I am SOOOOOOO excited to join me in the quest to discover your perfect T! I started my journey a few months ago when I had a shirt that I just loved, but I didn’t always want ruffled sleeves, and I wanted to jazz it up just a bit (and wished it came in oh so many more colors), and then I wondered what would happen if I made some other modifications, gave it a V-neck, but I could never find exactly what I wanted, so, I did what any knitter does, I decided to create my own! I now have a striped cropped version, a faded V-neck comfy T version, a super summery Tank version (that I love!), and I’m already plotting my fall, I want to rock it in New York (hint hint bestie!), DRESS version that totally reminds me of my favorite musical. Even my daughter got in on the fun and had me recreate one of her favorite shirts and she picked out the colors and asked for ruffles.
The KAL is completely FREE and the recipe style pattern will be posted MKAL style every week, to every other week right here on my website. There is a KAL thread in the Twisted Owl Fiber Studio Group over on Ravelry that you can check out. Be sure to post your in progress pictures and feel free to chat about any questions you might have there!
Yarn: A Twisted Owl Fiber Studio Tee Bundle- The faded T version uses 3 skeins of 2 ply sock.
Needles- I used a size 4 needle to make my tee’s, your mileage may vary! So you are going to want to take some time to swatch.
Grab a tee you love, or that you wish you loved, if only it x. Make sure you make note of whatever x is (has 2” more inches in length, has a v-neck, has ruffled sleeves, made me the perfect drink….) your whatever is whatever you want the perfect t(ea) to be, so it will vary from someone else’s, but we are going to help you mix it all the same.
Ok, let’s get started! This week we are going to work on our gauge swatches and take our measurements, because this is the MOST important step.
Step 1: MAKE THAT GAUGE SWATCH! Seriously. This is one time that you can’t eyeball it, or pretend that your gauge matches my gauge. It won’t work. This is your custom tee, therefore, everything is built to you. I suggest that you knit your swatch in the round, and make it nice and big. If you are going to make stripes, or fade your tee, you don’t need to worry about that in your swatch, unless you want to see how the colors look. At this point, we just need to find out how many stitches you have per inch. So, using the needles you are planning to use for your Tee, cast on about 36 sts, join to work in the round, and knit until your piece measures about 5” from the co edge. (You’ll have to magic loop so that you can work the sts in the round, another option is that you can knit across the RS, slide the sts across the needle, and then knit again. This method uses a bit more yarn, and when you are done, you will have to cut the string across the back). Once you have knit for 5”, bind off all sts. Wash and block your swatch!
Step 2: While your swatch is drying (because you have to wash and block it, right? Ok, I’ll wait while you go do that step….) so NOW while your swatch is drying, I want you to dig out that almost perfect tee in your closet. You know, your favorite one, but you wish it had a different color, or something such. And while you are up, grab your tape measure.
Step 3: So we are going to take some measurements. These are for the Basic, Boxy Tee (we’ll address v-necks, scooped necks, changes when we get to that point, promise!)
You need to measure how long the tee is from the bottom up to where the arm starts, write that number down and label it LENGTH.
Now, before we commit to that number, do you LIKE where this shirt ends? Do you want a few extra inches, or is it too long? Make that adjustment to your number! (For example, I’m making a tunic style this time, so I want about 6” longer than my favorite tee, because, tunic! So I’m going to add 6” to my number above, if you like the length and your tee is perfect except for the fact that it isn’t knitted, than you don’t need to change a thing!)
Now, we need to know how wide the tee is- the easiest way to find this number is to measure from side to side across the front, good, got that number? Now double it. Write down HIPS/Circumference. That’s the circumference for your favorite tee.(Keep in mind this recipe is for a boxy style tee, if your tee is more shaped, than we’ll need to add in shaping, and that’s ok, we’ll walk through that when it’s time, Promise! You are making YOUR own recipe!)
*For the Tank version, to create the A-line shaping, I used the bust measurement that I was aiming for. based on my favorite tank top (36”) and then I added 10-12 inches for my cast on, I planned the decreases along the skirt part to give it that shape. I’ll walk you through the shaping, but, if you are wanting your finished top to look more like the tank version, you’ll need to change the circumference of the cast on edge. Feel free to head over to the chat if you have any questions about it!
Now let’s find out the Yoke (that’s the measurement from the top of the shirt to the bottom of the armpit, ending just where you stopped measuring for the length! Write down YOKE and put that measurement there.
Now, let’s get ready to get started.
Take the number that is your body circumference and multiply it by the number of sts you have per inch from your Gauge swatched.
(Example, I want a body circumference of 44” and I have 6 sts to the inch, well, 44x6 is 264.
So I want to cast on 264 sts- which also works if I want to do a 1x1 Rib, or a 2x2 rib, because it is divisible by 2 and 4. I’m going to start with a 1x1 Rib, so any even number will work. If you want a 2x2 Rib and the number of sts you have isn’t divisible by 4, just round up a few numbers until you get to one that is divisible by 4 and that is the number you will cast on.
With your circular needle in the size needle that YOU used from your Gauge swatch (as long as you are happy with the fabric that it created!), cast on the number of sts from your circumference, pm and join to work in the round. Work the Rib that you prefer (I’m using 1x1 but you can use what you would like!) and work for as long as you would like your rib to be. You want at least an inch of ribbing to keep things from rolling, but you might want anywhere as long as 2-4”, and that’s a-ok. This is where we are going to pause for this week because that’s a lot of information to work with and we need to do some planning before we continue.
Now, is the time to start thinking about modifications here, if you are going to fade, you need to plan for how long and when, if you are striping, you need to decide how and when, if you are just making it all one nice color then you can plan for that. You also need to think about if you want any shaping, for the tank style, I decreased 10 inches from the CO edge to the bust to create that gentle, A-line shape. I also decreased in the children’s version in the same manner. For the faded tee, I left it a boxy look and the circumference stays the same through the entire top.
Make sure you head over to the KAL thread to share your progress and to ask any questions you might have! Check back next week for Step 2! I can’t wait to see the start off all your tee’s.