Paid in Full

It is cold back home in England, but here in Cape Town it is warm and sunny so it the ideal weather for wearing my new tank top.

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This is the Paid in Full tank, designed by Deb Hoss.  I knit it with Quince & Co Tern, a 75/25 wool and silk blend.  It is a nice bouncy yarn that shows stitch patterns beautifully.  It transforms when washed and has lots of drape.

Regular readers will perhaps remember that I had troubles picking the right size to knit.  I started out with the 44″ to knit it with positive ease, and ended up re-knitting it in a slightly modified 38″ for a fit with negative ease.  I detailed this whole process, with photos and details of the mods, here and here.  I would suggest to anyone who wants to make this: if you are between sizes, pick the smaller size.  The cable pattern is extremely stretchy.  This is extra important if you knit it with Tern (the recommended yarn).  Note: Tern is very stretchy.  When washed it will stretch, particularly in length.  Knit a big swatch and wash it!  You will regret it if you don’t.  I send a big thank you to Jelma, a reader who left a comment on my earlier post about this tank.  Jelma had used Tern in the past and warned me that it would grow.  It was her advice that really influenced my decision.

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(It was hard not to squint while taking these photos; the light here is strong!)

I think that this pattern is beautiful.  The designer, Deb Hoss, has a great style and I love many of her designs.  Her patterns are extremely detailed.  I must admit that I found them to be a bit too detailed.  The pattern for this tank is 12 pages long.  It has all of the great things I want in a pattern, particularly great schematics.  But some aspects of it were so detailed and specific I found my head couldn’t cope.  I am aware that this is a difficult thing for designers.  They are competing in a near-saturated market and they need to design their pattern layout in a way that will appeal to the most knitters.  I appreciate that Deb’s patterns are meticulous, but at one point as I was flipping back and forth between pages trying to understand the instructions for casting off at the armholes, I gave up and did it my way.  (To be honest to Deb, when I did this, I ended up being on a purl row instead of a knit row when it was time to cable and had to rip and do it again!)  I guess the answer is, as with any pattern, if you are comfortable with mods then treat the pattern as a recipe, and if you are not comfortable, follow along carefully.  I ended up with a recipe approach.

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If I were to knit this again, I would probably knit it in two pieces and seam.  This cable pattern is one that adapts beautifully to being knitted in the round or flat (and both are used in the construction).  I think I would have been happier and would have knitted it much faster had I done it the other way.  (I suspect that most knitters would disagree with me.)

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I choose this pattern because I wanted a work garment and as you can see here, it works beautifully.  I am here in Cape Town on business and these photos were taken during a short break in a day of meetings.  I think that the tank has a very polished, professional look and I am really pleased to be able to add a hand-knitted garment to my working wardrobe.

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It’s Saturday now and I am off to see fairy penguins!  I hope your weekend includes some knitting and some fun!

12 thoughts on “Paid in Full

  1. Congratulations on finishing your tank, it looks great on you! It is always so challenging to adapt to a stretchy yarn but you have done it beautifully. Enjoy the penguins!!!

  2. This is a superb tank top, and definitely works well with a professional look, and will be wonderful as well with a linen skirt or a pair of jeans. You made the right call in going smaller, and yours is a great example of getting to know the yarn before casting-on (or making a proper swatch and blocking it to see what happens). I find that many North American patterns are extremely detailed, and typical French patterns have very little details but work as well. It must be difficult for designers to find the right balance. In any case, your top is awesome and suits you very well.

    • Thanks, Agnes! I felt as if I had done a proper swatch here, but only did it in stockinette. This was clearly a mistake; I should have swatched a bit of the lace pattern as well. Live and learn! I am happy with the final results, however, and glad to be able to move on to something new.

  3. This is such a beautiful top, and the color yarn suits you wonderfully. Thank you for all the tips about the yarn and washing the swatch–something that I tend to not do all the time.

    • Thanks, Kalley. It’s so easy to be caught up in the excitement for a new project and not bother with a swatch, but if you are making a garment it really is necessary. When I am knitting a scarf, or cowl, I don’t bother with swatches; mitts, too, because they are easy enough to rip. I still have to remind myself to make the swatch big enough for it to serve its purpose (as I failed to do here).

  4. Beautiful work as always. I am starting to think about holiday knitting for next April when we go on a large family holiday to Tenerife (which seems very weird in the run up to Christmas, but one needs to plan ahead for these things!). Would you recommend any other yarns, as well as the Quince, for warmer climates?

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