Friday, October 21, 2011

Voyager Tank - Complete!

So, I submitted my Voyager Tank Top (well, sleeveless cardigan) for team unity in Nerd Wars! Yey!

Voyager Tank

Pattern: “Uffington” from the Scrumptious Collection Volume 1
Yarn: RYC Cashmerino Chunky
Needles: 6mm and 5mm (I didn’t have any 5.5mm circs)
Modifications: None!
Verdict: The pattern itself is well written, and the garment came out to the size it should have. I got the correct gauge with the yarn I was using. Everything went as it should, with just one problem:
The tank top and I are not the same shape.

It’s hard to see from these pictures, but I’ll try to explain…

Voyager Tank

The shoulders of the top are the right shape and size for me, I’m happy with the proportions here. But there is a bit of looseness on the back below the arm shaping.
I chose to knit the 12-14 size, on account of my bust (in a bra) being 37 inches – which is in the pattern’s range for that size. However, I think that rather more of the 37 inches are on the front of me than the back. I should have considered that when knitting this one, and maybe made a smaller size on the back and a larger size on the front.

The waist shaping isn’t right, but I’ll come to that in a moment…

Voyager Tank

I didn’t do such a good job of picking up for the front button bands. This means that the neckline isn’t properly square. I’m not totally sure how I would rectify it, probably needed to pick up another stitch at the top there, or leave one hanging from the rib or something.

Also, the button band and buttonhole band are pulling in way more than I would like. I think I should have picked up more stitches than I did, especially considering that I was using a needle which is 0.5mm smaller than recommended.

The next two issues are really the same issue combined. I have quite a long torso, and my natural waist is quite low. You can imagine how much fun this makes buying clothes in regular shops. Anyway, I digress.
I knitted the top as written. What I should have done is lengthened the body by between 2 and 4 inches (see where the pale orange top comes on the pic of the back, that’s really my minimum top length) and moved the waist shaping accordingly. Of course, had I done that then the circumference of the bottom ribbing might not have been several inches too wide either.

Anyway, I’m not comfortable with the top, so I will not be wearing it. This means that I have two options:
1. Find someone who is the same shape as the top and give it to them.
2. Frog the whole top (sewn in buttons, woven in ends, seams and button bands and all) and re-knit.
I’m currently thinking about re-knitting it. As a tank top rather than a cardigan!
You see, I love the square neck, the pattern up the back, the shape of the shoulders. I just don’t love the fit around the bottom part, and I’m pretty sure I can modify it in such a way that this will work.
I think that the problems I’ve had with the fit are entirely down to the shape of me, which is a shame!

Of course, having read Ysolda’s book, I should have seen this coming.

Still, knitting the whole thing only took me about three weeks which is much quicker than any of my other sweaters. I think I can reknit it in the same sort of timescales. Especially if I do a sweater version, because that will mean no button/buttonhole bands!

I can also learn from the other mistake I made while knitting this garment: slipped stitches on the edge do not help if you will be picking up stitches for a button band. On socks it’s a real help, I don’t know why it’s different for a sweater, but I found that the slipped stitches made me want to pick up a lot less stitches. Not good. But they did help with the sides which needed seaming. (That said, I might take the controversial approach of knitting it in the round, if my cable is long enough! Save on seams!)

Completed, submitted, going to be frogged.

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