So I just learned to knit this summer while working at Koigu Wool Designs in Chatsworth, Ontario and of course the first project any new knitter starts with is a scarf! I finished the scarf quickly out of a pretty, pastel multicoloured bulky yarn from Koigu. I had a lot of fun with it and got the basic / garter stitch down pat, I figured why not try something more exciting and summery!
I'm not good at taking things slow, so I went from zero to hero and decided to design my own tank top as my second project ever. (I was told to hold my horses, but where's the fun in that?!) I've always admired knit bralettes and colourful knit tops from companies like Woven Sun and wanted to make my own simple version.
My entire wardrobe consists of light pink, yellow and shades of blue, so when choosing colours for my tank top project at work at the Koigu farm I gravitated towards those and chose the soft, comfy-to-knit Chelsea Aran weight yarn in C3013 - the pink - and C5410 - the blueish purple. Some of the perks of working at Koigu are getting knitting know-how effortlessly absorbed into my brain and that I get to endlessly peruse colours and get inspired by beautiful garments. The day I bought the yarn we had knit night with all the Koigu coworkers and I was so excited to get started on creating something custom I would actually love to wear that I couldn't stop talking about it all day at work! (Also a little scary because I had no idea where to start...)
I decided to just jump in without a pattern so I could create exactly what I imagined. I got my pro-knitting coworkers and family to take my measurements and help calculate how many stitches and how much yarn I would need. Not as scary as expected! Only troublesome section was the neckline at the front and back (I wanted a scoop on both sides but slightly lower at the back). I used famous knitwear designer Melissa Leapman's book 6000 Pullover Possibilities to help me with this tricky bit. Awesome book! It didn't go so badly considering I learned how several new knitting terms and techniques while doing it!
A lot of my knitting took place on the water: on the boat and on the dock. I lived on the Georgian Bay all summer and the above moment on the boat felt so perfectly Canadian being by the Georgian Bluffs, over the clear emerald water, with a locally made cider knitting a Canadian yarn.
After I finished knitting my project and sewing the front and back together along the sides, I was feeling pretty accomplished. But once I put the tank top on... I quickly realized (as you can tell in the photo below) that it was a pretttty short shirt. Not impossible to wear out in public but still a little risqué for my liking. Still feeling confident that I could make this top look great, I found a quick and pretty fix: crocheting a loop pattern around the bottom! Now, this was my first attempt at crocheting as well but I like how it turned out!
And here's the finished product! I'm quite happy with it. It's comfortable and is warm enough to wear in the winter, but not too hot to wear in sunnier warm weather. This project also gave me the confidence to start making a sweater for myself, something I've wanted to do for years! Yay! More on that project to come in the future.
Here I paired the top with a fun pair of high-waisted orange shorts that I bought secondhand in Montreal at funky store called Eva B's and orange lipstick.
Looking forward to more clothing design adventures!