Posted by: jinniver | July 12, 2008

One down, one to go: NBaT update

Finally–I’ve got an actual update for the Nothing But a T-shirt KAL I’m doing with Genuine and Michelle. I’m definitely tail-end Charlie on this–Genuine is reworking one of her sleeves, and Michelle has everything knit and is now just adding on the collar.

I’ve finally finished the back:

NBAT back blog

I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve got so far.  It’s hard to see the shaping well, with the way the edges curl under in stockinette stitch, but the shirt flares out for my hips, nips in at the waist, and then flares out again at the bust.  Yes, I have the classic hourglass shape…it’s just that it’s a big hourglass.

Part of the reason this has been taking me so long is because I’ve been reworking the pattern for each section as I knit it.  Initially I’d rewritten the whole thing, but as I knit I realized I was going to need to do more than minor tweaks.  The gauge I’d come up with was a little inexact, especially the row gauge–I’d had a partial stitch in there–and added to the stretching from the weight of the yarn, the knitted fabric was elongating more than I’d originally planned for.  This wouldn’t have mattered…except for the shaping.  Once that was added, I needed to make sure that everything landed exactly where it was supposed to–waist shaping around my hips would be a disaster.  More than once during this project I’ve come to understand the allure of top-down sweaters.

I finally reached the point last night where I knew I was close to where I needed to start the neckline shaping.  So I had my husband hold the piece against my back as I made sure the waist shaping was actually at my waistline.  The top of what I’d knit was about 1 1/2 inches from the top collar of the t-shirt I was wearing, meaning I only needed about a 1/2 inch before I needed to bind off (since the collar is supposed to picked up and knit in a contrasting color).  A last modification to my reworked pattern was needed–the first version had called for me to knit another 1 1/2 inches–and then I was ready to do the neckline.

Here’s where I decided to get a little crazy.  Michelle and Genuine had discussed leaving some of the neckline stitches live rather than coming back and picking them up later.  I thought that sounded like a great idea–I’m not a fan of picking up and knitting, although I’ve done it before (disasterously, as it turned out–it made the neckline of my son’s sweater much too tight to fit over his head, but I’d learned from that mistake).  And then, as I was finishing this up, I got this wild hair–why not leave all the stitches live?

No doubt there’s a very good reason why not, which I will learn as I finish this shirt.  But I’m okay with that.  If it works, it’ll be great; if it doesn’t…well, that depends on just how wrong it goes.  So, as you can see in the picture, I’ve got all the neckline stitches still live on a circular needle (which I’m using just as a stitch holder).  Now I can finally cast on for the front, which is where things are going to get interesting…



  1. Seriously Jen, you amaze me! I could never even think of doing any of the things you do. You’re so gosh darn creative! I hope my niece and nephew don’t mind creative gifts from me (that other people made!). Miss you!

  2. I really love the little stripe at the bottom.

  3. Glad you like it! The original pattern called for optional contrasting color collars and sleeve hems; I decided to add a contrasting bottom hem to add interest. Of course, I’m adding interest to the part going around my hips, which might not have been my brightest idea!


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