Welcome to summer! During the month of July, I will be joining a knit-along (KAL) working on the knitting pattern for the desert dusk top by Oihibasrf_Knit on Instagram. Now, I am not a strong knitter – I have done some knitting projects and have made a sweater or two- but I would not call myself proficient. I hate picking up dropped stitches, and creating holes by yarn overs never works out for me. However, I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone for this project! (wish me luck)
The KAL is open to knitters at all levels, and you are welcome to join! Materials required for the KAL are:
3 skeins of cotton pima from @weareknitters
Use my $12 Discount code : MGMJX3P8B
1 measuring tape
A 3 mm / 11UK / 2.5 US circular needles with a 60-80 cm / 24-31 in length cable
(See her profile for the pattern information on Etsy)
I spent some time creating a swatch for the project, just to make sure I knew what my tension looked like. I never really like swatching because it’s so much work for a piece that you are only going to just unravel – but – when making a garment I feel like swatching is a must! Swatching is going to let me know how my stitches measure up so that I can then calculate what size shirt I will need to make for myself. I would hate to make a small size and then it’s way too small at the end! So, I that’s why I swatched.
I decided to learn a new cast on technique in anticipation for a nice finished garment. In my last sweater I knitted, I wished that I had done a stretchy cast on edge at the start. So, I learned how to do a stretchy cast on using a YouTube video by 10rowsaday. I will be using the second technique from this video.
(Well, I will call it the midway point) I am working along the body section of the top – it’s worked bottom up. I just joined my second ball of yarn, and I am happily surprised at all the length I was able to get out of my first ball so far. The piece is measuring about 7″ (the length of one hand plus 2 inches). The body is worked to your own discretion, so I can decide how long I want to make it. So far, I am loving the design. It’s pretty and delicate, and intricate in a way that is very forgiving to little mistakes.
I will say, I have made a few mistakes along the way. I started out with one mistake that I noticed right away in the ribbing. I accidentally worked two consecutive rounds in purling, so I can see where there is a break in the pattern. Because the pattern is so intricate though, you can’t really tell unless I point it out to you. Then I started making more mistakes….it’s because I am working on this knit at night. You know how it goes, when you try to casually knit while watching tv and noise going on in the background, and then the next morning you notice some mistakes. Ah. I’ve gotten the hang of how to un-do the rows to straighten out those stitches though, so that’s a positive.
Overall, I am loving this knit. It’s an easy pattern to remember once you get the hang of the stitch pattern. And I have set my stitch markers in a way to remind me which row I’m working. I am also really admiring the color I chose to make this. I can’t wait to see it all finished. I have decided to not be too hard on myself about hurrying and the little mistakes because I went into this knowing it was for fun and just for me.
Another thing that I am overjoyed about is that the host has been so friendly in getting all the knitters together on a group chat. It’s been a great way to ask questions and check in on others’ progress. Also, I feel like I have made some new friendly connections with people. This is my first time ever doing a KAL (knit-along), and so far I am happily surprised with how fun the experience is.
The Shoulder Straps
I have worked 11″ of the body and time to move onto the shoulder straps. Reading this pattern it is unique because there is a chart for the decrease rows of the straps. It’s pretty easy to figure out, and once you get the hang of shifting the curly ribs pattern to the chart it’s not too bad. However, this took me multiple days to get in the head space! The first day I attempted the straps, I worked two straps with multiple errors. It was hard for me to read along to the chart and to keep track of which row (1-4) I was working. I had total brain fog. The next day, I tried it again for the third strap. It worked like a charm. I kept the pattern up in front of me and had a post-it note with hints for me to follow. I worked this strap perfectly. Proof that the first day was only a brain fog, I ripped out the two rows and worked them again. I would like to see the chart color coded to the rows indicating the 1-4 row pattern, but I made detailed comments in my Ravelry about it for me to follow along to.
I needed to add an additional inch to each strap to fit me. I added about 10 rows to the length of the straps.
This pattern definitely benefits from blocking. I wet the shirt and laid it flat to dry, pinning the edges tight. The finished product is magnificent! The definition really stands out and the shape is wonderful. Using this yarn for the first time, I’ve never had a pattern block so well.
The Final Product
I tried on the top and it is so perfect! The straps fit nicely on my shoulder and cup my shoulders snug without falling off. The v-neck is not too low that I’m adjusting it, and the body is fitted. Using only 2 skeins of yarn, the body is short waisted, but this adds to the charming look. If the body were longer it would appear more relaxed than fitted.
Stay tuned for more finished photos of the top! And as always, check my current status on Instagram for photos and stories.