summer knitting

smocked swatch


Swatched up the tween linen yarn for my smocked top. I did get the pattern gauge, except it was on size 1’s, AGAIN. I like how light the fabric is though. It’s floaty and the perfect shade of pale slate. The embroidery is a bit shabby, but I guess not so bad for a practice run. I have a dark blue sock yarn that I might use instead because I think the wool might be a bit more forgiving, but I’ll experiment!

I’m knitting this up quite a bit differently than the pattern says, mostly to control the length. The original is basically two rectangles knitted from the bottom up, sewn together. I don’t hate seams (in fact, I love them and really love the structure they give to a garment), but I want to be able to try this one on as I’m knitting. The pattern is for a tunic, but I want a hip-length t-shirt and I don’t have the skills yet to eyeball just how long I have to knit to have it the perfect length.

While I could just knit it from the top-down, I’m not sure if that would effect the top design in any way, so I decided to do the following:

smockedtop-designI’ll cast on provisionally, and knit the back and top (in three pieces) from the sleeves portion upward. Then I’ll 3-needle bind off the top seams, do the smocking, etc. Then I’ll unzip the crochet cast on, join everything together, and knit in the round until I have the right length. The piece is actually quite huge to account for the smocking, so I might try shaping it a bit as well.

I powered through the notched tank top partly because I had ten days off for Golden Week, so this shirt should take a little longer. I’m excited though! It’s my first time trying embroidery (or shishuu 刺繍 in Japanese), and I think it’s so adorable. The small touch of it at the neckline elevates this piece into something really special. The popular summer knit tops out there are pretty much all stockinette and beautiful lace*, and while I love how pretty and feminine they are, it’s nice to see a design that’s so unusual.

(I love the idea of lace, but it’s been a real chore everytime I’ve done it. It’s just kind of stressful! You can never quite tell if you missed a yarn over until it’s too late, and I’m NOT going to count my stitches every single row..)

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