She sells seashells by the seashore…

I’m sure the shells she sells are seashells…

Not my favorite tongue twister but that’s all I could think everytime I see the name of my last knitting project. I wanted it to be ready for MMM ’13 but since I ran out of yarn and had to wait to be delivered, well, I am a little late… Still, that project is perfect for the upcoming months! 🙂

Now, let’s go back in time. After I showed my Mohr Circles shawl a few months ago to my knitting group, my friend Nancy asked me if I was interested in a pattern swap because she was in love with my shawl. I spent hours going thru her library on Ravelry, not really decided about my next knitting projects. And after some time torturing myself, I decided to opt for the Seaglass shell tank.

Pattern: Seaglass shell tank, by Daniela Nii

Afterall, since this is a pattern swap, let’s try a pattern I would not buy in normal circumstances! This tank is definitely not my usual kind of project, but let’s go crazy for once!

I bought some cotton yarn form Knit Picks, the Shine Sport yarn (the last yarn from my Knit Pick test batch), in the Robot color. This is a mix of Pima Cotton and Modanatural beech wood fiber, machine washable (yeah!). The yarn is easy to knit, soft and shiny. I just had one skein with some bad quality section and a knot, but for the rest, I would use this yarn again.

As usual, I tweaked a bit the instructions. I started knitting the lace part and blocked it. To my own surprise, I found the lace pattern quite easy to follow (except for the ssp stitch) and this knit definitely made me up with lacework. Then, rather than knitting the front and the back separately, I knit the body on the round and attach the lace part to the back section by using a pick-up technique on my own (since I couldn’t find anything on internet, I came with my own creativity).
Okay, I can hear you, I know, to avoid sewing the seams which I found rather complicated, annoying and ugly, I used a different technique that complicated my life. Is it worth it? I think so. Anyway, I don’t like seaming and I don’t mind technical complications…

Now, let’s having a look at this beauty!

IMGP8403bisSorry for the moiré effect, but if you click to have a larger picture, it should be okay.

IMGP8402bisJust like the model!

I knit a size 36.5″, a mix between the first two sizes. I told you! I like to make my life complicated, but on the other hand, why there is always a size 35″ then a 38″and nothing between them?!? The fit is nice but a little too large in the back. Maybe a size 35″ would have been okay… Anyway, I had to attach the back egde to the large panel to avoid weird look, but that’s because I didn’t follow the instruction correctly!

IMGP8407bisAfter attaching the lateral back edge to the lace panel. Not optimal, but not bad

IMGP8442Lace details

If I have to do that pattern again (and this might happens), I would change a few things:
– the bottom of the tank doesn’t need to be that large around the hips,
– I would respect the numbers of stitches for the back edge! I decided to make my life easier (for once. Yes, sometimes I want to make it easier!) and to pick-up one stitch for every row knitted in the back, rather than 2 pick-ups for 3 rows. Wrong idea Claire! This is how I ended up attaching the back edge to the lace panel on one side because it was too large and not good-looking. Next time, try with 2st for 3 rows!
– there are a wee bit too much bind-off in this project and it’s not great. When you start shaping the lower back, it is said: BO stitches in the middle (= lower back opening) and work 3 rows even. Then BO 3 st at the beginning of each center back edge. The result is quite crappy in my opinion, so why not instead decreasing 1st every row? I did this modification for the next 8 rows, rather than BO 2 sts every 4th row 2 times, I decreased 1 st every 2 rows 4 times. Much better!

IMGP8452More details on my Ravelry page.

To my own surprise, I enjoyed knitting the lace pattern. You may remember me saying I was very bad at lacework and it was too complicated for me. Well, it seems like this time is over! In fact, I am already working on a new project with lacework only and I like it (except when I have to unravel, but who does?).
Did you have any project that makes you change your mind about a technique or a style? I would love to hear about it!
Stay tuned!

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