Review of Knitted Tanks and Tunics

Review of Knitted Tanks and Tunics
While many of us are knit winter clothing year-round, it’s always nice to also give summertime some yarn love. Angela Hahn makes this easy for us with her book Knitted Tanks and Tunics. If you’re looking for nice patterns to slide over tank tops, she’s got you covered (please excuse the pun!)

As the subtitle of the book makes clear, this is a primarily a collection of twenty-one patterns for sleeveless tops. However, Hahn begins with a chapter called “Making Sure Your Knits Fit,” which in my opinion is a must-read for everyone. She explains how patterns are sized, how to measure yourself and choose the best pattern for your body type, how much ease to include when choosing a size, and how to alter a pattern to improve fit. To facilitate this process, patterns include a summary of how to customize for one’s own needs.

In the opening, Hahn also includes information on knitting with plant fibers, especially cotton and linen. Those of us who live in warmer climates will especially appreciate her tips, some of which I have not seen anywhere else. The information on finishing items knit with plant yarns is especially helpful.

When searching for warm weather knitting patterns, it’s common to find items that either riff on vest style or that work as lacy cover-ups for tank tops and bathing suits. These patterns are different; they are meant as tops to be worn over bras or bralettes as one wears a sleeveless tee shirt. They offer clever tweaks on classic design, and use a variety of techniques, including stranded knitting and lacework, but always with coverage that allows one to wear them as stand-alone garments.

Those of us with fuller busts will appreciate the number of patterns with shoulder straps wide enough to conceal foundation garments; conversely, there are also patterns with halter or yoke necks. In terms of wearability, any of these garments would be appropriate for casual settings, or for wearing under a cardigan or jacket for more formal occasions.

The majority of the patterns included use medium to large gauges. One pattern uses fingering to sport-weight yarn; roughly half use DK, the rest requiring worsted- to -bulky weight. While this makes for quicker knitting, it also presents a dilemma for those of us looking for visually slimming tops. This issue is partially mitigated by the waist shaping and alteration information; one can also read through the pattern to determine if one can easily alter the numbers for thinner yarn. As written, the patterns call for a variety of mid- to higher-priced yarns, but this can easily be modified by those who know how to substitute.

All in all, this is a wonderful resource for knitters searching out sleeveless projects, one that is well worth the time spent in browsing through the tome. The photographs are lovely, and this book lends itself well to wardrobe dreaming and planning.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Stackpole Books or with the author. I purchased my copy with my own funds.

Hahn, Angela. Knitted Tanks and Tunics: 21 Crips, Cool Designs for Sleeveless Tops. . Stackpole Books, Lanham, MD, 2018. ISBN: 978-0811717-977

You Should Also Read:
Review of Yarn Substitution Made Easy
Knitting with Plant Yarns
I Can't Get Gauge!

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This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.