Monday, July 31, 2006

Getting Started

It's been great seeing everyone's completed and "in process" tanks. Here's my progress so far....I'm in the middle of the second repeat.

I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. This is my first garment and have really been enjoying this pattern. Now if I could just have more time to work on it!!

question on negative ease

i'm about done with the lotus pattern repeats and am going to start the stockinette portion soon. i'm knitting an imaginary XS size - i cast on 170 st instead of 200 because 200 was coming out too big. i'm still using size 5 needles, though.

what's interesting is that my gauge matches the 22 st = 4" in St st as written in the pattern. so with some math done, i found that if i don't decrease where the pattern instructs me to, the stockinette portion will be about 31 inches around. i have a 32 in bust, so that would result in 1 inch of negative ease. i want this top to be fitted and fairly body-hugging and i hope the 1 inch of negative ease will help me achieve that.

have/are any of you gone with negative ease? if so, how much?

Friday, July 28, 2006

New ... and done!

Although I just officially joined the KAL, I finished my lotus blossom tank on Tuesday. I've been reading all your posts as I knitted and enjoyed the useful tips and great pictures!

I had originally started on the smallest size in June, but after completing 3 lace repeats I tried it on to find that it was huge (my swatching had led me to use a US 6 Denise for the main needle). I wanted it to be fairly body hugging, and it was more like a tent.

So, I swatched some more, frogged the whole thing, and started over on July 3rd with a bamboo US 4 for my main needle. I did 5 repeats of the lace and added an inch or so to the stockinette portion of the bodice.

I made two big errors that I discovered late enough that I decided not to fix them (I'm a fairly new knitter and, apparently, not a perfectionist type!). I accidentally increased 1 stitch early on in the 7.5" of stockinette on the upper part of the back -- so I K2tog during the first shoulder shaping row when I discovered it. Also, I had never done short row shaping before and didn't know I needed to "hide" the wraps (I neglected to look in the back of the magazine -- like an idiot!), so my left shoulder shaping is a little wonky looking. Additionally, I had to get a third ball of the bamboo yarn that was from a somewhat different looking dye lot, but I joined it at the shoulders on both sides, and it's not too annoying.

I am blocking the tank now (photo is pre-blocked), and will be wearing it for real soon!

Oh, frustration...

I am giving up for the time being on Lotus Blossom Tank. I've tried to knit this thing several times. First, I twisted my stitches while joining in the round. On subsequent attempts, I screwed up the lace pattern and could not figure out where I had goofed. So it is currently sitting there in the corner of my office, lonely, needing love. I will re-start it again sometime in the future. I like the pattern. It's pretty. I just need a break.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Work in Progress shot

Here is the picture also appearing on my blog, the WIP, about 2 cm till short rows shot of my LBT. I even love the pooling. See how it's large splotches, then it turns into thin stripes at the top? Way cool. The only thing: Why did I pick pastels?
Stay tuned for pictures of Confused Goth in Hippie Pastel Lace Top!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Finally Started

I finally started my top, and so far, I have 1 1/2 repeats done. I love the yarn I chose, and the color is growing on me. Come on over to my place, and see the picture.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

newbie to this KAL says hello

hey guys, i just joined this KAL! i'm finding it very helpful, so thank you for all the cool entries and tips. i'm going to be extending the stockinette section by an inch or two by the time i get there, as many of you have suggested.

here's a photo of my progress thus far:

i'm using rowan cotton glace - seems to be working well so far.
i'm making the smallest size (33.75 in).

Monday, July 10, 2006


Hi Everyone,

I am finally finished with my LBT, and I can not believe how relieved I am to be done with the whole thing. If it wasn't for this KAL, I know I would have chucked the project and added it to my many UFOs. Anyway, from my posts last months, I dropped a bunch of stitches somewhere and couldn't figure out where they were. As a result, I started the whole thing again...did the same thing...then did the same thing again. What happened? I figured out that my yarn was too slippery for my really slippery bamboo needles and my stitches kept falling off without my noticing. (I was using Frog Tree silk/cotton, and it was telling me that it did not want to be the Lotus Blossom Tank.) I put the whole thing away for a week or two, and then started over with's Sonata 100% cotton. Much better.

