Tag Archives: tank top

WIP: Another Month, Another Tank Top

Autumn is with us here in the UK, and leaves have started to turn to gold and lay fallen at the foot of trees. For the first time in many months there is a slight chill in the breeze that makes you want to pull your collar up ever so slightly, and consider the drawer full of hats and light scarves just before leaving the house. T-shirt weather has ended for the year, and an extra layer of warmth is a kind comfort.

When full bulky sweaters are perhaps a bit too warming for the middle seasons, a sweater vest, or tank top here in the UK, is a perfect Autumn and spring alternative. After finishing the striped tank top a couple of weeks ago, I have cast on a second experimental knit for Baby Awesome, something to pull on over a shirt or jersey top, just to keep the chest snug and warm the heart with a knitted cuddle.
I’ve used a variegated yarn in candy colours Regia 4-fädig Color in shade 5025 (Papillon), alongside a pale beige shade of Drops Baby Merino. Though the yarns are slightly different in construction and handle, the stitch I am using for the main body of the tank top gives enough bounce to make the two yarns work perfectly together.
The stitch I am using for this tan top works up slowly, but the effect is worth the knitting, and I hope that the finished sweater will be worth it when it is finished. Though I am using the showcase stitch for the main chest and back areas, the upper chest and shoulder areas are being worked in a squishy and sumptuous garter rib, matching that of the bottom cast-on edge.
Now that Baby Awesome has reached a year of age (a whole year of Baby Awesome being in the world has now occurred and this happy and emotional mummy can hardly believe it!) there is likely to be a bit of a slow down in his growth rate, and with any luck the things that I knit for him now may even still fit him in the spring, so this tank top may be useful for two seasons.
I’ve also been sidetracked from this current project with a bright and cheery little birthday knitting project which I hope to share soon. To further prove just how industrious I am being I also have two crochet projects on the go. It’s amazing what can happen when your baby quickly goes from waking 5-8 times a night to sleeping a 12-13 hour stretch (It’s been five weeks of good sleep, and I still don’t think I have caught up on the preceding couple of months, but I’m certainly getting there.

Enjoy any projects you have underway as the seasons change, whether you are moving into autumn or spring!

Finally Fit

Our little hero is one week old today, and he has been rocking the very smallest of the hand-knits that were made before he arrived in the world. Today he is wearing his little Baby Alpaca tank top, which is warm and so very soft across his gorgeous little tummy.

Accessorised by a snug little sleep suit, it is the very centre of geek chic and should be a staple piece of any little genius’ wardrobe. All the girls love a tank top.

There hasn’t been much new knitting in the past few days, but I am nearing publishing a new pattern as a recent test knit runs to a closure soon, so there are still plenty of things to look forwards too and I hope to pick up my needles in quiet moments (the few of them that there are!) over the next few days, too.

The July post ‘Tiny Tank Top‘ has all the details of this project and any pattern modifications and materials used.

Emergency Whale Rescue – The Sailor Sweater

Thank you so much for the helpful, understanding and corroborating responses to a recent post, where I had written about a pattern that I had a number of issues knitting, a sailor-style sweater with intarsia motif: Brendan. I had detailed the issues that I’d had with the pattern (neck opening size, motif size, motif placement) and the steps I’d taken to try to deal with the pattern errors and inconsistencies, before having chucked in the towel and decided that it wasn’t worth the extra hassle at a time whilst I had been ill.

