Tank Top Knitting Pattern Yarn Choices

Tank Top Knitting Pattern Yarn Choices

Monday, March 28th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell

Araucania Ruca Yarn

Araucania Ruca Yarn Swatch

When designing a new knitting pattern, I like to get several different balls of yarn and knit swatches to see how they knit up, what kind of drape they have, and if they create the type of fabric I’m looking for. Recently, I went to the yarn store looking for yarn for a tank top that I’m designing. I wanted something that would knit up with a bit of drape but not be too slinky and yet not too crisp. I wanted it to be lightweight and breathable. I’m also toying with the idea of creating a matching shrug or cover up in the same yarn because here in Seattle tank top wearing season is limited to just a few months and I can get more use out of a tank top if I can layer it.

With the help from the saleswoman at the yarn store, I came home with four different balls of yarn:

  • Louisa Harding Albero, 50% Cotton, 50% Lenpur (Viscose), 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 110 yards (100 meters), 20 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4.5 mm/7 US, $8.00
  • Araucania Ruca Yarn, 100% sugar cane, 100 grams (3.52 ounces), 263 yards (241 meters),22 stitches = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.75 mm/4-5 US, $14.00
  • Berroco Pure Pima Yarn,100% Pima Cotton,50 grams (1.76 ounces), 115 yards (106 meters), 22 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4 mm/6 US, $6.00
  • Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, 34% Hemp, 41% Cotton, 25% Modal, 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 153 yards (140meters), 22 stitches X 30 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.5 mm/4 US, $7.00

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Swatch

I must be a loose knitter because I can never get the gauge on the ball band with the size knitting needle that is recommended. I first knit up the Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy with a size 2 needle but decided to go down to a size zero because I didn’t like the look of the fabric. However, that going down needle sizes did not help. The resulting fabric is too scratch and stiff. I will not be using this yarn for my tank top.

The yarn I liked best of the four yarns was the Araucania Ruca Yarn. It has a nice drape to it and feels soft. Because it is hand dyed it has slightly different shades throughout the skein, it has depth of color. I only bought one ball of this yarn so I will need to purchase more. The yarn does not have dye lots and they recommend alternating between balls to get a consistent color in the garment. That could be a problem, but I like this yarn enough that I may not mind so much the extra knitting effort.

You can read my full reviews of both these yarns at: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review and Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review. I also reviewed the Louisa Harding Albero and Berroco Pure Pima Yarn yarns, neither of which I will be using for my tank top.

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