You Asked For A Top, We Give You A Tomato


Tomato by Wendy Bernard

Before Knitting Daily went live, I sent out a survey to all you charter members asking you what you wanted to knit. A rousing 37% of the 4,120 folks who replied said you wanted to knit a short-sleeved top.

Drum roll, please: So, in honor of Knitting Daily going live, and of this being our first week of official newsletters, I have a little gift for you: Fresh from Amy Singer’s book No Sheep For You, I am pleased to present the Tomato knitting pattern, designed by Wendy Bernard. Yes, my knitterly friends, that link takes you to the pattern for the Tomato. Yes, of course it’s free. It’s a gift, with love from Interweave to you, to say “thank you” for the wonderful, overwhelming, enthusiastic response to Knitting Daily. You people rock!

I confess I am a little late to the No Sheep For You party. In fact…um. I hadn’t opened the book until last week. (I know, I know. I have a copy at work and everything. Silly, right? But I’ve had this little website baby I had to bring into the world. Amy, of all people, will probably understand.) The survey results begging for more short-sleeved knitted
No Sheep For You by Amy R. Singer
top patterns made me remember the Tomato, which I had seen on the No Sheep Knitalong site. I went and found the book, cracked it open…and WOW. Reading Amy's book is like reading Elizabeth Zimmermann, only with less wool, and more pandas. (Read the book. Turns out that pandas love bamboo and bamboo is grass but hemp is not grass. Got all that?)

So now, Amy is my new Yarn Substitution Guru. You know how you can’t always find the yarn specified in the pattern? You know how sometimes you just can’t knit with wool because it’s summer, or you are allergic, or it’s just too itchy? You know how hard it can be to substitute yarns? Yeah, baby. Amy knows too, especially since she really is allergic to wool. She has an entire chapter in the book with tips on how to substitute yarns so your knitting comes out looking like a handknitted dream, instead of like a knitted nightmare. I’ve been knitting all my life and I didn’t know some of that stuff. I found out why I love hemp yarn so much, and what the difference is between tencel and modal, and why being geeky about
In my natural habitat
gauge is important enough to stand the pain of swatching. (OK, I kind of knew that part, since I wrote a Knits article on gauge once. But still: Amy explained it better and made me laugh, too.)

I stayed up really, really late Thursday night and read the book straight through. (Yes, I am that wild about good knitting books. Better than a novel, sometimes.) When I got to the end, I realized I HAD to knit the Tomato myself, because I wanted to practice some of my new-found non-sheepy knowledge. It was Friday afternoon, I was lusting after organic cotton yarn, and Erin, our new web analyst, had not yet been to the LYS down the street from the office.

A field trip was in order. Erin and I spent a lovely bit of time in Monika’s Woolen Treasures yarn shop, sitting amidst piles of Blue Sky yarn, gleefully agonizing over color choices. Monika and Erin convinced me to be brave and make a REALLY hot Tomato…out of a color I have never knit with before. What are knitting friends for?

Next time: In which I choose a gorgeous-but-scary color, and then come to grips with my REAL big-girl self.

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