A number of people said to just frog the entire project and re-use the yarn for something more pleasing, which I would have done if by the time that the edgings, intarsia, front and back seamed pieces, etc, wouldn’t have meant that I’d have ended up with a load of awkward scraps. so, instead I put an hour aside today and decided to just knit a few edgings onto the neckline and sleeve holes, so that at least it was finished. I used my own Apply On-The-Fly iCord edging to ensure that the unfinished edges were quickly and fully enclosed. When it came to the sharp turn at the bottom of the neck opening, I picked up not one, but two stitches at the lowest part before moving the stitches up the needle, and knit these three together (again, through the back loop), to make the turn, doing this twice at the lowest point of the neckline.
It’s not finished to the degree that I would have liked, but I knew that I didn’t have the heart to work on it any further, and for relatively little work at least the edging has made it look in some way usable. I did as was suggested and tried the finished piece on Giantmonk, but shall we say that he is just a little, er, ‘rotund’, to wear it without making him look like he has been unfairly stuffed into it. I don’t know if Baby Awesome will ever wear this: I’ll see how it looks when he’s finally here.

For now I shall just put this with the other finished sweaters and see what becomes of it, whilst the pattern of hand-knits in the nursery grows one higher.


Though there are many further things that we could do with the nursery, it is, to all intents and purposes, ready for if Baby Awesome comes into the world. There are some finishing touches that I hope will be done in time, but as I reach full term today I feel at least comfortable in the knowledge that we will be at least partly ready.

Now as each day passes it feels a bit like a countdown to an indeterminate moment. I am trying to steady my nerves with simple knitting and un-fussy tasks, but tiredness is starting to get the better of me, and discomfort makes any concentrated length of time spent on a task a bit difficult. Mostly, however, I am just too nervous and excited to concentrate.

For now, the little whale sailor top sits waiting in the nursery along with all of his other things: whales and narwhals, fish, lighthouses and images of the seaside and bright oceans. I like to wander into the room when the house is quiet, and imagine spending time there soon.

The Little Whale That Would Only Fail

A few weeks ago I posted about the first baby knit that I made once I was feeling up to knitting, after the more miserable effects of my pregnancy had eased and I had started feeling up to just a few slow stitches here and there.

Today, however, I remembered that the little yellow kimono was in fact not the first baby knit that I embarked upon, though it was the first that I finished. In fact, the first baby knit (for my own baby) that I started is still not finished, and I doubt ever will be. It is my very own Fail Whale.
I hate this.After the confidence that the first scan gave us, I decided to let myself dream a little of the future, and imagine ourselves with a little baby, wrapped in precious handmade things, and in my head I envisioned a bright nursery with white and neutral brown and beige tones and a feel of the seaside, filled with whales, lighthouses, light and navy blues, driftwood and the sea-air lightened shades of summer. So, when I went looking for the first baby knit pattern I chanced upon what I thought was the perfect pattern: a little sailor-style sweater with a whale on it. We were months off of knowing whether to expect a girl or boy, but I thought that this cute little knit would suit both equally.

I liked the look of the somewhat oversized sailor collar, and so decided to pick up the $7.50 pattern as my knitting needles were twitching.

Sadly, I don’t think I will ever finish this pattern because of the frustrations it brought me. I know I should have read the Ravelry comments first, but I was away from home and on my iPhone and (excuses). Chief concern among many of the other completed projects on Ravelry is that this sweater does not successfully fit over a baby’s head. I ended up going back and fudging this a little by inserting a vertical neck opening to increase the space for baby’s head to go through, but in the original pattern the neck is continuous and joined across the collar: If you imagine sewing up the vertical neck opening and the space this leaves, it is not baby-head friendly.

I was going to edge the neckline I had created with either some applied i-Cord or a few rows of picked-up rib or garter, and then brace it with a little button-able tab, in keeping with the sailor style. I think this would have worked out, but I had other problems with the pattern, too.

I can see that all of the other projects on Ravelry have used the original intarsia chart for the sweater (the pattern comes with two: one for a sailing boat and the other for the whale, above), and I think if I hadn’t so much have wanted to use the whale chart I would have fared better, as then it might actually have worked, but as it was the chart just did not fit on the sweater.

I have been in touch with the designer who has twice said that it is my gauge (specifically row gauge) that is the issue, but it’s not. I am on gauge and actually it is the maths in the pattern.

