I announced last week that I was officially done with my Summer Reading List, and now I can say that I am officially done with my Summer Knitting list! Now that I’m done, and free to knit whatever, I feel adrift in an ocean of options and I have no idea what to do next! (Except you, Halloween Knitting. I’m coming for you next.) I can’t wait to show you my Del Sol Tunic. If you follow me on Instagram (@yarnsleylane) you probably heard me complaining about the 19″ of straight stockinette that I had to slog through. All that knitting was totally worth it, though, because the Del Sol Tunic turned out great.
Del Sol is a pattern by Veronika Jobe of YOTH Yarns that is designed to be knit as a tank, tunic or (eek!) dress. I chose to do the Tunic version, because I saw the tank at a YOTH trunk show and it was itty bitty. Veronika Jobe designed the Del Sol tunic to be reversible from front to back. It features a v-neck on one side (technically the front) and a scoop neck on the other side (the back). I’ve tried it both ways, and I prefer the v-neck in the front. The pattern includes an exposed seam, so pretty hem detailing and a side split.
When I started knitting my Del Sol Tunic, I didn’t realize that there was also a shoulder strap detail. The straps actually end up more like a tube that flattens out on either end to create the rest of the bust. Each straps is made by purling and slipping every other stitch. I had the. hardest. time. with it. I don’t know what it was. Once I finished the straps, I liked the effect, but for some reason I really struggled with the construction.
The scoop neck, too, was a little confusing. In order to maintain the slipped stitch edging that is seen throughout the rest of the garment, the pattern calls for you to knit an I cord and then pick up stitches from it to join the two back straps. I can’t even begin to explain how it worked, but it did.
My favorite part of the patter was the little hem detail. By binding off and picking up stitches, you get a nice chain of horizontal stitches just above the hem. I think it’s a great little detail that adds visual interest in a minimalist way. It looks especially good with the side split in the hem. The end product is easily wearable, which I know because I work it all day Saturday. I wore a cami under mine, because the neckline was a smidge low. I was glad that I did, because the top relaxed a little throughout the day (and got some epic seatbelt wrinkles). It would have been really low without the cami.
I knit my Del Sol Tunic in the suggested yarn, YOTH’s Best Friend. It’s a cotton and wool blend with an emphasis on the cotton. I used the color Oyster, which is a pale blue. I snagged this yarn at the YOTH trunk show. I’m really happy with how it knits up. The finished fabric is soft and pleasantly drapey. Despite the wool content, it’s cool enough to wear in the summer.
While I’m happy with the finished product, Best Friend was challenging to knit with. The cotton means that the yarn has little to no give in it. It wore my hands out! I typically knit with wool, which has more spring to it than cotton. Best Friend doesn’t have quite enough wool to give it that bounce. Combine that with the straight back and forth knitting and I was begging The Hubs for hand massages.
Another factor about Best Friend is that there are little bits of cotton husk (debris?) in the yarn. As a big fan of Brooklyn Tweed yarns, I’m no stranger to a little bit of plant matter in my yarn, but the cotton bits were sharp! I didn’t think that the cotton bits were excessive. However, I’ve heard from other people who felt like there were too many.
I actually think that Best Friend would make a great warp yarn for weaving. The cotton keeps it from getting too stretching, but it doesn’t feel like twine the way that 100% cotton can. I’ve used in in a few tiny weaving projects, but I’d love to use my leftover yarn one something larger.
Did you reach all of your summer knitting goals? What was your favorite project of the season? What are you looking forward to knitting in the fall? Let me know in the comments!