I had wanted to make this top since I first got the magazine. I bought the yarn during a clearance sale in a LYS last August, and didn't get around to it until this summer. Just have so many projects and so little time. Such is the dilemma for us knitters, isn't it? This is actually a very quick and easy knit. Obviously I didn't work on it full time during the three weeks it took for me to finish it. I picked this project to start in the midst of all those lace projects, to sort of give myself a break. Something straight forward and not fussy, something that I don't have to keep counting stitches and rows and looking at charts. I actually knitted the majority of this top on the road while we were driving around in Toronto, just a few rows at a time. Plain old stockinette is the best for in-the-car knitting.
Originally I had wanted to make this top in the same shade of orange-y red as shown in the magazine, but when I saw the actual yarn color in a store, I changed my mind. Somehow it just doesn't seem to be the right color for me. I like purple, but I hardly knit with purple. This shade of purple is not appealing to everyone, I know. At first I hesitated on picking them up from the clearance bin. After another half hour of pacing in the store, I just couldn't leave without them. And the color kind of grew on me, I am liking it more and more. It would look striking on ivory, grey, brown, and black, which are the basics in my wardrobe.
The pattern is easy and clear, I had no problems following it at all. But do check the corrections posted on Interweave Knits' website. The pattern as published was correct, but they posted a different way of describing how to do the short rows along the back neck ribbing which, I agree, is much easier to follow than the magazine.
I deliberately used a larger gauge - 21 sts/4" instead of the suggested 22 sts/4". I wanted a 33 1/2" - 34" chest circumference, the closest size in the pattern is 32 3/4" and the next size up is 35". I decided to knit according to the 32 3/4" pattern, and hoped the larger gauge and blocking would give me a slightly larger garment. I think it turned out pretty well.
I used a little over 5 balls of yarn. For the size I made, the magazine called for 5 balls of yarn. It probably would have been enough if I watched carefully while I knitted and maybe ripped out my test swatches when I ran short, but I didn't. I bought 6 balls anyway, so I figured, why skimp on the few inches that I usually leave when changing to a new ball or the lengthy tail that I saved for seaming?
Cathay knits up beautifully. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. But it also splits like crazy if you have to unravel. The yarn also splits during seaming, all those threading back and forth. My guess is - don't work it too much, and it will be fine. But I wonder if I will ever be able to rip this out and reuse the yarn for something else?