Friday, May 30, 2014

Vasalong Success: Summer is for Sweaters!

Summer knitting. It's the best. It goes so fast without those pesky sleeves and there are so many amazing summer yarns out there with linen, cotton, or hemp in them. If you're not knitting right now, you are missing out on some amazing summertime yarn action. My newest summer knit is the Vasa tee and I love it. 

Pattern: Vasa Tee by Paper Tiger
Yarn: Madelinetosh Dandelion in Dust Bowl (main color) and Nectar (stripes)
Size made: 38
Alterations: I altered the pattern to knit it in the round. Also, with my gauge the size 38 is really a size 36

We recently started carrying Paper Tiger knitting patterns by Dianna Walla. She has classic style and smart, interesting designs. When she announced a Vasalong (a knit-a-long for the Vasa tee) I was in. We also had just gotten in the new Dandelion yarn by Madelinetosh - it was a match made in heaven! Dandelion is a single ply fingering weight yarn, exactly like Tosh Merino Light but with 10% linen added. The linen gives a more rustic look and a bit more drape - perfect for this pattern.

I'll let you in on a secret: this tee is just two rectangles sewn together. That's it. This is the perfect first sweater project for a new knitter or anyone who says, "I just knit rectangles." The pattern is meant to be a loose fitting tee and Dianna suggests at least 4" of positive ease. This is what size I made, but after measuring my finished gauge, my sweater was a bit smaller than intended at 36". It still looks great, but I think the extra 2" of positive ease would be great for next time.

My cute little 3 needle bind-off shoulder seam.

I altered the pattern to knit the tee in the round (I couldn't have all those purl rows slowing me down). The sweater is knit bottom up. I knit it in the round until the bottom of the sleeves. I put half of the stitches on hold for the back of the tee and knit up to the top of the front. I cast-off the center stitches for the neck and then put the remaining shoulder stitches for each side on hold. I then repeated this process for the tee back and used a simple 3-needle bind-off to join the shoulders. This bind off creates a raised seam, which I thought would be a cute added touch, but you could also use the kitchener stitch for a seamless join. 

Another reason I love this pattern is that it uses 2 colors - this makes it so fun to pick out your yarn! You could also easily play with your stripes to have skinnier stripes or thicker stripes. Check out #vasalong on twitter and instagram to see more adorable knit tees. Summertime knitting, people. #thebest

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