The Yuma Tunic may seem impractical-- one-shouldered?? All lace?? Balancing a baby on one hip while wearing Yuma may not be for everyone.... On the other hand, it's simpler than you might think to knit, it's quite flattering, and you can use it as a layering piece, over a tank or a t-shirt.
This tunic is quite simple in construction: it's really an angled tube, with one side of the tube separated into front and back and shaped for the armhole, and then joined at the top for the shoulder. The diagonal hem and neckline are created by the natural biasing of the lace pattern. After I noticed this biasing while making a swatch, I tried another swatch, changing the direction of the decreases and yarnovers, and when the fabric slanted in the other direction, I got the idea of using the two mirror image lace patterns to create the front and back of a top.
I found a really special yarn for Yuma: Classic Elite Yarns (CEY) Firefly, a DK-weight blend of linen and viscose. The linen has a slightly rough, dry texture, and some fine fibers which give the yarn a slight halo, almost as if it had mohair or angora in it (but it doesn't!), while the viscose adds drape and sheen. And the colors are stunning; I decided on Bronze, a rich dark gold, but it was hard to choose between Bronze, Hyacinth (a metallic gray-violet) and Mermaid (silvery teal). For this design, it's worked on larger needles than suggested on the ball band (US 7 instead of US 5) to create even more drape, creating a light and airy fabric.
I used CEY yarns for two other projects in Knitted Tanks and Tunics-- Provence for the Sedalia Tank and Sanibel for the Odessa Tunic-- but they are very different. Provence is a classic DK-weight plied cotton yarn, with a firm hand and great stitch definition, but not a lot of drape, while Sanibel is a very drapey, worsted weight tape yarn made of a blend of cotton and viscose. My blog post about the Odessa Tunic goes into more detail about Sanibel yarn, and I plan to post about the Sedalia Tank and Provence yarn soon.
(All photos copyright Tom Moore Studios)