Yarn: Sonata—4 balls
Needles: Many—Webs bamboo circulars size 6, Denise size 5, Susan Bates aluminum circulars size 4, crochet hook size F for the armhole finishing.
Modifications: 3 Lotus Blossom repeats instead of 4, but added an extra few inches of stocking stitch in the body. I didn’t care for the 4 rows of garter at the top of the lace pattern, so I knit only two rows of the garter stitch instead. I continued the decrease pattern at the top of the front for two extra repeats (8 rows total) to add length in the chest area. I did not want the garter stitch borders around the sleeves and neck, so I used a modified crochet shell stitch on the sleeves, and then left the neck band area plain for no other reason than I liked the clean line of it.
Overall thoughts: I like the finished product, but I wasn’t bowled over by the pattern itself. I felt like I had to make way too many modifications to keep it from being a shapeless blob. But all of the changes were well worth the extra work and frustration. I’m really glad I joined this KAL because reading the other posts and seeing you all’s finished objects was very inspiring.

My first day wearing my LBT

I got my friend at work to take a pic of me wearing my LBT today in all it's finished & blocked glory. Indoor lighting and old work digi cams leave much to be desired, but it'll do. I've got a black ON layering tank underneath to make it work appropriate as well as a black blazer since the SF Bay Area fog makes the mornings very cool. I'm happy with the way it turned out though I will need one of those demi-type bras so I don't keep fiddling w/the straps all the time as they want to peek out ever so slightly right were the seams joining the front to the shoulders are.

I'm glad I joined this KAL and it helped keep me motivated to finish this project and all your tips and suggestions helped me immeasureably.

Thank you all and knit on!

edited to add: original finished post w/yarn specs can be found here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Blocking Question

I'm on the third repeat of the lace pattern, and it's already getting pretty darn obvious that this top will need some heavy-duty blocking if the lotus blossoms/alien heads are going to look like anything other than a variegated spaghetti mess. What did other people do? Does anyone have advice about blocking lace knit in the round?
This is my first lace piece that didn't start out flat, so I'm not sure what to do.

Pret a porter!

IK Lotus Blossom - it's done!
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
It's ready to wear!

I am so glad I added the extra stockinette. I really didn't need the fifth lace repeat, as I needed more bra coverage than overall length. So, as suggested by Jacqui, and considering her warning that the front tends to pull up, I knit an extra inch of stockinette plus 12 short rows for the bust shaping. This worked out perfectly!

Like others, I absolutely hated picking up the armhole edging since it's such a small round to work ont, but at least it was over with quickly. It didn't roll too badly, and a light pressing with steam helped it stay in place. I also steam blocked the lace a bit so it would be more open. Not that I really want to show extra skin, but it draped more nicely and didn't bunch.

I'm really happy with the result and enjoyed knitting it. Thanks to everyone here for tips, inspiring pics, and encouragement!

(crossposted to my own blog)

Help me trust my swatch

I've never actually swatched something. But after frogging this thing 3 times after getting giganto results, I had to. The swatch tells me that I have 5 stitches per inch on the smaller needles (size 5). My bust is a 39. So by my calculations, that means I need to cast on 195 stitches, right? Is it possible to do the lace in that number? I also feel like the yarn has a lot of give, and keep reading about it stretching... so maybe 190 would be better? I'm just really in disbelief about the number.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Finished and Fresh from the Dryer!

I finished! And I even wore it to work on Wednesday (with some discreet pinning of the appropriate bra). I had some problems with the blocking: I wanted to tighten up the back, the armholes, and the curled-outward neckline. No luck: I got it wet and it grew by 10 inches in width and about a foot in length. It went into the dryer and was fried back to it's pre-wash size.
To all you bamboo users freaking out about your sizing after reading this: Relax: I knit this with Filatura Di Crosa Zara Merino in green and grey (ran out of green) so I shall be alone in my blocking issues. Overall, I had a great time with this pattern, and I look forward to wearing this tank, and seeing all of your finished photos! Thanks for the inspiration, company, support, and advice!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jackie F has some mad skillz....

