After looking through the gallery of finished Ripley tanks before I got started, I was pretty sure this was going to be a loose flowy tank, but I didn’t want it to be too much so. I opted to make the size 34″ inch bust circumference even though my bust is larger than that. It fits pretty well after intentional shrinking (read on below), although I honestly think I could go down a size if I make it again, which I probably will.
After finishing the tank, I tried it on and it was as I had worried, a baggy disaster. I couldn’t share photos from that point as they would have been indecent, so I didn’t bother taking any. I ended up crocheting a single line of fairly tight crochet stitches around the full circumference of both the armholes and the neckline. (See the gallery for a visual of how crucial this was!) This helped immensely with the overall structure of the garment, as well as just giving it a more polished look. I’m tempted to play around with something like an i-cord bind off next time around.
Once the structural issues had been addressed, the tank was better but still pretty baggy and the fabric had a looser weave than I desired. Instead of blocking it as recommended, I machine washed it in warm water and then laid flat to dry. This shrunk it just enough to have a more normal fit and made the fabric have the tighter weave I was hoping for. I suppose this might be achieved by going down a needle size as well. I may experiment next time.
Reading this guide about working with kestrel was essential in a nice finished product. For the stockinette portions of this piece, I think sewing the ends of the yarn together is a necessity to have a smooth finish to the fabric rather than lumps where the ends have been woven in. It other textures, it matters less. In the same vein, the trick to help get the twists out of the yarn so that it is knit into the work relatively straight is also very important. Looking at other finished projects, seeing lots of twists in the yarn gave an uneven look, and this simple trick addresses it well.
This pattern is…okay? It feels more like a rough draft of a great idea as written, but my changes helped me end up with a garment I’m really happy with. The instructions were clear for the most part, though there were some points where even as an experienced knitter I was a bit puzzled.
I was not pleased that the pattern was significantly off in regards to the amount of yarn required. I saw that many other knitters experienced this as well. I ended up having to order additional skeins to be able to complete my project. Not awesome.
Overall, this pattern is a fun knit that I think would be good for a relative beginner with a bit of experience. The construction and techniques involved make for a quick engaging knit that would be a skill builder for those who have maybe never done lace work, tried a knitted cast on, and multiple shaping techniques.