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Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along -- Knitting the Front is "Off the Charts"

Note: This is the fourth installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.

KAL badgeThis week, I have been working on the front of the Tranquil Tank Top and after nine inches of ribbing at the bottom, I’m ready to tackle the lace and cable part of the top! Before I started the lace, I made sure my ribbing for the front was not only the same length as the back, but that the right side (RS) of my ribbing was the same as the RS of my back ribbing. I had two knit stitches on each side edge of the back ribbing, and I made sure I did the same for the front. Double checking this will allow me to sew side seams that will look seamless when finishing.

The left and right upper sides of the front are written in chart form instead of written instructions in this pattern. When I first glanced at the instructions, I was surprised to see six pages of charts! Then, when I looked a little closer, I saw that there are actually two charts for each of the three sizes. This will make for easier chart reading, rather than having all the sizes included on just one or two charts. I happened to print out all the pages of this pattern before I saw this, so I took out the four pages of charts that I will not need to make my size. That way there will be less chance of confusion as I start the charts. We need to start with the left front, so here is the left front chart of for the Large size: (Note that you can view charts for all sizes by clicking on the pattern link.)

It’s a good habit to look over your chart before you start to see how the pattern progresses. The left front of the Tranquil Tank Top is the half which will be partially hidden behind the right front that overlaps in the middle. Since there is this overlap of fabric between the left and the right fronts, the left front needs to have stitches cast on near the center front edge. These will be sewn down behind the right front when I am finishing. One question I often hear as a knitting teacher concerns how to cast on stitches at the end of a row. Since a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words…here is a link to a tutorial from Lion Brand's Learning Center that shows us how to work the “backwards loop” cast-on method:

After casting on those extra stitches for the left front and purling back on the wrong side, the chart for the left front begins with row 1 (which is on a right side). I noticed that each right side (or odd numbered) row has a decrease just before the cable section of the front. I also noticed that all of the lace pattern for the left front includes only “ssks” with the few “k2togs” only at the armhole shaping. (If that sentence sounds funny, you may like to read the last blog post that explains the difference between these two decreases.)

One of the nicest parts of this top is in the shaping of the front that is  almost “hidden” with a single ssk just before the cable section. Working up the left front, I found myself making the same mistake more than a couple of times! Where? Well, the lace pattern in the left front is a repeat of a yarn-over (yo) before each ssk. My hands became so used to working a yo before each ssk, that I found myself working a yarn-over right before that last ssk – that is for the shaping. Making that mistake will keep the front from shaping at the neck. I have made sure to double check the end of each right side row that I have not made that mistake again!

Post 3 Picture - Left Front

Now I’m ready to work the armhole shaping and then the rest of the left front. This has been a very fun project so far, and I hope you are all having fun knitting this one, too!

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