Each year, I like to start a new project on New Year’s Eve. Typically, it’s a clothing item that I can wear year round or in the summer. For New Year’s Eve in 2021 (meaning the day before 2022), I cast on an Anker’s Summer Shirt. It took me 7 months to finish it, and I want to share the yarn I used and my thoughts on the pattern.
The Anker’s Summer Shirt is a short-sleeved top knitting pattern by Petite Knits. I have long since admired her patterns, as they’re all so easily wearable and simple. This is my first time knitting one of her patterns, and I was a little nervous. Since I’d read through the pattern before, I knew that she writes in such a way that you have to think through what you’re about to do. Her instructions aren’t explicit, but they are straightforward. I hope that makes sense. I’m not sure if it’s the translation from Danish to English or her being an experienced knitter that makes her instructions slightly difficult. And it’s not that they’re truly difficult; I just had to think through each step to make sure I was about to knit it correctly. Coming from knitting a lot of Helen Stewart patterns, the style of writing in the Petite Knits is just different. You have to fill in the blanks with your own knowledge a little bit. All that being said, I have already cast on my second Petite Knits pattern and plan to start another one!
I knew I wanted the finished garment to be neutral and easily paired with different bottoms. Typically, I wear it with jeans, but I could also wear it with pants or a dress. I chose a beautiful neutral yarn from Little Fox Yarn. Their Linea yarn is the one I used for a previous New Year’s Eve cast on (ironically, another short-sleeved top). I decided on the colorway Gossamer. Gray is one of my favorite colors, so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it. I used exactly 3 skeins without any leftovers. It felt like a game of yarn chicken at the very end!
Swatching is not my favorite knitting activity. I honestly just want to get started on a project. I have been known to properly swatch from time to time, but that was not the case with the Anker’s Summer Shirt. I decided to start the sweater and check my gauge along the way. Luckily, this worked out for me this time! I gauge with US2 and 4. I used 2 for the ribbing and 4 for the rest of the sweater. If my guess had not worked out, I would have ripped out all my work and started over.
The size that I chose is large. I felt it fit me well, but the lower body portion of the sweater was more snug than I like. Being a petite pear shape, I do (sometimes) find it difficult to fit knitting patterns to my body. In this case, the yoke and sleeves fit really well. When I was finished knitting it, the fit of the yoke felt great so I knew I didn’t want that blocked very much, if at all. When I blocked it, I left the yoke out of the water and rested it on the counter. The bottom portion stayed in the water. After squeezing out as much water as possible, I used blocked wires to keep the sides of the sweater even and straight. It worked! It fits so much better after blocking.
The look of this yarn is lovely and rustic, it definitely feels like a piece I’ll wear for years to come. However, the feeling of the yarn is a little rough. I’ve heard that linen softens up with use, and so I hope this does feel softer over time. This pattern is so simple and beautiful, I’ve decided to make another one. In fact, the yarn I ordered just arrived today! I’ll be sharing that in my next episode over on my YouTube channel.
You can find my Anker’s Summer Shirt notes here (ravelry link).