FO: Tuxedo top

Pattern: Tuxedo top by Theresa Schabes, Interweave Knits Summer 2007

Yarn: Berroco Naturlin, 5.5 skeins in Cinnamon

Needles: US 2, size E crochet hook

Mods: I left off the ruffle around the lace panel because I like things a little more tailored. Otherwise knit to pattern specifications for the 32″ size.

I’m finally feeling a little better (but still with laryngitis) but the cold has given me a new sweater!  I’m so glad that I decided to knit this! I had initially liked the design in the magazine, but I didn’t like the color and I think perhaps the sample was a little big on the model. I saw the yarn when it came out this spring and immediately fell in love with the cinnamon color… but what to knit with it? Naturlin is a blend of linen and rayon, making for a knit that feels like linen but isn’t nearly as hard on your hands. It contained occasional vegetable matter and was pretty splitty, but nonetheless I loved this yarn and would recommend it highly.

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The pattern was well written and for the most part clear. There was a lot of finishing. You knit the lace straps separately and then seam them on, and then go around everything with crocheted edging. This resulted in a lot of ends to weave in, but it was worth it! One of my favorite parts is the place where the lace straps meet the body – you join them using a crochet stitch on the outside for a decorative effect. The lace pattern was a little annoying (I hate doing p2tog in the back loop) and I wish it had been charted, but it turned out ok. This yarn is not recommended for lace because of the splitting.

I had some tension problems while knitting the back until I figured out that I was pausing in the middle of rows. I had to consciously tighten the yarn when I started knitting again. I haven’t had that problem before, and I blame it on the yarn, which had zero elasticity. As a result the back of the sweater is 1″ wider than the front, but you can’t tell. The yarn softened up considerably after being blocked, and is very light and drapey. Unfortunately, due to the rayon content, it is hand wash only, but I can live with that since I can’t bear to machine wash my handknits anyway.

The fit is very flattering, somewhat surprisingly. I was worried about the swinginess, but it’s not too much at all. I did not add any length to this, which was a good decision – any longer and it would have hit at my widest part and been less flattering. I would recommend this knit to anyway – I have yet to see an FO that isn’t beautiful! Don’t be intimidated by the small gauge (25 st/4in.) It’s inspired me to start swatching for more of the small gauge projects in my queue!

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31 thoughts on “FO: Tuxedo top

  1. You are amazingly fast, even with a cold and all. I really like how this turned out and think it looks better than the original. I like your decision to leave off the ruffle and your color choice!

  2. That is just beautiful on you. I love all your projects and this top is again gorgeous. You’re making me a convert on this design.

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Once again, a perfect knit and you’ve made me take a second look at a pattern that didn’t initially grab me when it came out.

  4. Kathy says:

    Ditto all the above comments….beautiful FO (can I secretly hire you to knit for me? Just kidding, but you really are incredibly talented!)

  5. melanie says:

    Another beautiful project! It looks great without the ruffle. I’m inspired to make this top now. And I love the shoes. Where did you get those?

  6. Shara says:

    Beautiful! The reverse stockinette is definitely a good choice, and the lace shoulders are such a lovely accent. I didn’t love this design from the original picture, but now that I see how cute yours is, I might have to consider it for my (already too long) queue.

  7. oh, i’m so glad you went with reverse stockingette! i love the way it looks with this pattern. yay.

    i’ve been reading your blog for YEARS but i’m not sure i’ve ever commented before. so hello, if i haven’t. and i’m a dork if i have!

    i also keep a knit blog which i co-author with my best friend.

  8. barefootrooster says:

    stunning. i thought about knitting this once…but the crocheting scared me off. might be time to rethink!

  9. Vanessa says:

    What a gorgeous colour on you! The FO looks great. You have me seriously considering the pattern, although I’d have to learn how to crochet – that lace strap to body seaming intimidates me!

  10. That is a wonderful little top. I love the color, it looks great on you and and I love it paired with jeans. Nice work. The lace panel in the front is super cute.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but have never commented (shame on me). You have great style, and I have been inspired to try new things. I’m a continental knitter now, which has really improved my speed. Instead of slogging through a project, I feel I am actually making progress.

    The cinnamon color looks great on you, and it does look a lot less fussy without the ruffle. I’ve been considering this pattern, and I think your FO has made up my mind. Thanks!

    Great blog.

  12. I was just looking at the Naturlin yarn! The color you chose is wonderful for your complexion, and the fit is very flattering. This looks like a very wearable FO!

  13. Shannon says:

    You mentioned that you handwash all your handknits…could you tell us what your process is? I have a hard time deciding how to care for my handknit garments. Thanks!

  14. I really like the latest FO on you. Blah on all the finishing, but it turned out really nice. I didn’t like this one in the magazine, I think for the same reasons you mentioned about how it was styled on the model, but your version is great! And of course I love the color as orange is one of my faves!

  15. Carol says:

    I love this top! It looks so great. I also love your shoes-Ihave the same ones. :)
    Your knits always inspire me-of course then my queue just grows longer!

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