Knitting: first article of real clothing!

My new vest... made by me!, originally uploaded by saburke.

Ok, so it's a chunky knit vest (hahaha... take that sleeves!), that took me less than two weeks to complete despite being insano busy. Here's the run-down on the details:

Pattern: "Tank Top" from "Classic Knits" by Erika Knight

Yarn: Substituted suggested Rowan Big wool for Araucania Limari, a hand-dyed bulky weight wool/alpaca/silk blend, in "black" which is actually more like a charcoal grey. 2.5-3 skeins, each 100gr/56m.

Needles: 10mm and 12mm.

Gauge: pretty close to the specified 8sts/4in on 12mm (ahem, there is an error in the pattern gauge, it reads 18sts when it should read 8sts). I was going to knit a size up with this yarn, but since the gauge was reasonably close and the garment meant to fit snugly I stuck with my original size.

The pattern is written in a reasonably understandable manner for someone who has done a bit of knitting. That said, I got a bit confused with the neck shaping, and I have some suggestions for the decreases.

In particular, the pattern for the front of the vest is written out for only one side of the v-neck. The other side is stated merely as "complete to match first side, reversing all shaping". Ok, I'm decent at geometry and all, so this isn't so hard. However, the decreases for the first side (right side as you look at it) read k2tog tbl (knit 2 together through the back loops) to make a left slanting decrease. Naievly, I assumed that I could just use k2tog on the other side to make a right slanting decrease. Except these two decreases bare no resemblance to eachother but in name! k2tog tbl creates loops that cross the stitches knit together, this doesn't happen with k2tog at all. I stared in horror (ok, so I was being a little over-dramatic, but this is my first garment ever, I wanted to love it!) at my totally completely asymetrical vest. I took out the row. I knit it again. I stared in horror again. Repeat. On the third attempt I started looking for alternatives as I'd determined at this point I was decreasing quite properly, but using the wrong one. Upon consulting the great internet I came across: the great life-saving visual chart of decrease techniques (there's one for increases too). Thank-you Amy Finlay. Thank-you for explaning knitting in ways I understand, and sharing with the world through the power of the internet.

I used the "crossed right slanting decrease" on the second side of the front, which matches k2tog tbl satisfactorily.

Alternatively, I might have used an ssk on the first side and merrily k2tog on the second to match.

Interestingly, the photograph in the book appears to have the garment knit as I started to do, with k2tog tbl and k2tog... but it really seems strange for me to have two sides of a vest not be mirror images of each other!? Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist...

The other note I have is that the armhole shaping suffers the same mismatch, and I'd suggest using ssk rather than the k2tog tbl as it won't be loopy... I don't really care that I didn't notice at that stage however as this more or less ends up in your armpits... so, as you wish. ;)

Anyway, I enjoyed making this, and I've already enjoyed wearing it. The bulky yarn is super-warm, so even without sleeves I was toasty. Ok, so I wore a thin cotton jacket over it...

As for the rest of the book, I've got my eye on both the "military cardigan" and the "kelly cardigan" (I like cardigans...). But I'm really excited to try the "Bardot sweater" which is a rolled top, sortof off the shoulder sweater in a less bulky, but still fairly chunky gauge.

More photos (L-R: yarn ::"knitting with pylons" aka, orange, plastic, 12mm needles :: in progress :: finished!):

Yarn for "Tank Top"knitting with pylons"Tank Top" in progress"Tank Top" from "Classic Knits" FO

click image to view on flickr


Irene said...

Came across your blog when I was searching (frantically) for help with the allegedly problematic pattern for the tank top...

I am a beginner, and so I couldn't even figure out how the neck-shaping for the back piece work! Would you please please please advise?

Why did it ask us to bind off four and then knit another four and bind off in opposite direction; AND bind off the next eight and knit the rest? Won't that produce an extra row on the other side if we only start binding off the rest after this row? (or have I just misunderstood the instructions??)


Anonymous said...

I am bookmarking this page. Thank you thank you! I'm a beginning knitter and I could not understand for the life of me how they got 18 sts per inch!! I couldn't find any errata online... I was trying to find some comparable yarn. What a mess. I'm sure I'll have tons of problems with the pattern once I get started.