The Greenville Tank, one of the 21 designs in my new book Knitted Tanks and Tunics, has three unusual features, all of which combine to create a top with a very flattering fit. The first feature is the corded accent under the bust, which is created by binding off all of the body stitches, and then picking them up again, but from the wrong side, leaving the bound off edge visible on the right side of the fabric.
The second feature is the way the corded accent curves up at the sides; this was achieved by using short rows to shape the bust area, but also was a result of the natural shape of the side lace panels.
And the side lace panels are the third unusual feature, by virtue of their placement and also the effect that the lace pattern has on the tank's shaping. Like most lace knitting, the pattern combines increases (yarnovers) and decreases to create decorative holes while keeping the stitch count the same; in this pattern, the increases are clustered near the center, and the decreases all occur at the outer edges, which causes the rows to appear to angle outward from the panel center. This also creates parallel curves at the bottom and top of the panel; the bottom curve shapes the hem into two shallow points over the hipbones (best shown in the above photo).
The lace pattern looks to me like sprays of flowers...and also like fern fronds, which is why I named an earlier version of this design the Fern Fitted Shell. The contract for this book stipulated that I could include up to five previously published patterns, and I decided to include three (Fern, the Katama/Sayre Tank, and the Madaket/Sedalia Tank). In the case of the other two, I made no significant changes to the design.
But in the case of Fern, I had never liked the way the top curve caused by lace pattern created some loose fabric at the top of the panel (see above photo), so for Greenville, I experimented with ways to fix this, and found that adding short row shaping did the trick.
I also chose a different yarn for Greenville: Cascade Yarns Avalon, a 50/50 blend of cotton and acrylic. It's cable-plied, which gives it a bit of surface texture and makes it wonderfully resistant to splitting. It's machine washable (and dryable, but for the lace in Greenville to look good, it has be to be blocked and dried flat). It's not as heavy as 100% cotton yarn would be, and keeps its shape better. And it comes in a wide range of colors; I love a nice off-white, but if I made myself another Greenville, I would probably choose Dark Denim (a steely gray-blue) or Fawn (greige).
(First three photos copyright Tom Moore Studios)