Shaped Lace Tee – A New Knitting Journey

During our Labor Day adventure to Montauk, I bought 3 skeins of Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece in dusty rose to make the Shaped Lace Tee in Knitting Lingerie Style at Purl By the Sea. In the interim, I considered making the camisole lace top out of some Italian made off white cotton and merino fiber that I had purchased at Silk City Fibers. I’m on a campaign to knit projects for my upcoming wedding and honeymoon so the move to white seemed logical. Due to the thin size of the fiber combined with my looser than gauge knitting, I decided to knit it double. A small swatch revealed a dreamy soft fabric that was too thick for the type of garment I wanted.  This was enough for me to put aside this wonderful fiber.0

Back to the Cotton Fleece…the initial swatch and related calculations revealed that my stitches where in range. While at Purl By the Sea, I checked Knitting Lingerie Style to determine how much yarn to purchase. While the clerk was helpful, I wish that she had suggested buying an extra skien since the Cotton Fleece gauge differed from the pattern and they were having a Labor Day Sale. The good news is that the Cotton Fleece is the same fiber content and has more yardage. After additional calculations, I hope to have sufficient fiber.

The pattern recommends changing needles for the waist so that decreases aren’t necessary. This is a great idea to maintain a consistent number of stitches for the lace pattern. Instead, I will make decreases since I like fitted garments that emulate the gradual curve my body has.

So I’ve plunged in to casting on and knitting the tee (which will be a tank) without looking back. (Of course, I should have washed a small swatch to test it. I know…) As often happens about an inch in, I decided that, despite my calculations, the piece was too long. So I went down a size and started again.

The issue is the the top uses lace with a 9 stitch repeat so that the sizing jumps from a 33.5 inches to 38 inches which is a challenge if your measurements fall in between. I don’t have a good fix for that except to try smaller needles to adjust for the difference.

Having started the back of the tee two times, I realize that the piece curls over significantly. My concern is that this issue may not be corrected with blocking (which can be touch and go with a largely cotton fiber) or a crocheted border. At this point, I decided to check the book and Ravelry. At this point, it occurred to me that this was the same lace pattern as the After Dark Nightie! I pulled out my nightie and realized that it had 3 rows of garter stitch which made it lay flat.

So back to the beginning again…This time I plan to use a smaller needle size to accommodate the smaller size. (Note: I like this type of top to fit snuggly which means making it with zero ease.) In addition, I will use 3 rows of garter and a crocheted cast on to help it lay flat.

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