July What? Anthea Top

What day is it? The 5th, right? This post is totally happening in a timely manner and this tank top was knit two months ago last week. I’m great at blogging. Shush.

This July I felt especially festive and was determined to cook and dress for the occasion. Italian herb bread, bacon and asparagus quiche, cornmeal and plantain pancakes…but this is a knitting blog; who cares about cooking from scratch and pretty loaves of bread I forgot to take pictures of? I was much more successful at recording my July 4th get up.

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That’s right. Somewhere between four hours of cooking and beer and fireworks, I managed to rock some serious red, white, and blue. Many thanks to Despina Tsiara‘s Anthea tank top. I know everyone got quite the chuckle over how festive I looked, but I wore my knit with pride and fearlessly walked through a farm in snow white shoes and fluttery red shorts without bug spray on. I love my country.

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The Knit:
Does life get much better than tank tops, DK weight yarn, and a US 8? I think not. Wait, it does get better. This lovely little thing took only two skeins of Madeline Tosh DK (Bloomsbury color way). That’s right, just two. Bow down to the magic of DK weight. I made the smallest size which would fit a 32″-34″ and called for exactly 400yds. Tosh Dk has a generous 225yds on it. My LYS doesn’t currently sell any Madeline Tosh but we have one little cubby full of lonely freebies from bulk yarn orders and the Left Behinds from yarn orders many moons ago. I had my eye on these two robin’s egg blue skeins for a while and kept wondering what I’d do with only a little over 400yds of DK weight. You can’t really make much of anything out of that clothing wise, at least not in one color. Oh, so I thought. After weeks of prowling through Ravelry, I found this design. It’s a perfect stash buster!

The Pattern:

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I have very little to say about this pattern, which in my book is always a good thing. It’s well written, easy to understand, and very straight forward. The lace is so easy there isn’t even a chart for it, mm, knitting junk food. This is knit in the round and bottom up. I recommend a cable cast on so the shaping at the bottom really pops. I promise the shirt doesn’t roll up like that on its own, I was fiddling with it. It hugs the hips very nicely and the lace gives the bottom a sweet rolling hills look at the bottom. The lace pattern can be done as many times as desired. I went with the pattern picture and completed four full repeats.

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I’ll admit to being a little doubtful about how the bust would turn out. When the lace detailing is done you switch to US4 and knit an applied I-cord all the way around. Then you knit with the most basic of short row shaping until the bust is as large as you like. That’s really it. All of the shaping happens once you thread your ribbon through the series of yos you made while shaping and pull it taught. I’d finished the tank and had a rectangle, a beautiful rectangle, but only a rectangle. I didn’t believe it would look good or that a ribbon would perform bust shaping magic. Lets go ahead and add that to the list of the many things I’m wrong about. 20140709-130609-47169612.jpg

Gosh, I like being wrong. Though, I usually make an effort to have my ribbon tied much more nicely so it’s straight and you can’t see the knot. I dunno, when the cameras on of course I would retie it without paying any attention, then ask for a close up. That’s just who I am. Still cute though. Right?

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Right.

This top is finished off with an applied I-cord cast off and then you knit up some 6st I-cord straps. You can sew them on however you’d like but I found that putting them directly in front of my armpits gave the bust a little extra pop in shaping and added stability. My only real notes of caution for this knit?

1. Please try on as you go through the bust. Don’t play the guessing game. I tried this on several times and I pulled yarn through different areas on the bust and tied it around my neck to see how it would look. The bust and straps are not independent of each other! Combined, they give you all of your shaping, so if you have to try this top on 7 times and put temporary straps on over and over again, do it. You’ll be so grateful that you did.

2. Think about the yarn you pick. Several people on Ravelry complained that the shirt stretched out a significant amount before they even had a chance to wear it. Bamboo is a no no. The lace and spaghetti straps make this top plenty breathable. Your shoulders, back, and bits of tummy are out (because undershirts are stupid). Don’t be afraid of wool just because it’s a summer top.

3. Don’t rely on the lace to stretch. Though the lace pattern gives the bottom of the shirt a lot of give, this a form fitting, hip hugging tank. Go ahead and knit as many repeats as you need until the lace rests on those hips; I don’t think it’d be nice to have this top constantly rolling up on you. I really like that I can run and jump around in this without constantly having to pull it down. I recommend at least four repeats  and don’t be stingy with your bust. Just take the time to make it right the first time, and you’ll never look back.

Oh, and tie your ribbon with care. Or else you’ll look like a derp.

Derp to the max.
Derp to the max.

 

I’d say this 4th was an all around success. I dressed for the holiday, cooked lots of yummies, and even got some great shots of fireworks. Summer is just getting started, and there are so many more tops to make. Until then, I leave you with fireworks and all those lovely bug bites on your legs.

Happy knitting 🙂

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