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Knitting a summertime Tee with waves of color

by Cindy O'Malley

I’m knitting with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Waves, which is 100%, high-quality cotton in bright self-striping colors. Yesterday I talked about my swatches knitted using 3 needle sizes. I laundered them and remeasured – check out the post to see what that looked like.

Today, I’m knitting a top-down Tee sweater using Heliotrope (purple and pink). I chose the Fresh Berries Tee, which is a free downloadable pattern designed for this lovely yarn. This exquisite Tee will look great on those young and perky 20 something’s in the family.

The Fresh Berry Tee knit up in Cotton Supreme Waves.

This pattern is written for a gauge of 20 sts x 26 rnds = 4” in St st using US 7 [4.5mm] and US 6 [4mm] (for the ribbing) circular needles, but as a result of swatching yesterday, I’ll be using US 6 [4mm] and US 5 [3.75mm] needles. It also calls for using 16” circulars for the narrow parts, but since I use the Magic Loop method, I’ll stick with my 32” [80cm] needles.

I’ve chosen Heliotrope as my colorway for this pattern. The young-uns in my family are crazy for their purples and pinks, which makes this the perfect choice.

Heliotrope is my color choice for the pattern. Note the difference in the amount of pink between each cake.

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, the cakes are not consistent in their colorways, but the 3 cakes needed for this project are very different. One of the cakes has little to no pink, so I’ll need to do some careful planning of color for this project. I decided that I wanted pink at the neck, so I drew from the center-left ball to start my project (you can’t really see it in the photo, but the center of this ball has a small amount of pink). If you notice, the two balls with the pinkest seem to be wound in reverse. All three balls are from the same batch, so it seems rather strange. This means that I’ll be drawing from the center of the 1st ball (left), and from the outside of the 2nd (top).

Wow, this cotton is very soft and comfortable to knit with the right needle size. The color changes are exciting as it means progress. I must admit, I was planning on making the X-Small, but I got carried away with increasing and knitting and couldn’t bring myself to tinK it (Knit backward). Fortunately, both the X-Small and Small call for the same amount of yarn, so I’m good.

TIP When making top-down sweaters, if you’re confused about when to M1L vs. M1R, remember this – if it’s Right of the marker, M1R; if it’s Left of the marker, M1L.

I love making top-down sweaters because you can try them on as you go to ensure fit (not for me, so irrelevant); seamless (not that I mind seaming); perfect for this project as you don’t have to worry about matching upfronts to backs with the color changes. But I must say, the absolute best part about top-down sweaters is that Hallelujah moment — when you get to separate the sleeves from the body!

Time to join the 2nd ball after separating the sleeves from the body.

Now that the body and sleeves are separated, it’s TV knitting time. Round and round you go until it’s time to join the second ball. This above picture was taken just before I joined the second ball. I know it’s a size Small, but his yarn has great yardage. As I mentioned previously, I drew from the outside of the second ball to maintain the continuity of color sequence – not critical, just my preference.

Paused knitting the body so I could complete the sleeves in pink.

When I got down to the pink section, I paused. I decided that I wanted to finish the sleeves with pink to ensure that they were consistent. So, I stopped knitting the body, finished the sleeves, and still had pink to continue with the body. This is important to note that if you choose to make a long-sleeved sweater, the stripes would be very wide on the sleeves because there are fewer stitches. You may want to plan the sleeves so that the colors used are consistent for both sleeves. Again, not critical — just personal preference, and satisfaction with the finished project.

When it came time to join the 3rd ball, I wound off some of the outside colors so that my ending color (purple) continued with the new ball.

Now for the reveal . . .

Completed Fresh Berries Tee in Heliotrope

As you can see from the photo, I didn’t need much from the 3rd ball, so the lack of pink didn’t detract from the finished project at all. I’m very pleased with it and look forward to seeing it on my 20-something niece with her long blond hair. Unfortunately, that will have to wait until the lockdown is lifted. Hopefully, there will be plenty of summers left for her to wear it.

This proves that a top-down sweater project is a perfect match for Cotton Supreme Waves with its long color runs. If you want to make a long-sleeved sweater, just remember to plan for the sleeves; otherwise, this is a very fast and easy project.

I hope you join me tomorrow, as I make an oversized shawl, a wrap really, that shows off the striping effect in a totally different way using Cotton Supreme Waves in Lagoon.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Swatches – what does Cotton Supreme Waves look like in 3 needle sizes?

Go to part 4: What to know about knitting an oversized wrap with Cotton Supreme Waves


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