Following the failed attempt at making this summer top, I frogged the project and used the yarn (Patons Hempster) to make the Icarus tank from Knitty issue 47

I bought this yarn at my local yarn shop, The Yarn Guy, last summer, and had since frogged twice, but it’s hardly splitting, so it’s a nice a durable one. The Yarn Guy is definitely operating online and has a huge amount of stock, really friendly and helpful folks, so please check them out if you’re looking to support independent yarn shops in the Toronto area.

I made some modifications so that it was knitted flat in two pieces, with lace pattern on the shoulders. Not that I didn’t have the circulars to knit in the round, but knitting flat just feels more straightforward to me at the moment, something I have the mental capacity to handle.

The rolling of stockinette stitch at the hems blocked out surprisingly well. I’m hoping it won’t roll back much after wearing and washing. 

The modifications I made is for a boxy-shape top that is cropped length. It is worked flat and seamed at the shoulders and sides. It measures 36″ around. The yarn is DK weight and I used 4.5 mm needles.


CO 86. 

Knit in stockinette for 4 inches, then begin lace patter as indicated in the Icarus tank pattern for working flat.

(It may be helpful to note that it’s actually easier to read from the chart than the written pattern, as there are a few errors in the written one and can cause some confusion.)

Repeat lace pattern until piece is 18″, BO.


CO 86.

Knit in stockinette until piece is 15.25″. 

Work lace pattern row 14–19, but reversed and split up over the two shoulders, as follows.

On row 14, p 6, pm, p 5, pm, p till there are 11 stitches left, pm, p 5, pm, p 6.

On row 15, begin with the 10th stitch in the chart, and k both the 10th and 11th stitches (i.e. omit the cable twist on this row and row 18), then follow the rest of the chart. k till marker, then work stitches 1–11 of lace chart (omitting the cable twist in stitches 10 and 11).

Work the rest of the lace pattern as above rearrangement of stitches.

In the second repeat of the lace pattern, start shaping neck at the same time.

On row 14, p 28, BO 30, place the 28 stitches on spare cable needle, then p the remaining 28 stitches.

While following the lace pattern (and incorporating 5 more stitches toward the centre every time the pattern repeats), k2tog on the neck edge of each RS row seven times. The last RS row will be row 15. BO 21 stitches.

With RS facing, attach yarn to the other neck edge. ssk, then work the rest of the row with lace pattern row 15. 

While following the lace pattern, ssk on the neck edge of each RS row six more times. The last RS row will be row 15. BO 21 stitches. 

Block the pieces. Sew together shoulder and side seams.

Hope everyone is keeping well, and finding some knitting/crocheting/creative projects that sustain a sense of well-being at the moment.

reusable mask pattern

Had a virtual hangout with my family following the public health announcement recommending the wearing of homemade face masks when in situations where proper distancing can’t be easily followed. 

My mom said, why don’t you keep yourself busy and make some masks?

When we moved last spring I donated all of my fabric stash to the art therapy school for their puppetry course, because I was trying to minimize the amount of things we had to move. I kept, however, a piece of fabric that was gifted to me along with some tobacco from a woman who was part of an expressive arts group that I co-facilitated 7 or 8 years ago. Over the years I never found a project that was worth using this gift. I also had another piece of vintage floral cotton that I bought from Etsy and was saving for making a dress (that I would never wear anyway). So, miraculously, I had fabric to work with.

Mike found this video tutorial, which is by far the best one I’ve seen. It’s straightforward, easy, and has filter pocket.

The living room/corner now a mask-making station.

So I’ve been making them for friends and family, especially those who are still working in essential service roles. The gift that keeps on giving. Finally a project worth using the fabric for.

It’s a good pattern that works well, form-fitting to the face.

I didn’t use elastics for the ears because I don’t have enough of it, and I was reading that elastics irritate the ears anyway. So I crocheted the ties.

Running out of fabric soon, ordered some from a local yarn store, eweknit. If you’re in the Toronto area and want to buy fabrics, please consider supporting them — they’re offering 20% off till end of April and free shipping over $75.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, the CDC also has how-to’s for no-sew versions using a t‑shirt or a bandanna and some hair elastics. 

If you do sew and want to support frontline workers in Ontario, masks can be donated to the Michael Garron Hospital, Trillium Health Partners, this Facebook group that coordinates mask orders and distribution, Sew for TO, and The Sewing Army. (There may be others, these are the ones I know of.) 

Hope you’re staying well as you’re reading this, and please wear a mask if you must go out so as many people as possible can stay well too.



stay home project

I’m still here. Things have slowed down a lot more for me. That is a sign of privilege.  I work at home, with flexible schedule, unstructured time, generous deadlines. To me that’s a lot more difficult than having a fast-paced job and multiple projects at once because now my mind has too much space to think. But I don’t have to work in the frontline, my work isn’t essential, I don’t have to risk exposure, so I can’t complain. 

I kept seeing the cover of Inside Crochet issue 123 on my Instagram feed. I was really intrigued by the lace pattern juxtaposed to rows of double-crochet stitches. And I had skeins of Patons Hempster that I frogged from another project. So I downloaded the magazine and made an effort to work on it every day.

I knew from the measurements that it was going to be a very over-sized fit. But I couldn’t tell until I put it together –

It was REALLY big on me. Like I made a table cloth and wore it.

I even went down a hook size (4 mm hook instead of 4.5 mm as called for in the pattern). I’m on the small scale of humans but I surely am not that small. I don’t know if I messed up the gauge or if the model on the cover is a lot taller or wider in the shoulders? I still really like the way the lace pattern is incorporated. So I’m going to scale down on both the yarn weight and the hook size and see if it helps. Currently waiting for more yarn to arrive in the mail so, to be continued.

In the meanwhile, passing on some cat love from a friend who made sure I got lots of screen time with her cat.

That look says, “no work, all cat today.”

Wishing you good health, safety, and peace of mind today. Take good care.