Did you notice Jackie sneaked in a picture of her and her little one? I am not letting her get away with it! LOL. Adult LBT and Mini LBT together!

Scroll down about 4 posts.

Jackie - I hope you don't mind me calling you out. You two look soooo cute! I poked around your blog a little and did I read you were going to make a mini Green Gable? You are so very talented!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Getting ready to begin

Hey Everyone! I'm Shell. I joined a little while ago but am just getting started on this. Here's my dilemma. I initially selected SWTC Oasis in Purplexed for the tank, but I am starting to think that the variegation may be too much. Here's the swatch I finished last night:


I made an error somewhere along the way, but I am just not thrilled with how the pattern looks. So here is my second thought, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Lovely Lavender, swatched this morning:


The cotton fleece has the same ballband gauge as the Oasis, but it swatched up a little larger and a little firmer.

I'm leaning towards the cotton fleece, but would love some feedback.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Issues with Lace.

Hello I have been knitting for about a year now. I would consider myself a pretty good knitter with basic projects. I have knit 4 pull over sweaters this year alone with socks and a blanket! However, this is my first attempt at lace and I'm a bit confused by the directions.

When you do the S2kp2, does that mean that you slip 2 stitches onto your right needle, knit one, and lift it over the slipped stitches and leave all 3 on there? Or do you drop off the 2 slipped stitches and are left with one? Are you folks having problems keeping them in that slipped order as you go on? Mine keep slipping out of order.

Another question about this pattern, since I've never worked with lace, and this is a kniting in the round pattern, do you work the yo's just like any other stitch or do you drop them off? Somehow I ended up with way to many stitches :(

Thanks for all your advice, it is GREATLY appreciated!!

Finished! No pics yet, though.

We've misplaced our digicam. Oops! Anyway, LBT's all finished & making her debut today (3 compliments so far! Woohoo!). One thing, though--I wonder if anyone else has this issue? Disclaimer: I am somewhat petite, with a short torso and narrow shoulders. The sleeve caps of the LBT actually extend a bit past the proper shoulder line (they're not flying out past my shoulders, but they sort of flutter a bit above my shoulder), and in back, the armholds are curling under a bit. I think both of these issues are because of my short/narrow shoulders and lack of shaping in the back armscye.

Still, very pretty and well-fitting, so I'm pleased overall.


Vacation knitting

Hi -- I've been working on LBT and now have 5 lace repeats + 5" of ss in the round, and am ready to bo for arms. I ordered a 3rd ball from Yarn Market and it is the same dye lot, so I have plenty and feel much better. I'm wondering, after washing/during blocking how much you all are pinning out the lace, or letting it block more "naturally"? Also, has anyone ironed this yarn, and if so at what setting (you see I have fantasies of finishing soon!).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mini Lotus Blossom Tank pics

Here's Marie wearing her mini Lotus Blossom Tank! These pics were taken just after she got up, so please excuse the bright green shorts. I might have to make the head opening a little bit bigger since it was difficult to get over her head; I'm thinking at the back or the left front shoulder seam...

Edited 7/4/06: 1 picture added. Also, I took out part of one seam and added braided ties so that the tank fits over her head.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Preview of a mini LBT

Here's a shot of the finished mini Lotus Blossom Tank for my 18-month-old daughter. Since she's in bed for the night, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to take pictures with her wearing it. I can't wait! Before doing the edging, I tried it on her to see if it fit. It did! I was worried that the lace would be too high, or that the shaping at the neckline would be off or too high. But, thanks to the dependability of math, it turned out OK. Oh yeah, how about that one patch of brown?! I ran out of yarn right before finishing. Ack! Now it has an abtract art appeal... :)

mini lbt 1