Knitting Journal (1)

I’ve recently gotten back into knitting. In particular, I’m trying my hand(s) at knitting clothes. So far I’ve produced 3 tops that I’m excited to keep wearing (one of which I’m planning a minor adjustment to) and a baby sweater from the end of two skeins of yarn.

I’ve used a ton of different resources and tutorials as I’ve worked, and I’ve learned a lot from each garment. So I wanted to be sure that I can find those tutorials again when I want them and keep improving my skills. I’ll write one post per garment of what I learned making that piece, and maybe I’ll eventually summarize somewhere. But not yet.

My first garment was the Lemon Tee by We Are Knitters. They claim this is an “intermediate” project, but an advanced-ish beginner could do it just fine.


Image via We Are Knitters



I was disappointed when I got this kit to find that the “pattern” is literally just: (1) make two rectangles (one in a fancy pattern that you could have found described somewhere else for free), (2) sew them together, (3) done. I think it looks like she has sleeves in their promotional picture. And I was especially disappointed when I made the whole thing and found that it did not fit well — it was insanely short, even for a crop top, and about 50% wider than necessary. In retrospect, I probably could have figured this out based on other people posting theirs on Instagram:

So I took it apart and re-did it. I added a couple of rows of length and took out around 1/3 of the stitches in width. I now have something I’m excited to wear.

Here’s mine (there aren’t yet pictures of me wearing it):


Here’s what I learned and what I would do differently next time: 

  • You an make a decent-looking top with just two squares/rectangles!
  • Adapting patterns is possible! And maybe simple patterns aren’t so disappointing after all, because if it had been any more complex, I wouldn’t have trusted myself to try to change it.
  • Approximately how many stitches wide I am (in this yarn, at least) — good for adapting other patterns or gauging which size I should knit if the pattern comes in multiple sizes.
  • thought I learned to cast on in rib-stitch, but in retrospect, this is the weakest part of my project. Don’t use a long-tail cast-on if you’re going to be knitting ribbing. Try a provisional cast on or generally googling for ribbed cast-ons. It will make a big difference.
  • I should have used some of the techniques that you can find online to get the sides of my work not to roll, but it’s ok anyway (this is for the rolling around the arm openings).
  • I thought I would hate the way it rolls at the neck, or the fact that it’s straight across at the neck, but it’s fine.

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