ruffle tank bliss…

…and how I got there, aka adventures in applied i-cord.

My Ruffle Tank is done.


I love it. It’s perfect. My favorite FO of the year. This is the picture I sent to my friend Diane. We had been discussing applied i-cord edgings via email and text. She wanted to see the FO, which I was wearing hot off the needles, and I didn’t have a picture yet. So I took one.

I started this project last year, after seeing Leigh Radford, its designer, wear hers to knit night. I knit on mine last year until Sock Summit, when I lost my annotated instructions at Deb Accuardi’s pre-summit luncheon/yarn tasting. My fault, not hers! I set the project aside in a fit of pique.

Fast forward to last month, when I finally felt that I could face puzzling out what I had done on the back, so the front would match.


What was I waiting for? I wish I had finished this last year; it’s so much fun to wear.

Ruffle Tank by Leigh Radford
Smallest size 37.5 (and modified smaller)
Louet MerLin Sport Weight, 3 skeins French Blue
Lantern Moon Ebony circulars, US size 3

Mods: I eliminated the keyhole neckline on the back; it was pretty but I wasn’t looking forward to i-cording around it, and I knew I’d never unbutton/button it. I also made the tank shorter overall (because I’m short), and narrower than the smallest size by 4 sts on the front and 4 sts on the back to try to get it to be closer to 36 inches.

After applying my i-cord edging to the neckline, I could no longer get the sweater over my head easily! This is what prompted me to chat up Diane, who had the same issue with the armholes of a tank top. She solved it by crocheting the edge instead. I wasn’t willing to give up yet, because I had already had a discussion with Leigh about i-cord and right and wrong sides, and I really wanted to do it her way. After googling around a bit, I came upon some suggestions to work the i-cord without always attaching it every row. Yarnpath and Mason-Dixon Knitting, were particulary helpful. Armed with this advice, I picked up sts from the wrong side and worked the applied i-cord edging, working an unattached row of i-cord after every 3 attached rows. It worked like a charm. The armholes were still a bit snug using this ratio, so I re-knit them working an unattached row of i-cord after every 2 attached rows. Perfect. And the unattached rows are undetectable to the naked eye. I finished using the Purlbee’s excellent kitchener stitch tutorial (yes, I started with a provisional cast on).

I worked my i-cord using an SSK to attach it to the edge of the tank; I liked this better than PSSO or k2tog. I picked up several sts at a time on the body, like Kelly Petkun did in this video. I also slipped the sts back to the left needle, rather than sliding the dpn through. You can do yours any way you like.

I haven’t washed the garment yet because I wanted to wear it yesterday to work and to knit nite. I don’t know how the fabric will react to the washer and dryer; it may get a lot more relaxed. (I know, I didn’t wash my gauge swatch, naughty me.) I did steam it a bit to relax the ribbing, and the fabric took on a lovely drape. I would happily make another of these. If I do it again, I’ll knit it in the round (it took me 6 tries to get a seam that I liked), and maybe eliminate the little open side seams at the bottom 2 inches of of the tank.

Thanks, Leigh, for a great pattern!

22 responses to “ruffle tank bliss…

  1. It looks great on you!!

  2. Could you be any more adorable in that top??? It looks terrific! I love the color and those ruffles are so fun! Did they take forever to knit? I’ve always shied away from ruffles.

  3. It’s stunning!! Well done… look amazing in it!

  4. That is an amazing sweater! It looks wonderful on you.

  5. This looks so beautiful on you! Great job!

  6. How pretty! I was interested in your take on the i-cord as I have some coming up!

  7. adorable & very elegant! thanks for those tips on i-cord.

  8. Such a beautiful colour and pretty details! And it looks great on you! 🙂

  9. You go girl! It looks so adorable on you and finished very nicely.

  10. Very nice!! You wear it well, too; that color is beautiful on you. I must get back to my knitting! Too much time away from it this summer. I think it’s because I don’t have a project I’m enthralled by at the moment. Will have to fix that…thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Agreed! Perfect!

  12. THis is such a pretty top! Congrats on working through the i-cord roadblocks.

  13. Soooooo pretty and flattering! Great job!

  14. i love FO works!! 🙂 sadly, i don’t have many of my own right now. not even very many things on the needles in this house…must rectify that! 🙂 the color is fab on you!!

  15. Looks great! And I love the color! Both the fit and the color are great on you!

  16. It looks fabulous! You did a beautiful job with the knitting.

  17. It is gorgeous…. it was great to see it in person! Terrific color too. You are amazing Michele!!!

  18. Congratulations! It looks wonderful on you!

  19. I can see why you’re so pleased! It’s fantastic & looks so nice on you. Well done!

  20. Oh how fun! It looks great on you!

  21. This is so cute! That’s a great color on you, too! Glad you found a way to get the applied i-cord to work.

  22. Very pretty – and it looks great on you!