Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beekeeper's Tank

Today I get to release my last "deep summer" knit for 2014.  I started work on this one a number of months back.  I had this top sketched out, but didn't have the perfect yarn in mind for it yet.  As luck would have it, I arrived at Knit Night to find a friend working on a Snowy hat in two beautiful colors, a tonal gray and a tonal red.  After noting the tonal variation in the skeins and feeling the softness of her yarn I said, "Are these madelinetosh dk?"  She told me that no, they were the work of an indie dyer she found on Etsy called January Yarns, and I made a mental note to check out her shop when I got home.

At first, my plan was to purchase some of the same dk yarn my friend had with the intention of making a sweater from it.  (And that is definitely on my "to do" list next time I take some time for a "fun knit"!)  But as I let that idea simmer, I came across the drawing of this top and knew I wanted a tonal color way, preferably in a soft wool that I could wear next to my skin that would also show off the texture nicely.  I decided that January Yarn's fingering weight yarn would be a perfect fit, so I wrote up a little proposal and contacted Sarah, the human behind January Yarns, and asked if she'd be up for a collaboration.  She not only gave me yarn support, she jumped in on the test knit and made herself a Beekeeper's Tank while helping me make sure that her size was free of errors!

If you order from January Yarns, don't be alarmed that most of her listings are for one skein.  She offers custom dying, and she'd be happy to dye you as many matching skeins as you would need for your project.

They even come wrapped in tissue paper with an adorable printed label.  Send some directly from her as a gift - the presentation is already lovely!

Anyway, I found the "Staple Sock" yarn a pleasure to work with.  It showed off the texture of the honeycomb yoke beautifully.  And far from being too warm, the merino fiber is comfortably adaptable and allows heat to escape in warm weather, allowing the wearer to stay cool.  It really was a perfect match for this pattern.

Knit from the bottom up, this tank begins with a garter stitch hem, and is then joined in the round for a stockinette marathon with no shaping in the body.  Some might think this would make for a dull project, but I am always wanting a "mindless knit" to take with me on a car trip, to my kids' sports events, or to knit night, where I can easily mess up a pattern when my attention turns to socializing instead of paying attention to what I'm doing.  The bulk of this project is the perfect mindless knit - you literally do nothing except knit stitches in the round!

And the grand finale is the fun part - a few inches of honeycomb follows by some shoulder straps and trimmed out with applied i-cords.  New to i-cord finishing?  You'll love the video demonstration links included in the pattern as well as the written-out i-cord supplement that is included as a separate document with the pattern download.

Testers rated this as an "advanced beginner" to "intermediate" project.  There's lots of links and explanation for all the techniques that might be new to you - Kitchener Stitch, simple cables, applied i-cord.  The only knowledge you really need to come into the project with is how to knit in the round, how to pick up stitches, and how to decrease.

The Beekeeper's Tank is available now in my Ravelry shop!