Sometimes you get a call for submissions from a knitting magazine and you actually have just the perfect thing to send in. The Robie Tank was one of those instances. So I swatched it up, and then was sent some perfect yarn – Solemate from Lorna’s Laces. I’ve loved Lorna’s Laces pretty much as long as I’ve been knitting, but the Solemate (and it’s sport-weight sister Sportmate) is like the perfect warm weather yarn. I used the Sportmate in my book Warm Days, Cool Knits, so working with the Solemate was a no brainer.
The magic of the Robie Tank is in the choice of yarns. You pick one crazy yarn and one solid or neutral. And as far as the crazy yarn, the crazier the better. The Hawthorne colorway of Solemate has like all the colors. You could even choose one of those colors that we knitters affectionately refer to as “clown barf”. But the natural yarn I used for the solid breaks up any pooling and turns the multi-colored yarn into something that looks actually planned!
Robie is worked from the bottom up – starting with a lace border worked sideways. Then you pick up stitches and work a striped slip-stitch pattern in the two colors. The sweet thing about the Robie Tank is that because it’s slip-stitch colorwork you are only working with one color at a time. Add in some waist shaping and you’ve got the making for a shapely, flattering tank.
To finish it off, you work some simple picot edgings around the neckline and armholes. It echoes the bottom lace edging and turns the geometric slip stitch patterned top into something downright girly. The strong lines of the slip stitch give it almost a corset kind of feel. So pick yourself a crazy color and a coordinating solid and make yourself something lovely.