Spring Tulips Sleeveless Sweater

Or tank top. Or vest. It’s difficult to know what people call them these days, as searching for any of those terms can bring up such a variety of garments, including waistcoats and cardigans…. I thought a vest was a sleeveless t-shirt you wore under your top when the weather turned chilly.

To me, it’s a tank top. Although I do accept that it isn’t a very delicate or romantic term.

Anyway, here’s the story:

I’m a mum. I have five children. I run my own business. I don’t often need to dress particularly formally. But occasionally, just occasionally, I do. I wanted a slipover – there’s another word for it! – an extra layer to go over a shirt when I wear smart trousers.

I chose a beautiful yarn – Drops Lima, which is a wool/alpaca blend – in grey. It may have been dark grey, or charcoal. Here it is:

Knitting a swatch for gauge
Knitting a swatch for gauge

I didn’t have a pattern. I figured, how hard can it be? *cough* and in my usual rather-too-gungho fashion, I embarked.

On 4mm circular needles, I cast on 176 stitches. Not sure why. I’d like to say it’s because I had worked out my gauge, measured my size and done the calculations, but it isn’t. I suspect it is because a similar jumper in a similar yarn on similar needles required the same number of stitches. And I knitted 5 rows of rib.

Off we go.
Off we go.

Then I rounded the number up to 180 stitches, making four at relatively equidistant intervals around the row.

Then I got knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting.
And knitting.

And, after all the fair isle I’ve been doing lately, I got really bored.

So I googled fair isle patterns and came up with a google image of a flower. And guess what! It had 9 stitches across, which meant I could do exactly 20 repeats without altering anything. So I ordered a couple of balls of the same yarn in contrasting colours – an off-white and an ice blue – and put a fair isle strip in there.

The flowers have emerged
The flowers have emerged

Then, I was faced with the shaping. I found a wonderful resource on YouTube. She is far more organised, methodical and scientific than I, and I watched her like a good little student and then forgot it all and did it my way, incorporating some of the lessons she had managed to make stick in my memory. You can find her here with her lesson on shoulder shaping. I also watched her v-neck shaping videos, did my own rather slapdash workings out, and got cracking. One of the most useful things I picked up was the tip to knit both sides at once, using two separate balls of wool. Genius! Then you can’t go wrong 🙂 (in theory…)

Amazing - it looks like a v neck tank top!!
Amazing – it looks like a v neck tank top!!

When I had done front and back keeping all the stitches live on waste yarn, knitted my short rows (for the very first time!) to shape the shoulders, and front and back had reached the same height, I turned the top inside out and fused them using the three needle bind-off.

I hadn’t made the v neck quite deep enough for my liking, so ribbing the neck was going to be a problem. I decided on a row of crochet in the grey followed by a row in the contrasting off-white which rather neatly echoed the edges of the colour join I had chosen before the tulips.

Drops LIma 4

Same around the armholes and ta-dah! We have a v neck. Blocking (on my new Knitpro blocking squares which I love):

Blocking into shape
Blocking into shape

And the finished result.

Drops Lima 6

I am wearing it as we speak 🙂

In other news, I have picked up an old WIP and am determined to finish it. My stashbuster crochet blanket:

Stashbuster blanketAnd finally, I’ve been given a rather fabulous camera, so the very first finished object I ever made – a crochet camera strap – has had new life breathed into it:

CameraAnd look – it takes lovely pictures!

Cherry blossom
The ornamental cherry in our garden
Teddy and JEm
Teddy and his Daddy

3 thoughts on “Spring Tulips Sleeveless Sweater

Add yours

  1. How did you make that camera strap!? Brilliant! Also, I wish you were my neighbour…and could walk me through how to knit one of those amazing sweaters knitting on the porch with some tea. You are out of this world! Okay…don’t know how long this internet connection is going to last. Should get back to work!

    1. Oh, and I meant to reply about the camera strap! It’s basically a long line of crocheted granny squares. Then I knitted a strip the same width and length as the line of squares and attached them, wrong sides together, along the length. Then I just slipped it over an existing camera strap and sewed it in place. It was really quite quick and easy, and my camera is so much comfier on my shoulder now 🙂

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