A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before I had a blog, I tried to knit the Ribs and Lace Tank from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. This was before I had any substantial experience knitting lace, and was near the beginning of my shift to knitting in front of the TV, so the bottom lace part was quite difficult for me and took quite a long time. But when I finally got to the bust shaping in the ribbed bodice, the numbers started failing to add up in a pretty drastic way, and after checking and rechecking I discovered to my horror that I had cast on the wrong number of stitches by a fair sight (like, 20-30 stitches fewer than I needed to knit my size), but by some terrible terrible accident, whatever number of stitches I’d cast on was still a multiple of eleven, so the bottom lace part worked out just fine and I never noticed my mistake. In thorough denial, I took the piece off the needles and attempted to try it on to see if it could be salvaged, but no. Not at all. Way, way, WAY too small.
So I screamed and raged and threw the thing into the corner and didn’t look at it for two years. Last summer, I had finally gotten over this tragedy enough to frog the piece to salvage the yarn and try again. What you see above is the yarn, all kinked up from being knit into a garment for, you know, two years, and tied off into skeins. I figured I’d document it for posterity, since by this time I had a blog and I knew that eventually I’d post about it. I gave these skeins a good soaking to get the kinks out, hung them into the shower to dry, and twisted them onto themselves into sad little approximations of the sort of skeining you’d buy in the store:
Apologies for the incredibly dark picture — I didn’t think to photograph these guys until when I was about to wind them up into balls to knit from, and it was late at night and the flash looked even crappier. The two balls on top are the ONLY TWO BALLS for the project that I hadn’t knit into the unwearable tank top by the time I noticed my mistake. Sigh. But I got all this wound up, and I’ve been back at it after triple checking the size, and I’m all the way through the lace skirt now and about to start the bodice:
Yaaaay. Before I cast on again, I wondered idly if the lace would be charted — and when I actually looked at the pattern, I laughed at myself, because of course both of these lace stitches have only ONE row of actual lace patterning to them — the other rows are straight knits or purls. I breezed through the whole skirt in just a couple of days, the skirt that I struggled over and swore about three years ago. Progress! Growth! Hooray!
Now, I’m a little skeptical about this pattern for a number of reasons. With the greater knitting experience that I now have, I’m not sure that I would have chosen to knit this pattern — but since I had the yarn for it and everything, I figured I may as well. For one thing, many Ravelers have complained that the “skirt” part of this pattern is too wide in the larger sizes, and I feel like mine is looking too wide, too. But I really didn’t want to do the math involved with knitting a skinnier skirt and a larger bust, so I’m just knitting it as is. For another thing, I really don’t like the “dartboard” effect that the bust shaping results in, but fortunately Svetlana has posted alternative directions for the bodice on Ravelry that eliminate this effect.
Basically, if I end up with any kind of wearable tank at the end of this process, I’ll count it as a victory over my past demons. This pattern has literally been at the top of my Ravelry queue since I first joined the site, because at that time the only thing I knew I was going to knit at some point in the future was this damn tank top again. I’m excited to finally conquer it!