Aside from watching a bit too much Arrested Development, I’ve been plugging away on my Seaglass Shell tank top. I haven’t mentioned it here yet because I wanted to make sure I had something to show off before I did a post. Unfortunately, I’m almost done and still don’t really have anything to show off.
Let me explain.
I originally saw this pattern while flipping through Interweave Knits. It was love at first sight.
Photo from Interweave knits.
I loved the back lace panel; it brings a bit of edge to the otherwise plain top. I (strangely) was drawn to the plain stockinette; I wanted some simple knitting I could do while re-watching all those Arrested Development episodes. I rushed out to pick up the recommended yarn (it was 25% off at my LYS, that had to be a sign right!?).
Like a good knitter, I swatched: three times, which is a big deal because I’m particularly averse to swatching. But I wanted it to turn out just right.
At first things seemed to be going well.
The lace pattern looked good. The yarn was a treat to knit with.
However, there were warning signs that things might go awry.
- The swatch grew. A LOT. But once it was dried it happily went back to the suggested gauge. So I soldiered on, trusting that swatches never lie. (Now I know they’re more like guidelines).
- Choosing a size. Clearly misguided about my own measurements, I cast on for the size 38. After all, the pattern stated the model was shown wearing 35 with slight ease. I didn’t want a skin-tight tank top, so I went up a size. Even though I know that I’m not close to a 38.
- While knitting I kept thinking to myself “man this seems big”. But I was confident that it would all block out to the schematic and I’d have my tank top with ‘slight ease’
- Blocking was a disaster. I should not, I repeat, should NOT have done a full wet block given how much the swatch grew. A light spray block likely would have been fine. As a result, the body pieces were so much bigger than the dimensions I didn’t even pin them out. I laid them flat and pleaded with them to “go back to your original size”, which thankfully they did once dry.
Despite these warnings, I carried on. I pinned out the back lace panel.
I even seamed the edges, but by now my feeling of dread was not dissipating.
After I seamed the second side I couldn’t put the dread out of my mind. I had to try it on.
I was swimming in it.
That ‘slight ease’ I had hoped to achieve was more like a size or two.
I slowly took it off and placed it gingerly on the table. I haven’t been able to pick it up since. It just hurts too much.
This is my first real encounter with a non-wearable knitting project; a disaster in size. What really gets me is that it could have been prevented: I should have seen it coming. I should have made the smaller size. The signs were there. Now I know.
Time will tell if I’ll rip it all back and redo it. Right now it’s not looking good.