Sunday, March 04, 2007
Bergere de France Tank Top
This is the cover of the Magazine Tricot no. 123 issue by Bergere de France where I found beautiful tank tops. I believe it was published in 2003. I acquired the magazine in early 2004 with help of Sandrine and Michelle.
I was not much interested in knitting tank tops until I saw this photo (cover tank top) and this one (twin set) by Sandrine. Once I saw these beauties, I had to knit them.
Here is the twin set.
In early 2004, the magazine was already all sold out and out of print. Those who are interested in knitting these tanks need to contact Bergere de France directly and request reprinting. I hope they would oblige. Once you get the pattern, you need to deal with French instructions. I was lucky enough to know a fellow knitsmith, Alison, who generously offered to translate the pattern for me.
Next, which yarn to use? The gauge of the cover tank is 33 stitches and 49 rows per 4" square, between fingering and lace weight. I picked up Sandnes Mandarin Petit and began knitting. The orange one below is my first version. My gauge was quite off and I had to do a lot of adjustments. The horizontal eyelet bar was right across my bust which I thought was not appropriate. So, I did the second version with Rowan cotton 4 ply, moving the bar further down. BTW, this yarn was no better than Mandarin Petit. Too thick for the tank. I actually knitted the whole thing optimistically thinking it would be just fine. When I completed it, it was obvious, I made a giant tank. I ripped the whole thing all the way down to the leaf motif band in 30 minutes. Eventually, I got it knitted up. You can see me wearing them here. Which one looks better? Orange one, right? BdeF designer knew better.
As a headstrong knitter that I am, I had to find the right yarn: Pearl Cotton 5/2 on size 2.25 mm needles. Unfortunately, the third version remained as shown below for more than a year. Simply, it was not fun knitting at all.
Eventually, I convinced myself I cannot have it unfinished and began working on it.
This time, success!! I simply followed the pattern as is. Phew!!
Added: Here is something I just found on Bergere de France. You may want to take a look.