FO: Fitted tank

Pattern: Fitted tank from Blue Sky Alpacas

Yarn: Blue sky cotton in thistle, 3 hanks for size XS

Needles: US 6 and 7

Notes: It’s a little big, and unfortunately it tends to grow, as cotton does.  I recently read “Sweater design in plain english” by maggie Righetti, and she says you should always knit cotton sweaters with at least 2 inches negative ease because of the stretch factor.  In theory this sweater is smaller than my actual bust measurement, but it stretches fast!  See below for the photo I took right after it finished blocking, when it fit ok.  I am also not really that excited about the blue sky cotton, now that it’s been knitted up.  I know I complained before (and you can’t say I wasn’t warned!) but it’s awfully heavy for a summer yarn. I knitted the ribbing on smaller needles, which did help with the shaping.  The pattern calls for increasing after the ribbing for the bust, but I do not think I would do so if I made the pattern again.  It was unnecessary, and it created a bit of bagginess over the waist.  The neck finishing directions are also kind of weird, but I did mine in single crochet, and I also adjusted the neckline shaping to something a bit more subtle.  The armholes are a bit too deep, so I might crochet a few more rounds.  Overall I give both the yarn and the pattern a thorough “meh” reaction.  I do wish that blue sky were a lighter weight (or came in a lighter weight) because I simple adore their colors.

I know I sound all complainy, but truthfully I think this sweater is ok… just not one of my favorites.

I picked up the new issue of “Crochet today” while I was out this afternoon.  I know this magazine is put out by coats and clark, but I’m consistently impressed by the quality of designs.  In fact, I’ve now bought it enough times that I think I should subscribe.  I love the idea of displaying doilies on painted canvases.

I also really love this top and this cute tied wrap (in different colors of course)

I’m iffy on making crocheted tops (I have not had good luck!) but the wrap and doilies are going on the (really long) list!  I think I should subscribe to this magazine.  It occurs to me that there are several magazines I always end up buying, so probably I should just subscribe to them.  Somehow it seems like I’m spending less money if I get them one at a time…

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Coming soon

Instead of choosing one, I decided to cast on for both the Josephine top and the Leaf top, and see how each one went.

This is the Josephine top.  Note to self: find a new place to photograph white yarn!  Anyway, the pattern looks pretty easy to adjust for the smaller size – I just cast on 19 less stitches, which removes one repeat of each section.  I will do furthur adjusting as I get to the shaping, but I’m pretty confident.  The pattern calls for size 5 needles, but I had to go down to size 2 for gauge… madness I tell you!  But then, I can’t imagine getting gauge with size 5s… this is very fine yarn and calls for a size 3-4 needle.

One repeat of the pattern on the leafy top.  I’m using size 5 needles, which swatched fine in stockinette, but I’m pretty sure I need to go down to 4s, so I will probably start again.  My gauge is different in the lace pattern.  Out of the two, this is my favorite pattern so far.  I love watching the lace appear, it’s so pretty!  The lace does pull the fabric in a bit, but I would still end up an inch too big overall if I continued on this size… I will start again, but it is not so bad!  It’s certainly much faster than the Josephine top!  So far I just love the Karabella Zodiac yarn.  It’s pretty soft for a mercerized cotton, and the stitch definition is fabulous!

Right now I’m planning to keep both tanks going, although of course we know how bad I am at that… so probably one of them will get finished much faster.  Ah well.  I am very excited about both!

I will have pictures of the fitted tank later, hopefully.  I’m wearing it right now, and happily it has stretched lengthwise to fit better.  I’m going to pick up Marc at UofL so we can go to our pre-marital counseling session, and I’ll try to coerce him to take some photos on the campus.