Changes I’m Making to the Tattoo Tank, Plus a Poll!

I was amazed to see how many folks wrote in to say that they, too, were "pattern fiddlers"
–folks like me who use knitting patterns as a creative jumping-off place for making their own unique garment.

I love this about knitters, I really do. There's a whack of energy being put into publishing The Best Sweater Pattern and The Hottest Sock pattern each month, and here we are, gleefully using the pattern instead as a woolly GPS: only for when the going gets tricksy, or for when we are utterly lost.

What Changes Am I Making to the Tattoo Tank?

While I am knitting the Tattoo Tank by Marlaina Bird mostly according to the directions, I intend on making a total of four "tweaks" to the pattern:

1. Lace detail at the hem. (See photo!)
    Reason: I want a bit more lace! Also, lace at the hem will balance the lace at the sleeves (see #3).

2. Add a bit of length to the hem.
    Reaon: The hem, with or without the lace, falls at my widest point (hips). This makes me look wider than I am. With the lace, this effect is emphasized. A bit more length will help the wide, swingy hem flow past my hips, giving it more vertical movement and interest.

3. Add sleevettes.
    Reason: My shoulders are pretty, but they are narrow for my size. Short capped sleeves in a lace pattern will help to broaden them visually, balancing my large hip measurement. Making them actual short sleeves instead of just sleeve caps will help to hide my underarms, which I am self-conscious about. (And… Which I have now told thousands of bloggers about. Perfect.)

4. Adjust neck/shoulder shaping.
    Reason: As I said previously, my shoulders are narrow, and I am anticipating having to make the  shoulder "strap" section wider than usual. More width will help the sweater stay on.

I'm doing the rest of the shaping as written; the tattoo on the center back is also staying (of course!).

I wish the top were done now. I have a summer skirt I'd wear it with, and the perfect earrings. However, as I admitted last time, I'm having a bit of a do-over on this little vixen. As I type this, I am just about to do the fourth set of decreases on the way up the body of the tank. At this rate, I might even finish before Labor Day!

A Poll: One Special Skein

All right, while I'm plogging away on all the stockinette in the body, we need something else to talk about. (What do you mean, there's no such word as "plogging"? Sure there is. I just made it up, five minutes ago. Therefore, it's a real word!)

While we wait, let's play "What If":

What if you are a talented, clever, nimble-fingered knitter, and you have in your possession ONE SKEIN, and one skein ONLY, of a very precious yarn–something truly rare and special, like yak/cashmere, or qiviut, or baby camel.

What would you make with that one special skein of yarn?

You can either leave a comment and let me know your answer, or, if you'd like to vote and then see how everyone else voted, there's a poll over on wiseheart knits. I've got a reason for asking; I'll post the reason in an upcoming post.

I hope you really DO have a little skein of something special to knit up!

– Sandi

Sandi Wiseheart
is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily every Thursday. Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can follow her: sandiwiseheart.


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16 thoughts on “Changes I’m Making to the Tattoo Tank, Plus a Poll!

  1. i really wish i was a talented, clever, nimble-fingered knitter, and had in my possession ONE SKEIN, and one skein ONLY, of a very precious yarn–something truly rare and special, like yak/cashmere, or qiviut, or baby camel, but in the real world i am a so-so knitter (still learning alot) and precious yarn for me would be a $25 skein of something, usually sock yarn, but if all that were really true i would probably do something lacy and pretty to wear around my neck to show it off. i am thinking about a shawlette, cowl, or scarf.

  2. If I lived anywhere but south Georgia, I would make fingerless gloves. That way the yarn would be always close where I could pet it at will. Since I live in south Georgia, I just might make the gloves anyway and give them to a dear friend.

  3. Definitely a scarf for myself or someone special. It would be a little lacy. The point of the scarf (besides the 1 skein restriction) is that the best place to keep feeling that wonderful fiber would be on ones face and neck. Ooooh. If I close my eyes I can feel it now!

  4. PS I love your pot skirt! I think we should stop and all work on pot skirts for a while. Seasonal pot skirts! Holiday pot skirts! No more boring house plants!

  5. I have 55 yards of a beautiful art yarn called Thunderous (by Lush Mommy). It has shiny blue sequins and mohair locks spun throughout in green, blue, and grey. I’m going to make it into the Madge hat by Jillian Moreno. The hat is lacy and so cute. Can’t wait to start.

  6. I’d probably make a skinny scarf/wrap in a lacy pattern. I love how a lacy scarf can expand to be the centerpiece of a fancier outfit or scrunched into a scarf to wear everyday. Or, if it was very soft, maybe fingerless gloves. My pick: Artyarns beaded cashmere. Right now, my “affordable” luxury favorite is Manos Del Urguay Silk Wool handpaints in Olive Wood. It was for a gift…giving it away was truly a selfless act 🙂

  7. P.S most patterns are NEVER recognizable when I”m done knitting them! I must really LOVE the pattern to make it exactly the way it’s supposed to! I just can’t usually bear fields of blank stockinette…I HAVE to add cables, lace, etc… 😉

  8. What I would make depends on what the one skein is. If it’s a big skein of lace-weight qiviut, I’d make a small triangular or rectangular shawl, or a mobius. With a fingering or heavier yarn, a hat, neck warmer, or fingerless mitts. Anything but a scarf– I don’t wear knitted scarves and I HATE knitting the standard long narrow rectangular ones! All that interminable backing and forthing and mindless length to knit– ugh. It would be much better to use the imaginary luxury skein for something I would enjoy knitting and actually wear.

    Happy Sock Knitter in Richford, NY

  9. I would make a very special, very lacy shawl! I have a single skein of wonderful fiber my step-daughter brought me back from Germany! I plan to make the Nightsongs shawl out of it. If it doesn’t get big enough for a “real” shawl, it will be a pointed scarf!

  10. I agree. I’m not always a pattern fiddler but it irritates me no end when I’m in my local knitting shop and one of the clerks (certainly not the owner) tells me that I have to use the size needle it says on the package of yarn. They are scandalized if I mention that I am going to use a size 9 if the wrapper says to use a size 4. Sometimes I find a yarn I like and I just decide that I am going to make a scarf or a shawl with my own idea of a pattern which might mean I am using a larger needle than is recommended for the yarn. Some people have a really hard time thinking “outside the box” or pattern in this case.

  11. is “plogging” a portmanteau of plodding and plugging?

    I love just having a skein of beauty around to gaze at, fondle and enjoy the occasional snuggle. But if the unthinkable happened and I HAD TO make something, it would probably be a neck warmer: it would be worn right up against the skin, immediately visible, eminently useful without being too bulky — i.e., resident in the back of a drawer, rather than ready in a coat pocket or purse.

    Also, I would probably have plenty of oddball for needlefelting or trimming a cuffs.
    Hope this helps.

  12. I actually have one skein of merino/silk laceweight yarn, 1400 meters in one of my favorite colors (forest green) and I am planning to make a lace shawl. Still looking for the perfect pattern with which to “fiddle”! Happy knitting everyone!