Project Diary: Daisy Stitch Tunic, Summer 2010

We're launching a new, ongoing feature on Inside Knits – project diaries that walk you through one real knitter's experience knitting a project from our magazine. Stay tuned for more project diaries – for now, Toni Rexroat starts us off with the Daisy Stitch Tunic from the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Knits. –Eunny


Project: Daisy Stitch Tunic by Jean Suzuki, Interweave Knits Summer 2010

Knitter: Toni Rexroat 

Yarn (Company, Name, Color, Amount) Karabella Zodiac, #421 (rose), 8 balls

Why you were excited about knitting this project: I tried the original sample on in the office and loved the mandarin collar and daisy stitch accents. I had never knitted a garment before. Part of my hesitation to knit something other than hats and scarves was the fact that I am short backed and thick waisted and I didn't feel confident enough to modify patterns. A little advice from me to you; never let intimidation stop you. Determined to create a custom tunic, I jumped in, and I am in love with the result. I've already started my next knit garment.

What size you made: 36"

Your measurements in inches

  • Bust: 34"
  • Waist: 29"
  • Hips: 37"
  • Back length (from neck to waist): 13 ¾"

Schematic measurements for your size:

  • Bust: 36"
  • Waist: 32"
  • Hips: 40.5"
  • Overall back length (from neck to hem): 25"

Modifications made:  When I tried the sample garment on, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful mandarin collar. The next thing I noticed was the 4" of extra fabric at my hips. In the listed gauge 19 sts equals 4", so I cast on 19 fewer stitches for the hips. And because I am short backed I began the waist shaping earlier than specified in the pattern. Because I had cast on 19 fewer stitches for the hips and because I am a bit thicker waisted than the pattern norm, I worked fewer decreases. When I had decreased to the correct number of stitches for the listed bust size, I finished the tunic as the pattern directed.

Surprisingly, modifying this pattern was easier than I had anticipated and I adore the custom fit I achieved.

What did you love about knitting this? This pattern constantly fascinated me, and I was never bored. The stockinette portions worked quickly, while the daisy stitch broke up the monotony. And because I made so many modifications, I would stop occasionally to plan my next move or figure out the perfect stitch count for my body.

What would you note for other knitters about when knitting this pattern? As this was my first knitted garment, I made sure I worked a gauge swatch before beginning. My gauge swatch was perfect, but apparently I swatch looser than I knit a garment so the gauge on the finished tunic was slightly smaller. Next time I would be sure to measure both.

Any specific tips? Before beginning the daisy stitch pattern, decide on a good method for keeping track of which row you are on. The angle of the pattern is created by working alternating rows of 1 and 3 with a knit row in between. If you accidently work the same row the stitches form columns (which could be another interesting modification).

How will you wear this project? I plan to wear this tunic in the Fall with either a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt underneath and jeans. I love tops that will dress up a nice pair of jeans.


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