wear me in 100 degree weather"? I think so.