Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Latoya Cabled Tank FO

I finished Latoya, a cabled tank pattern from the Berroco website. Compare mine with theirs. I made several modifications to fit me and my yarn. I am mostly happy with it, though I may need to shorten the straps.

You can read my progress on the tank at:
Heart of Africa and Knitting News
Imperfect Knitting

  1. The tank pattern as written has a 45 stitch 3x3 rib pattern in the middle beginning and ending with a P3 on the RS. The side panels are written as reverse stockinette on the front and regular stockinette on the back. That would look weird. I made side panels stockinette all around. However, I think it might have looked better if I used reverse stockinette on the sides.
  2. The cable directions are confusing, but they are correct. The most confusing part for me was that, when you pull K3 stitches across P3 and K3 (6 sts total), then the P3 stitches will become K3 and the remaining K3 will become P3. Then K3 sts from the cable needle.
The front (left), back (center) and inside back (right) are pictured below. See how the ribs really pop on the reverse stockinette side? If I were to make it again, I would have made the side panels reverse stockinette.

  1. I used a different yarn with a different gauge. sknitty posted a method for adjusting sizes for different gauges. But, I was a math (and chemistry double) major and we are notoriously bad at arithmetic. I do something even simpler than her method. My bust is 34.5" and I want my sweater to be about 34-35". My yarn had a gauge of 17 sts/4". The pattern calls for 18 sts/4 ". My yarn will yield a bigger sweater than the pattern so my ratio needs to be larger than 1. 18/17 = 1.06 I then multiplied the smaller size sweater, 32"*1.06 = 33.9". I knit in the round so the 4 seam stitches will add almost another inch. As you can see from the top photo, it fits.
  2. I knit in the round with stockinette side panels.
  3. I eliminated 6 stitches in the front panel and the 6 rows where I would have reduced them. That shortened the sweater by 1" at the bottom.
  4. I did 4 rows of garter stitch at the side bottom edge before switching to stockinette stitch to reduce the curl; the pattern has straight stockinette all the way up.
  5. The pattern's shoulder straps are 8 stitches wide in garter stitch. Garter stitch can really stretch out, which would not be good in a strap. Besides, I wanted to continue the rib design on the straps. I made mine 9 stitches wide, continuing the K3, P3, K3 (from the right side) pattern of the body.
  6. In the back, I decreased at the armholes as suggested in the pattern, one stitch at each side on each right side row. In the front, I bound off one stitch at the beginning of each row which makes the front 4 rows higher than the back.
  7. I adjusted the strap length by trial and error, putting the live strap stitches on waste yarn that was also run through the back top edge. At first, I thought it was too tight so I added another 2" or 12 rows. After washing and blocking, I think I should have added only 1". The straps tend to slip down repeatedly.
  8. I grafted the live strap stitches to the bound off top back edge.
The whole sweater could have been knit in the round, even in reverse stockinette, with the inside out. You need only do the cable maneuvers from the reverse side. The center panel would then by 39 instead of 45 stitches wide, beginning and ending with a K3. Then, you could move the straps inwards by 6 more stitches (K3, P3, K3) to keep the pattern continuous. That would also reduce the strap slippage problem.

If I were to make this sweater again, I would have started the cabled part 1-2" later than the pattern instructions. YMMV.

Iris asked for a sweater like this. I will change the 3x3 rib to 2x2 rib to scale it down to her size.

Tutorial: how to graft live stitches to bound off stitches in rib
I was too lazy to go to the computer and look at cmeknits tutorial on how to graft stitches in rib. Besides, her method required waste yarn again and I couldn't locate mine at that moment. I channeled my inner sensible knitter a la Maggie Rhigetti and tried to imagine how the yarn should travel. I pulled the yarn from the back through the front of the knit stitches, then again from the front to the back. For the purl stitches, I pulled the yarn from the front to the back, and then from the back to the front. For the bound off edges, I looked for the stitches below the bound off row that matched my live stitches. I took some pictures to show you. You can click on the small images to see more detail. Note that I didn't try to adjust the tension of the grafting stitches until at the end. It looks fine to me. (But I have been practicing living with imperfection.)

Cut the working yarn, thread through a needle, pull the yarn through the last knit stitch from the back of the stitch toward the front. Leave the stitch on the needle.
Go through the back of the corresponding stitch on the bound off edge.Now go back through the front , toward the back, of the first stitch on the needle. Let that stitch drop off the needle.
Go from the back of the stitch on the needle, toward the front.Stitch from the front toward the back of the first bound off stitch (you sewed through this once before from the other side), then sew from the back of the next stitch.Repeat for the rest of the knit stitches.When you get to the purl stitches, begin by stitching from the front to the back the first time. The second time you go through that stitch, go from the back to the front.If this is confusing, try working the purl grafting stitching from the back. Then you will be grafting knit stitches! Be sure to push the lump of the bound off edge towards the inside.Keep going.Adjust the tension gently with a knitting needle until the join is invisible.I close with a picture of a quilt by Annie Mae Young from The Quilts of Gees Bend exhibit. I found the variation of blues in the old work clothing quite visually arresting.

Thanks for sticking around to the end of this long-winded post.


  1. Beautiful, Grace! I can't see the color difference from the two dye lots in the finished top. And it looks really nice on you, too. (I haven't figured out yet how to take a picture of myself wearing a finished project and get it centered right!)

    Currently, I am working on a sleevless turtleneck that has the same 3-stitch ribbing in the back with plain stockinette on either side. I like it so far. It also has a very nice double chain selvedge around the armholes. I had to rip back four times before I got that right because the instructions were incorrect! I hope there are no mistakes with the cabling in the front because I am inexperienced at cabling. I'll be blogging about it soon.

  2. As you can see, the ribbed straps curled in a bit and ended up much narrower than the original. You may want to try using a linen stitch for the strap, the next time you have need for this application.

    It won't continue the line of the garment as your ribbed straps, but it will be much sturdier and won't stretch. St st, while it doesn't stretch as much as garter st, still stretches. Try it with Iris'. If you like it, you can redo yours.

  3. I like the curl. It is part of my design. Kind of a semi-spaghetti strap.

  4. Not a lot of people have knitted Latoya and told about on line, so I was excited to see this post when I googled. I've basically finished mine, up to the straps. I made the same change you did, knitting the sides in stockinette, both front and back. I'm working on the shoulders right now, so this is very helpful. Thanks for this post. I'd love to see the tank on you, but I guess you took that pic down. I can understand, and I respect your privacy.

  5. Yay! I can see the modeled picture now, and it looks great on you! I finished mine, and I linked to this post in your blog, just so's you know.
    Thanks a bunch for the helpful story of your Latoya.


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