f.o. : ripple crop top.

For some reason, this Ripple Crop Top by Jessie Mae Martinson took me forever to complete. I cast on during an epic August camping road trip through the Southwest the doc and I took, and didn’t manage to finish it until the start of October.

I did keep putting it down, but it felt like the back of this piece took ages. That being said, I loved this pattern. It was written beautifully and seeing so many amazing Ripple Crops in my social media feed pushed me to finish it.

I think I chose the wrong yarn. Let me expound. I had several skeins of Quince and Co. Tern in the dusk color way kicking around in my stash; I had meant to use it for Birdie by Bristol Ivy that I thought I’d wear to a wedding, then my outfit shifted and I never did cast on. Since I was in need of a certain amount of fingering weight yardage and I didn’t want to shop for new materials, the Tern was the perfect stash yarn waiting in the wings.

But I think my Ripple would have been more successful if I used a sock yarn that had a little less give and drape. This bloomed quite a bit with blocking. Its a gentle fiber and I think it doesn’t have enough structure to create some well placed negative ease. Instead, it’s all ease, and on my petite frame (I did knit the smallest size and went down two needle sizes because I seem to be a very loose knitter in the round), I just feel like I’m lost in the garment. It doesn’t highlight my body in great ways like it did in all those inspirational snaps I saw.

This is a good reminder that stash busting is a tricky endeavor; that you have to be super intentional with material selection. It also has me thinking about how I might repurpose fiber if I end up not knitting something it was intended to be. How do you manage this? I’m getting to a point where I’m almost never shopping for yarn without a pattern in mind, and I’m trying to cast on for a project with said yarn immediately after purchase, to avoid some of this growing stash.

That being said, I’m also looking for tips on how to fix my generally loose tension in the round. Whenever I knit something, I do go down needle sizes, but my gauge swatch isn’t indicative of what happens when I knit fast, get going, and am working on the body. My row gauge always ends up being off and my sweaters end up looking like dresses occasionally (since I’m hovering just under 5 feet tall). Would metal needles rectify some of this? Does anyone else have this problem? Send advice my way, please!

My Ripple Crop looks so beautiful just hanging here. I wish it looked this beautiful on.

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