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Lacy Tank Top/Bathing Suit Cover

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Turkish Tank Top.

Turkish Tank Top.

(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Turkish Delight:

I really love Turkish Stitch. For one thing, it's a really easy stitch pattern with just one row repeated over and over. It's easy for people who are new to lace knitting, and the open pattern it produces just screams summer to me.

The original idea with this design was to make a beachy bathing suit cover, but I think this top would be great away from the beach or the pool just with a simple tank top underneath as well.

Materials:

  • four skeins Millefili Fine from Filatura di Crosa, or about 550 yards of any fine weight cotton yarn (more for a larger size)
  • one pair size 4 US needles
  • scissors
  • yarn needle

Gauge:

After blocking, about 25 stitches and 30 rows per 4 inches (5 stitches and 7.5 rows per inch). Gauge is not very critical since work is stretchy.

Size:

Finished piece is about 26 inches around and 29 inches long. It fits a teenager or small woman (remember, it stretches some). To make the work larger, cast on two more stitches on each piece for each inch larger you'd like the finished piece to be.

Instructions:

  1. Cast on 70 stitches (or more if a larger piece is desired as described above).
  2. Knit in Turkish Stitch (see below) until piece measures about 26 inches.
  3. Bind off.
  4. Knit another piece in the same manner.
  5. Block both pieces to the same size. Mine came out 13 inches wide and 29 inches long.
  6. Sew pieces together along one of the shorter sides, two inches on each side. Sew along long sides, beginning about 10 inches from the top, to the bottom.

Turkish Stitch:

Knit one, *yarn over, knit two together. Repeat from * across, ending with a knit one.

Making it Fit:

This pattern is designed to be custom fit to your size. Measure yourself across the front of the chest, from armpit to armpit. This is the measurement I used to figure the width of my project. This pattern relies on the huge amount of stretch that Turkish Stitch brings to the party.

If you're worried about the amount of stretch in your yarn, knit and block a gauge swatch, then test how much stretch it has.

To add width to the piece, remember that you'll want to cast on the same number of stitches for the front and the back, and that Turkish Stitch needs an even number of stitches to work.

Caring for Cotton:

Turkish Stitch has a knack for stretch, but cotton doesn't really have a lot of memory, meaning it won't always spring back to the original shape when you take it off or launder it. You may find that reblocking the piece each time you wash it (or at least squishing it back to rectangular) will help it hold its shape.

Over time your garment will do more hanging than clinging. If you want it to stay super-clingy, choose a cotton yarn that's blended with nylon or Lycra for extra spring. Personally, I like hanging.

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