I was at my local craft supply–the good one with the magazines–when I saw the new Knitscene Summer 2017 hanging out on the rack. I thumbed through it and saw a few tank tops, most noticeably the Pivot Tank by Lana Jois. I was in the middle of a bunch of half-finished projects but I NEEDED to cast on. I went home and ransacked my cotton to see if I had enough to make the tank. The answer was yes, and no. Yes, because I had enough theoretical yardage of Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Cotton but not in the quantities requested. According to the pattern, I was going to be a little short on Teal but I was good to go with the Aqua. So, I did what any problem-solver would do: I added a third color to make up the yardage.
I abandoned any and all projects I had in progress so I could see if I was a genius or a fool. Adding White as the third color to make up for yardage worked, but after I finished the first panel, I did some math and realized that I only needed one extra skein of my deficient contrast color instead of two. So, I frogged the whole thing and ordered a new skein of Teal and hoped the new dye lot would match. When I started over, I made both sides simultaneously so introduction of the new dye lot wouldn’t be glaringly noticeable. If the stripes change hue at the same point on both sides of the tank, it is considered a design feature, not a flaw. It’s a flaw if it suddenly changes hue 2/3 of the way through the second side, and I would not stand for it. I hopped online and ordered a new hank of yarn that matched the color code on my hank at home, and some other cotton to satisfy my thirst for summer knits.
I couldn’t contain my excitement when my packaged arrived in the mail a few days later. That tank would be finished in no time! I ripped open the bag to find I had ordered the wrong color. Seriously? It turns out, there are two hues of teal: Teal and Major Teal. The dye code on my yarn matched that assigned to Major Teal when it is actually Teal. I don’t know where the mix-up occurred because I bought the original yarn YEARS ago so, much could have changed in that time. I let out an exasperated breath on sound, packed it up, sent it back, and ordered the right color. My quest to make a quick tank top had turned out to be a much longer exercise in patience than I had anticipated.
While I was waiting for all the return/exchange processing to occur, I heard the calls from the other WIPs I’d abandoned, and new projects. To ride out my small defeat, I put the finishing touches on the Katniss Vest, started and finished the Vickie Cowl, started a blanket, and started a double knit Star Wars scarf. The devil finds no refuge in my hands.
Once I had the right yarn in hand (with perfect lot blending), I continued working on the tank, which really did knit up quickly once I had everything I needed. It starts with a 1×1 ribbed hem, then switches colors to start the stockinette body. Each color stripe is knit for four rows. There is zero body shaping, only tapering at the arm hole. I made it a size bigger than I usually like it because I wanted it to stay an oversized, lazy tank. Both panels are knit the same with the colors reversed. The neckline of the tank is finished with an I-chord hem the opposite color of the last knit stripe. The straps are made in a 1×1 rib as part of the tank’s side, extending up and over to connect and match the other panel. The striping on the straps changes every two rows and features a really great break at the side seam. The first and last 15 stitches of the tank are bound off, as are all the stitches that constitute the dangling strap, but the stitches that will be sewn together to form the seam are kept live. Those stitches are brought together for a 3-needle bind-off done in the opposite color. It is the easiest break I’ve ever made. I love it.
I couldn’t wait to start this tank, which is why I named it the Couldn’t Wait Tank, but it seems an ironic title since I did a whole lot of waiting during its construction. I was too eager to start, which lead to some panic-induced yarn assignments, rushed starts, lots of frogging, A Case of the Wrong Dye Code, and a slight cursing of the Gods. It’s okay, they know me. I ended up with a tank top that is exactly how I thought it would be. It billows a slight bit but doesn’t make me look shapeless and boxy. I could probably go down a size if I were to make it again, but I might add a slight bit more length to the body since I’m tall. Though it took way longer to construct than it should have, I’m happy with the result. I have a new summer tank to wear with my new summer shorts. All I have to do is finish a few of my other projects and I’ll be able to cast on the OTHER tank top I liked!