The pattern gives a row gauge of 24 rows per 4″/10cm (so six rows per inch). The pattern gives to knit 5 rows of garter stitch (which is about ½”) then you are to knit 1″ of stockinette for the newborn size (so, keep track here: 1½” so far). The whale motif is 39 rows high, which at 6 rows per inch works out to 6½”, added to the initial 1½” gives 8 inches total by the time that the last row of the whale intarsia is knit. However, the pattern gives instruction to start the bind-off for armhole shaping for the newborn size after 6″ from the cast-on edge: 2 inches before, (using the pattern’s gauge), the chart would be finished. If using the sailing boat chart this would likely not present a problem, as the tapering triangle formed by the sails would bring the motif in at the sides enough to avoid the decreases formed by the armhole shaping. However, the motif of the whale runs right up to the top-left corner of the chart, and the newborn sweater makes use of the entire width of the chart up to the seaming line, so you’s have to sacrifice half of the whale’s tail.

I did contact the designer with the issues in the chart, but was told that it was my gauge at fault. I did email back with the maths of the pattern in the given gauge of the pattern, but was told it was my gauge and that many people had issues with achieving the gauge (I did not), so kind of gave up and decided to just improvise around the armholes as best as I could. But, by now, I was kind of fed up of the whole project. I like adapting and modifying things to suit a particular idea or preference of mine, but having to do so to be able to allow a sweater to go over an infant head or actually fit the chart in the given space was just fixing problems rather than putting a stamp of preference on.

When I ran through the gauge maths again the sleeves seemed to be a bit out of proportion. It really wouldn’t have been a big job to have just re-jigged the maths on the sleeves, but I was kind of fed up of the whole thing by this point, and then I didn’t like the way the collar was worked and sat on the shoulder at the neck edge, and then felt disheartened and put it aside until finding it today.
I could edge the sleeves and neckline and salvage at least a little sleeveless sweater from this project, but I don’t know if I have either the heart nor energy to give it any more of my time. It was the project that I’d hoped would bring me through the health problems that had plagued me through much of the pregnancy, but in reality I didn’t start the next project until a long time after casting this aside. Maybe if I find where I have put the cream yarn I was using for the motif and details I will edge the sleeve and neckline to see how it looks, or maybe I will just chuck it back where it was and concentrate on new knits.

FO: Tiny Tank Top

It has long been an amusement to my husband that I just adore a tank top (or Sweater Vest if you are from the US or various other places that we in the UK seem to have cross-terminology with). I love to wear them myself as they are comfortable and warm without being bulky or restricting, and I love them on other people. Mr Awesome has a yellow and grey striped one, and it is still my favourite thing of his, even if it is pretty much past its best. And then there are the professional tank top wearers. I remember when watching the series House, long after everyone else in the world had already watched it, when the young doctor who anyone in the UK should know as ‘Dr Billy Kennedy From Neighbours went from regular actor to Tank Top Wearing Superstar Of The Elite Order. I actually have no idea what the character’s name was, but he could rock a tank top.

But when is a tank top at it’s absolute finest? When it is teeny sized!
Eskimimi Tank TopHow could there be anything cuter than a baby boy in a little striped tank top? Knit in buttery soft Drops Baby Alpaca Silk and with wooden buttons securing the shoulders for easy dressing and accommodation of cute top-heavy baby bonces, Drops Viggo pattern was an absolute joy to knit, from beginning to end. The body has no shaping until the armholes, which is the perfect kind of mindless knitting for if you are not feeling too great or have a bout of baby brain to contend with: the soft yarn and muted colours allow you to just relax and enjoy the stitches.
Eskimimi Tank TopThis is a perfect quick pattern for a wonderfully cute little Tank Top to warm baby’s tummy, and would make an excellent gift knit due to its simplicity and easy modern styling.

Pattern: Viggo, by Drops
Yarn: Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in shades Off-White and Pistachio
Size: 1-3 months.