The yarn is total crap!

My friend Diana just got a new blog called Bestitched. I’m so excited about this because she’s very prolific and has knit some gorgeous sweaters. Finally, a blog – it’s about time!

Tivoli t-shirt – my quickest FO ever (as long as we don’t count that pot holder I made using shadow knitting). I think it had something to do with writing a pattern and a rush of anxiety to see if it would actually work… hehe.

Before you say anything, I’m aware of how bad that shag on my head looks (compare with pretty VPC hair): I’m getting a haircut on Wednesday.

Yarn: Crapolistic by Classic Junk (see discussion below), 93 yds/ball, 6 balls

Needles: US 7, 20” and 29” circulars

Gauge: 19 sts and 32 rows per 4” square knit in st st

Size: bust 36”, waist 33”, hips 36” (I modified the hips measurement from my original sketch)

Time to finish: 5 days

Pattern: This is my own pattern, and… can I say it? It’s awesome.

Here are the details of the raglan and waist shaping:


I’m pretty excited about this top, and I hope you don’t take it as boasting. It was an uncertainty from the beginning: this is the first pattern I wrote by myself, for myself, rather than modified someone else’s pattern to fit my body. I photographed and wore the top even before blocking because I wanted to share right now as opposed to two days from now when the cotton would dry. This is a pattern from which I can imagine knitting lots of tops from different yarns for many years to come. I’m very happy with this FO.

Now that the cheery section of this post is done, let the Grumperina come out. The Tivoli Santos Aran (no website) yarn I used for knitting my appropriately named Tivoli t-shirt is total crap. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize that this is like Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton or Sugar ‘n Cream. The yarn is decently soft, but has color irregularities, especially at the ends of the skein, and also texture irregularities, like sections where one ply is fluffy (not spun). Also, 5 out of the 6 skeins I used had at least 2 knots or slubs in them (1 skein had zero imperfections). All this is fine for a yarn one uses to make dishcloths, except it’s hand wash only. Hello? [insert favorite expletive here] So, I was royally pissed off about all the knots and weaving in way too many ends for a seamless sweater. I would not recommend this yarn to anyone for any project.

Which brings us to point #2. I am so happy many of you liked my sketch for this t-shirt, and I’ve been receiving some comments and e-mails with suggestions (maybe even hints of pressure) for writing up this pattern for multiple sizes and submitting it to a knitting magazine. I do not plan on doing this for two main reasons: (1) I would have to knit an entire new top from a different yarn because this yarn is total crap; (2) I would rather be knitting than figuring out the directions for this top in a multitude of sizes. If you have the same oddly shaped body as I do, bless you and your curves! If you have an interest in modifying patterns to fit your own body, ditto! I’ll make the directions for knitting this specific top available some time soon so, please, feel free to give it a go! 🙂


36 thoughts on “The yarn is total crap!

  1. Sarah

    Oh, that looks so lovely! I’m happy that it worked out how you wanted! I love it! 🙂 That sucks about the yarn, though.

  2. Karma

    Hello?! You are gorgeous! Stop it with the hair comments. You have a hot figure and this top is perfectly flattering on you. I love it. Whenever you have the time to write up the directions, I’ll probably give it a try myself, because I think you and I have very similar dimensions… the waist shaping looks great, especially because the increases and decreases were so well thought out.

    Well done, Kathy!

  3. nikki

    I love it! You should be proud of yourself. 😀 The yarn may suck, but its a lovely color. I may just have to figure out how make a modified version to fit my bod.

  4. CatBookMom

    The new top looks terrific! It works perfectly with your jeans, and gives you a very different look from the elegant pink sweater. The problems with the yarn don’t show up in the finished garment – at least until you need to wash it!

  5. Jenn

    Love it! It’s really a great top, and I really love the sleeves. I hate knitting with anything like Sugar ‘n’ Cream, so I can only imagine what a whole top of it would feel like working up.

