I’ve had a longer relationship with this fair-isle tank top than I have with any man I’ve dated. It’s been with me for three moves and five Christmases, always at the bottom of my knitting basket. It’s pretty obviously unwearable – the neckline is unfinished, the bottom rolls up, and it’s for that very specific weather pattern that leaves your midsection cold but your arms too hot. But the yarn is soft to the touch and I still like the color combination in the fair isle pattern. I even found part of the pattern mapped out in an old Excel sheet. So I picked it up over this past Christmas to see what I could do with it now.
The biggest problem is I only had a partial skein left of each color with no labels or tags, and again the yarn came from an inherited stash. I ran out of the first skein halfway through knitting the second sleeve. Hubris led to 4″ purple cuffs, and then I didn’t have any more purple to continue the fair-isle pattern. Easy come, easy go. I googled “shiny purple worsted weight yarn” – a descriptor that made me doubt the whole project – and came up with Shine Worsted Yarn. 14 business days later when the yarn wasn’t a match, I changed the sleeve pattern two more times from elbow to shoulder and ended up with just enough yarn to stitch all the ends together. I think it was a great example of how math could help me if I would just sit down for ten minutes and measure things instead of just knitting through each scenario.
Size: Women’s XS Materials Yarn – I still don’t know because the yarn I ordered wasn’t quite right, but the closest I got was Shine Worsted in Serrano, Sweet Potato, and Serenade. The skeins were smaller than what I originally used, but I estimate three (375 yards) of each should do the job. MC: Orange CC1: Red CC2: Purple Needles – Size 7 DPNs and Size 9 Circular Gauge 10 sts and 14 rows/2″ with size 7 needles in ST st
CO 165 in MC Row 1: (RS) *K2, P1; repeat from * to end. Join in the round Continue in 2×1 rib as established until the base of the sweater measures 2″. Begin pattern 1, doubling for front and back and decreasing/shaping as indicated in the pattern. 83 st pattern for the front, 82 for the back. BO
CO 42 with size 7 needles and CC2 Row 1: (RS) *K2, P1; rep from * to end Row 2: *P2, K1; rep from * to end Repeat rows 1 and 2 until rib measures 4″. End on WS row Knit in pattern 2, increasing and decreasing as indicated with the colorwork. BO
Row 1: (WS) With size 7 needles, pick up and knit 90 sts in CC1. Distribute across 4 DPNs. Knit in 1×1 rib for 3″. BO Fold in half, sew BO edge to the inside of the sweater. Sew sleeves to armholes, then stitch sleeves together. Weave in tails.