Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lilo's Yellow Cotton Ribbed Halter

There's nothing like an event deadline to make your fingers fly! I just finished the yellow halter for Lilo's Halloween-Hawaiian costume. I knitted roughly 3,000 stitches spread out over 5 nights and a bit of this lunch break. I checked my knitting log and realized that I had been steadily engaged in this top for an average of 4 hours a night since Saturday. The fingers need a break.

Lilo tried it on today... fortunately for me she refused to remove it for 10 minutes straight. That counts as "she likes it". However the ribbing makes the top too narrow. "Kita dede," as the kid would say. I added a bit of invisible elastic to keep it snug until she grows into the actual circumference of the top.

Because it's a ribbed top it looks funny all scrunched up. It stretches to about 12 inches across. I know the neckline looks a little stiff, next time I'll just knit it an inch lower, straight across and sew two separate i-cords on either end to tie around the neck. I was kind of thinking that this way it would still fit in the next 6 months. It looks better on the kid, but no pix available till Sunday morning. You have to see it with the grass skirt.

I am sharing this free pattern with my friends and readers for their personal, non-commercial use. Please acknowledge me if you're publishing your success with it online. I'd love a photo or two, if you manage to take some. Please read carefully before starting the project, there are portions where I provided alternative instructions to accommodate different preferences. If you can improve on it further, let me know so I can make my niece an even better version (whereupon I credit YOU!).


Copyright 2008 Mona Caccam


2 balls Monaco crochet cotton shade BUT25 (butter yellow) -- about 1.5 balls used up
2.75mm/US 2 needles -- used my bamboos, love love love them
2.25mm/US 1 double pointed needles for I-cord
tapestry needle

Finished Size: As close as possible to a Philippine children's size 8 (roughly 3-4 yo child) cotton t-shirt, about 12.5" wide x 10" from shoulder down to hem.

Gauge: 10 stitches by 12 rows per inch

1. Front: Cast on 128 stitches.

2. Row 1 (RS): *Knit 4, purl 4*, repeat * until end.

3. Row 2 (WS): *Purl 4, knit 4*, repeat * until end.

4. Continue knitting K4 x P4 ribbing for 7", ending in WS.

5. Begin armhole shaping: Bind off 10 stitches next row (RS), knit in ribbing until end of row.

* Alternate instructions #5 to #8 (armhole shaping): Instead of the bind off above, at this point it might be easier to decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of every row until you haveknit 2-2.5" or reach the neckline width you prefer (. This will produce a diagonal "armhole" instead of a round one.

6. Bind off 10 stitches next row (WS), knit in ribbing until end of row.

7. Bind off 1 stitch next row (RS), knit in ribbing until end of row. Bind off 1 stitch next row (WS), knit in ribbing until end of row. Bind off 1 stitch (RS), knit until end of row. Bind off 1 stitch (WS) until end of row. (Ribbing should still be in multiples of 4.)

8. Knit in K4 x P4 ribbing, without further shaping, for 2.5" ending in WS.

9. Neckline: Knit in stockinette across for 8 rows, ending in WS.

*Note, instructions #9 to #12: If you find the neckline portion of this halter top a bit stiff, as I did, just knit across. Bind off. Reinforce with single crochet border if preferred. Make 2 separate I-cords 12" long. Sew ends of I-cords to the corners of the neckline.

10. Bind off entire row. Set aside.

11. I-cord: Cast on 3 sts on 1 dpn. Knit across with dpn 2. Slide work to other end of dpn 2, knit with free needle. Continue knitting I-cord for 26". Bind off. Weave in ends.

12. Fold stockinette portion of halter front with I-cord inside, forming a tube. Sew stockinette seam across, as it contains I-cord.

13. Back: Cast on 128 stitches.

14. Knit in P4 x K4 ribbing (reverse of front) unti 7", ending in WS. (Take note, this is to alternate ribbing when front and back are joined.)

15. Bind off entire row.

16. To assemble, align wrong sides together, making sure that a K4 rib connects to a P4 rib at either side of the halter top. Sew or crochet seams together (use your preferred method, I sewed this one because it uses up less thread). Weave in ends as neatly as you can.

Washing instructions: Handwash gently in cold water, with mild bath soap or liquid soap. Rinse well. Do not wring. Roll in towel to remove excess liquid. Let dry flat. You can use a steam iron on the wrong side of the garment, pressing lightly. You want to keep the color and the sheen of the mercerized cotton.

More pictures Sunday morning!


Mimi said...

A ball of thread goes a long, long way with knitting. But if it was crochet, you could finish it in two nights...However, knitted is softer and more comfortable.
Love the halter, your niece should be so happy with her costume :)

The Gravelcat said...

You're so right... In this climate we need soft and thin absorbent natural fabrics. I enjoyed the knitting, and having both hands working at the same time balances the cramping, hahaha! (I haven't crocheted to a pattern in ages, and I can't remember the symbols either...)

I'm looking at the second ball of yarn now... I think I used up only 1/4 of the second ball, not 1/2! Matipid pala. I can actually get another pair of her 3yo socks from the remainder.

When I look at the pictures I want to do something new again. It's as though the previous 3,000 stitches never happened. Is it like that with you?

Mimi said...

I don't even calculate the no. of stitches. When a project is over, I forget how much time I spent over it. I always look forward to the next one I'll make ;)

The Gravelcat said...

Gusto kong gumawa ng t-shirt! With little ribbons at the neck ala Erika Knight! Hahaha :)