Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Sunset Ringer Tee

Is it hot enough yet to show you my knitted summer tee? Kidding- I melted a month ago. It is past time I showed you my Sunset Ringer Tee by Alexandra Tavel. I made it a whole year ago but I've been behind on everything since... 2015.








This pattern was my introduction to Alexandra's designs. It's a fun, nostalgic way to get to know a designer. When I first saw it I immediately thought of all of those OP t-shirts we wore as kids. Or even the 80s revival baby t-shirts of the early 2000s. On top of that beach culture is a thing where I am from because we aren't too far from the beach. Galveston Island is still a regular summer destination, when we aren't in a pandemic. So I had to make it.

(I realize the photos above are askew. Apparently optimizing the interface for mobile reading now means making it unreadable on both mobile and desktop. We will all have to deal with the weird way Blogger is posting images and text until I switch to a new platform.)

Now the sample fit is more oversized, less baby fit, which is completely fine and probably more my style since I tend to freak out if I feel constricted in any way. Another thing I kept in mind was that bamboo does grow after washing, even when blended with cotton. I don't know that throwing it in the dryer will snap it back to it's pre-wash size and I wouldn't try. So I aimed for the fitted type of tee, figuring it would end up a little roomier. It's a win either way.




        

I've only  knit colorwork in cotton yarn once before and never using the duplicate stitch method. So I was very conscious of my tension here. It was actually easy, though the reverse side does look like a mess before dealing with all of those ends, and after dealing with them, if I'm honest.

My Mods: I used US size 3 and 5 needles and a kit from Lion Brand for the smallest size. I am not a size small, but remember I was counting on the fit being a bit larger than the measurements, as many Ravelers said it was. The kit included Lion Brand's Coboo yarn for the body and edging and Bonbons for the intarsia. Coboo, as you might guess is the cotton/ bamboo blend. It does have a light, soft, jersey-like feel that is a little more comfortable than 100% cotton. It feels like wearing a t-shirt.


Bonbons are 100% acrylic, which made me want to be extra careful that I didn't work the sunset too tightly. If the cotton/bamboo body stretches some with washing, I wanted the acrylic design to stretch with it. So no I didn't block before starting the duplicate stitch. I was just too impatient for that nonsense. The whole duplicate stitching process felt very paint by numbers to me, which also caters to my inner child.




Sleeve decreases:  I picked up the number of stitches she has you cast on for underarm. Then I knit sleeve as directed but just before knitting the edge, I decreased three stitches evenly per sleeve. I did this because I feared the sleeves might flare out with washing and I wanted to keep that tighter, ringer tee look.

The edgings:  I knit them all in reverse stockinette by purling the edging before folding it under and I whipstitched it closed. I liked the change in stitch for the edgings.



Alexandra has a knack for making beginner-friendly pieces appeal to knitters of all levels. In the case of Sunset Ringer, I think the duplicate stitch is a bit more challenging than a straight stockinette tee would be, but a beginner could totally do this.

What I found interesting about her designs are how many of them have both a knit and a crochet version. That's a unique niche in pattern design. 

If you watch the podcast, you have seen a few more knits from Alexandra in my collection. I'll be throwing up blog posts on them soon. But the two I have my eye on in the near future are the Magic Hour Sweater, knit to be a tee with 2 big skeins of Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend, and Into the Wild  out of Knit Picks Billow (since the pattern dk yarn was held double).  Oh, wait! I also want to make the Waterbury Plaid Blanket Scarf out of various favorite leftover yarns. But a blanket scarf could probably wait until Fall, I say as I wipe the sweat mustache from my lip.


(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)


I talked about this knit in the My So-Called Handmade Life podcast: planning it in Episode 32: Doing Nothing, as a WIP Epsiode 33: Hiding Out, finished in Episode 34: A Beach Tee, and a review in Episode 40: The Sweater Experience.


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