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My bamboo yarn: Isn’t the sheer prettiness of it, the delicate morning-sky shimmer, utterly enticing?.  I had planned to set it off with a lace pattern – a simple pleated t-shirt with lace panels down the front. All was going well, but a couple of lace repeats later, I realised I would certainly run out of yarn. Rip rip.

Enter the Vogue #26 Diagonal Rib Top, which manages to be quite elegant despite the mouthful of a name. Better still, it’s knit on the diagonal, which I’ve never done before. Something new! I switched out the broad horizontal ribs in the pattern with this: four rows stockinette, one row reverse stockinette, the single purl row adding a more refined texture detail than the original chunky stripes.

Also, these horizontal ribs instructions are crazy-making to write out for back-and-forth knitting, especially with an odd-row repeat. You know what I mean: when you’re purling the wrong side, you’re actually knitting the right side, and when you flip your work over, that gets reversed, and then you might need to do purl rows on the front (since it’s a horizontal rib) so you re-re-adjust mentally and, well, all these readjustments make written instructions just look wrong even if they’re not. So all I shall say is this: when I had four rows of stockinette on the front of the work, I knew the next row needed  reverse stockinette bumps on the front. If this reverse st st row was being worked from the front, I purled it and if from the back, I knitted it.

But even with the faithful swatch ready, I couldn’t use it to calculate anything… because I was knitting on the diagonal! Enter a most obligingly striped t-shirt. I wore it, attached safety pins to stripes marking where I’d have to start bust increases or split for the neck, then laid it flat and measured my knitting against it. Since this is knit on the diagonal (will I ever get tired of saying that?!), the middle of the fabric is peaked high above the sides. Meaning, things are … interesting. I had to split for the neck in the middle while the sides were still waist level. However, it does seem to be working out and I’ll start the sleeves soon.

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