Monday, April 09, 2012

Tatami shirt

It may be hard to believe, but this is actually the first piece of clothing I’ve knit for myself. Sure, I’ve knit hats and scarves and mittens before, and a shawl, plus tons of stuff for babies, but never actual adult clothing. I decided to go with this piece because the fit is forgiving; it’s a wrap shirt that doesn’t need to be tailored perfectly to look good, so I figured I could handle it.

The pattern, with a view pictured above, is called Tatami and is from NeoKnits. I got my yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool; I picked a Madeline Tosh superwash merino woolin a beautiful blue-green color called Forestry. I needed 6 skeins of it, so the shirt wasn’t cheap. That being said, I’m really happy I went with something that is both soft and machine washable! Plus, Jimmy Beans Wool gives out 5% cash-back.

Keep in mind that I only knit when watching television, but it took me a few months to knit this, mostly because at one point, I realized that I was supposed to continue in pattern (p1, k5, p1, k5, p1), but it wasn’t crystal clear, so I ended up with p1, k11, p1 from the armpits up. I had gone on a long time like that before really questioning how it would look, and then when I looked at the original picture, I realized that I should have kept up with the regular pattern. So I unraveled the equivalent of about half of the total shirt and started over from mid-back, at armpit level. Apart from that and from a typo in the pattern, it was actually pretty easy. The scary part comes when you drop a stitch in the pattern and unravel it along the whole length of the shirt; when I do that, I’m always afraid that just maybe I did something wrong ages ago and I’ll only find out when everything comes undone suddenly! It all went well, though, and made quite a difference in the final dimensions (the picture below shows the shirt folded in half, one side with dropped stitches and the other side still done up).

I’m quite happy with this shirt overall, even though the edges have a tendency to roll up (even after blocking), and I feel like the ties are a bit too long (I like the way they look on the pattern more than what I got). And because summer is pretty much here to stay in Texas, I’ll have to wait until next fall to wear it. That being said, I’m happy enough with my first clothing experience that I’m planning on making a cardigan or two next.

*Update: I forgot to mention that the yarn I picked is bleeding out color like crazy. My fingertips are stained each time I knit, the bamboo needles I used are stained, and it bled a lot when I wet it to block it. I’m planning on wearing only dark colors underneath, and I really don’t know when it’ll be safe to wear a white tank top with it!

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