  6. LouVFS

    Your top came out great! You made it in record speed too. If it had been me knitting this top I’d be glad the yarn was crap because that’s what guaranteed the pattern would work. If I used some gorgeous yarn the pattern would have been crap. Now you have a custom pattern that you know fits great and you can knit up another one with better yarn and still be ready to wear it next weekend! Bravo!!!

  7. kris

    fab top! congrats on your first pattern! i love it and it looks great on you. i like the hair as well …

    don’t blame you for not feeling like working out different sizes, but are you at least going to make another one for yourself out of yarn you love?

  8. Agnes

    Lovely … lovely! Too bad that I don’t look good in t-shirt like this … but maybe I can still give it a try! Handwash only kitchen cotton? That’s totally outrageous!

  9. Colleen

    Wow, that is a great knit! Just in time for summer (if summer eventually arrives). Too bad about the yarn–but it looks beautiful.

  10. Carolyn

    oh yeah…its awesome! Congratulations! I am waiting for the written pattern…is it done yet?…how about now? No pressure…but is the pattern ready?

  11. Diana

    oh my gosh, it looks fabulous! I am in awe that you made up the pattern completely. You are my new knitting inspiration. 🙂

  12. Ann

    Even using crap yarn, your top is about 1000000x more gorgeous and wearable than the one in the book you used as inspiration.

    Rock on! I esp. love the cap sleeves. They came out lovely.

  13. Tara

    AH! I $*@&$ing LOVE IT!!!!! Sorry about the yarn though, but the color really does look great on you. And you hair looks cute! Do you have a broken mirror or something? 🙂 I would definitely be game for trying to make one in my size. I love it SO MUCH MORE than Ultra Femme! And Teva’s…

    And hello, I was right. You do look Hot! 🙂

  14. Stephanie

    Perfect! I absolutely love it. I mean really, I love it. You’re one amazing lady. And what do you mean about your hair? I think it looks cute. What I would do for thick hair, well, we’d best not discuss that. 🙂

  15. HoJo

    Beautiful. I love the shaping, its very flattering on you. I love it when things come out the way you envisioned – far to rarely in my experience! Enjoy.

  16. nona

    Fabulous top! The full fashion shaping really can make a difference cannot it. Too bad about the yucky yarn — and you were on such a roll!

  17. Becky

    Love the new top!! It fits you so well! I can’t wait to see the pattern as we seem to be about the same size – your comment on the cardigan you made about how it was the first one you’ve ever had that closed across your bust but wasn’t hanging off you elswhere hit very close to home!

    Great work – will look forward to seeing you make it again in a yarn you love!

  18. Leslie

    Congrats – the sweater fits & flatters you perfectly! I’m still impressed w/your homemade “knitted by” custom labels!

  19. Purly Whites

    WHAT! You kept going? I thought for sure you’d just leave it as a boob holder and submit it to knitty. Cause that is just soooo flattering.

    Just kidding. What a great sweater! Beautiful design, excellent fit. You look totally hot in it.

  20. paula

    LOVE IT. Seriously. I LOVE fitted tops with adorable sleeves that look great with jeans! This will be my next knitting adventure after I knit up Colleens bell sleeve sweater. Modifying cool patterns by cool peeps is my transition into designing my own patterns.

    So, like, WHEN will you post the pattern? (No pressure. Hehe).

    And, don’t even TALK to me about hair! My hair is so out of control, it’s become it’s own entity. Your hair looks FINE. 🙂

  21. cheryl

    Your sweater is absolutely perfect! I just made the LoopDLoop ballerina tee (even though I could tell from the picture that the big stretchy stitches were a no go) and I wish I hadn’t wasted those six hours. Off to the frog pond it goes!

  22. Jen

    I love the T! Too bad the yarn didn’t work out as well as you’d hoped. What would you use if you were to knit it again? I haven’t knit anything in cotton, so I’m not up on what works well.

  23. Vera

    What a nice T and pattern!

    I found out about it from Threadbear’s newsletter, and I started on it this morning. So far, so good.

    Thanks for sharing.

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