Kristen Dussault, @dosoknits
Pattern: Rift by Jacqueline Cieslak
Size: 52" (12" of positive ease from upper bust)
4.6 skeins / 766 yds / 232 grams of Dapple in Blaze by Brooklyn Tweed
Chiaogoo Interchangeable needles in US 7
Additional cord to hold stitches
- Added 3 additional inches to the body length. I wanted this to be a slightly cropped T-shirt that could be worn with high-waisted and mid-rise bottoms.
- I started with a German Twisted Cast On instead of a long tail cast on - this is my go to cast on
- Added vertical bust darts instead of horizontal bust darts (will share more in the post)
- Added an i-cord bind-off around the neckline instead of a simple bind off; I was interested to see how it would look and wanted a more structured and clean finished edge.
Every morning I wake up and enjoy a warm cup of coffee while relaxing and connecting with one of my knitting projects. The simplicity of a morning routine is something I try to carry over into the rest of my day and that begins with my wardrobe. I have always been a person who wants a closet full of items that are easy to throw on and walk out the door in - no fuss, easy to style alone or with other pieces, while also making me feel confident, but most importantly, comfortable. As a knitter, I have been delving more and more into garment making in order to add pieces into my wardrobe that I love, but that are also tailored to fit my body.
The Rift Tee was my very first knitted garment. The first time I worked with this pattern, I made it a little over a year and a half ago. For a first garment it was a terrific pattern. Jacqueline walks you through so many custom adjustments allowing you to fit the garment to your body in whatever manner you envision. There are instructions to add bust darts based on bust size, a custom bicep adjustment, and two different neckline options which can be used on either the front or back. She also includes video tutorials for how to do some of the "trickier" techniques such as German Short Rows and a 3-needle bind off. Explanations are sprinkled throughout the pattern explaining why you might do some things but might want to omit others; overall, Jacqueline's writing really helps you feel empowered to make the garment that you want and need in your closet. As much as Rift is a pattern, it is also a workshop in modifying a pattern to be what you need it to be - which, if we are putting hours into this handicraft, I think this is one of the most useful lessons I have learned. Immediately after I finished my first Rift, I knew a second would be in my future and my subconscious mind has been sitting on this idea for a while.
Being fairly new to the Fancy Tiger Crafts family, there are so many wonderful items that we carry that I am itching to work with and learn more about. Dapple by Brooklyn Tweed was one that definitely caught my eye on day one though. I love a marled yarn and Dapple is extremely unique from skein to skein; some skeins are extremely light in color, some marled, and some dark shades of the color. Also the composition of the yarn is lovely with a makeup of merino wool (sourced from Colorado) and cotton, I knew my next Rift tee had to be knit in this yarn. Also, since it is a woolen spun, meaning there is a lot of air in the yarn, the finished garment is light which makes it a perfect option for warmer weather - exactly what I was looking for.
When starting my Rift, I knew there were a few things I wanted to do a bit differently than I did the first time around. I knew I wanted this to act like a staple T-shirt in my wardrobe, so I wanted to do the short sleeve version. I also wanted it pretty loose with decent drape, so I chose a size with about 12" of positive ease from my upper bust. I also made a decision to add 3 additional inches to the body of the garment. With the original pattern being more cropped, I wanted a bit more length in order to wear this with high-waisted or mid-rise pants.
The main difference and modification I wanted to make this time was I wanted to add vertical bust darts instead of horizontal bust darts, which Jacqueline includes in the pattern. Bust darts add a bit of extra fabric to help accommodate extra width you might have in your bust area that a design might not account for - standard garment grading typically only accounts for a difference of 2 inches difference from a persons upper bust and their full bust measurement ( a standard B cup), so anyone with a larger bust size might benefit from including bust darts in their garments. Horizontal bust darts are typically made with German Short Rows and add extra fabric at a specific height in a garment, comparatively vertical bust darts are sets of increases and decreases which finish before separating for your sleeves when knitting a bottom up sweater.
I took a class with Kim McBrian Evans through Vogue Knitting Live about adding bust darts into knitting patterns, and it is something I am still gaining confidence in. There is a bit of math to determine how many and where to place bust darts, but a nice thing about vertical bust darts is there is a lot more flexibility in where and how to add them, so modifying patterns is easy. I won't bore you with the math, but to sum it up, I added roughly 3 inches worth of bust darts starting 4 inches before I planned to separate for my sleeves. Honestly, I love the little semi-circle of increases and decreases that appear in the finished garment - they are so subtle that no one would notice them, but as the maker I love that I can see the modification I made in order to make this fit perfectly for me.
Dapple is such a unique yarn and I think you can really see that in this finished garment. I used one vary marled skein and the remainder were all darker tones. I began using the marled as a fun accent to go with the ribbing on the bottom of the Tee. Once I finished with the ribbing, I began alternating skeins the rest of the way through the garment; I would knit one round with the marled skein and then the next with a darker skein. I continued this all the way through the garment adding a new skein in when one finished. Even with all 5 skeins coming from the same dye lot, variation happens from skein to skein . My Rift has a fun color block effect which I love. Even if a colorblock was not my initial plan, the outcome is gorgeous and the yarn was able to showcase itself in a way I never anticipated.
With warmer months on the horizon, I envision this top as a go to in my closet. Paired with jeans or shorts, I am excited to wake up one morning, pour myself a cup of coffee and enjoy watching the sunrise from my balcony in my new Rift Tee.