Date Night Tunic

Catalog PhotoI found this pattern in a Herrshner’s catalog that came in the mail and instantly fell in love with it. The kit can be purchased through their website and comes with the pattern as well as the yarn required to complete the project. It uses Red Heart Sparkle Soft yarn in black, and it’s wonderful to work with. When I first saw it and saw that it was using a yarn that looks like it contains some sort of tinsel, I was a little apprehensive. I thought for sure it would be one of those itchy yarns that constantly irritates your skin when you wear the finished garment, and that’s a big problem for my sensitive skin. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. If you look at pictures of the yarn online it doesn’t quite do it justice, so if possible try to visit your local craft store and get your hands on this yarn. You’ll love how soft it is, I promise. Plus, it’s 99% acrylic and 1% metallic, which makes it machine washable. I would definitely use the gentle cycle on it, but it still beats hand-washing.

The pattern itself is worked in separate sections rather than in the round like I originally thought. You knit from the bottom up, and sew the pieces together when finished. The front and back pieces are pretty similar except for the shoulder shaping, and the sleeves are also surprisingly worked as a flat piece rather than in the round. There are two lace knit patterns in this, the lattice knit and the medallion knit. Here’s a closeup of both:Lace Closeup

When the directions tell you to use stitch markers they’re not kidding. Use them. I’m serious. I’m usually pretty good at keeping track of where I am in a pattern and what comes next, but I tend to do a lot of cable knitting which is entirely different from lace knitting. Lots of knitting stitches together, passing slipped stitches over and yarning over in this, it gets confusing. It also isn’t always immediately apparent which stitch to do next, so keeping track is an absolute must. My first few cracks at the lattice knit sections resulted in first too few stitches on the needle, then too many. Use stitch markers. If you don’t have stitch markers, don’t fret! You can make them. I don’t own a lot of the extra fancy knitting implements such as stitch markers, stitch holders, or cable needles, I make do with what I have. For stitch markers, I take a small section of yarn of a different color and essentially just tie it in a circle. Place it over your needle and knit around it. I like using a different color piece of yarn better than some plastic loop because it’s flexible and allows you to keep your stitches more even so they don’t get stretched out. I use a longer strand of different color yarn for a stitch holder, too. No need to get fancy, and it gives some of your leftover yarn a purpose at least for a little while.

When I finiFinished Tunicshed this project I noticed that the sleeves came out a bit longer than the pattern intended. In the original pattern photo, it shows a 3/4 sleeve, and mine came out as full sleeves. Maybe it’s because I’m kind of short and have shorter limbs, maybe I miscalculated, or maybe it stretched out when I tried it on. In any case, I kind of like the full-length sleeve, but keep that in mind when creating your own. I’m only 5′ 2″ tall, so if you’re taller and longer of limb, I’m sure this will come out the right length. If you’re short like me, just don’t knit the sleeves as long as the pattern says to. It calls for you to knit them 18″ long, but you could stop at 15″ or 16″ for a shorter sleeve. Of course, if you like the full sleeve look and you’re also taller, simply add inches. That’s my favorite thing about knitting and crafting in general – you can adjust any pattern to suit your taste.

Happy stitching!

Links:

Herrshner’s online catalog Date Night Tunic kit

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