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Well, I think this picture just about says it all:

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Can you guess what it’s saying? (Here’s a big ol’ hint: I’m a cover girl! Well, sorta.)

Yep, my Mackinac Tank is featured on the cover of the Summer 2013 issue of Knitscene! Here’s a summary of my reaction: complete and utter surprise, shock, glee, disbelief, and obviously, excitement!

I first found out about the cover from Amy Palmer, the new editor-in-chief of Knitscene, via Twitter. Ever since, I’ve been eager to put this blog post together in anticipation of the issue hitting the newsstands next Tuesday, April 16th. (I think that subscribers might be getting their issues already in the mail. If not, there’s always the magazine rack at Barnes & Noble.)

In retrospect, the Mackinac Tank was another one of those ideas that nearly knit itself. Do you know what I mean? When the idea seems to come to you as a bolt of inspiration? When the details work themselves out without a struggle? When you just know that the idea in your mind will translate well to the finished fabric? (Now if only this situation would happen to me on a much more frequent basis hehehehe…)

Anyway, let’s check out some of the fun details of the Mackinac Tank that deserve a little shout out.

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(all images copyright of, and courtesy of, Interweave)

Obviously, the Mackinac Tank is….a tank top. And if you know me, you know I wear a LOT of tank tops in the summer. But all tanks are not created equal. A good tank top needs a good, not-too-tight but still body-skimming fit and a clean structure. To obtain the right fit, we’ve got two allies: the yarn and the shaping. The folks at Knitscene sent me a lovely sportweight linen-blend yarn, Firefly from Classic Elite Yarns, that produces a breathable and lightweight fabric that also drapes beautifully and has a slight sheen. The fabric only gets softer and drapier with washing (as linen is known to do). As for the shaping, it’s achieved with strategically placed waist shaping intended to flatter in the right places. And when it comes to a clean structure, the best way to obtain that with a smooth, plant-based yarn is simple: knit the garment flat and seam it. I know we all love our seamless knitting, but the seams are really important to keeping the fit of the tank consistent over multiple wearings. Plus, the seams are really easy – just two side seams!

But doesn’t a good tank top need a bit more, something fun? You bet, and that’s where the ruffles and the straps come in.

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First, I love the “unexpectedness” of the ruffle detail. What appears to be a simple tank with a square neckline reveals something more whimsical when you turn around. The ruffles couldn’t be easier to work, since they’re actually worked as you knit the back of the tank, so there aren’t extra seams to complicate matters.

Second, the straps: they’re actually worked as part of the armhole finishing! Yep, this was another one of those “aha” moments for me. How many times does a tank top not have straps that are wide enough? So why not just knit them to your preferred width? And an easy way to do that is knit the straps as part of the garter edging around the armholes. The pattern specifies how to knit to the particular width shown in the pictures, but if you want slightly wider straps, just knit a few more rows!

So there you have it – my debut as a cover girl. As always, I owe a huge debt to all of the lovely editors at Knitscene; they’re always so professional, responsive, and supportive. (And they take some pretty awesome photos to boot.) It’s a privilege to work with them every time, so I count myself as particularly lucky on this go around.

And with that, I leave you! After all, it’s Masters weekend. I have a serious date with my knitting and the couch. 😉
xoxo, Danielle

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