Finished Knit: Delineate Tank

Delineate Tank |

These are lovely photos, aren’t they? When I edit them, I bump up the contrast and the warmth and suddenly they look so good I forget that I actually don’t like how this top looks on me.

Delineate Tank |

But that is a damn fine back of a top, isn’t it?  Ah well. It was a fun knit.

Pattern: Delineate Tank

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna in ‘Pink Sands’ 

Mods: Added a split hem approximately 2.5 inches, which I worked in k2 p2 ribbing.

Let’s start with what I love: The yarn. I would knit with this yarn any day of the week, it was really heavenly to knit with. The Sunna base is a merino/cashmere/silk blend, so you know it is crazy soft and makes me want to squeal a bit when I squish it. The pattern was easy to follow, with the charts cleverly designed to change the size of the design as you went on with the knitting. It did mean you had to look at the charts the whole time, but that was fine- the stitch was interesting and I loved watching the design develop. I wasn’t crazy about the way the straps were worked at the shoulder. It involved doing short rows to angle them and provide some shoulder shaping, but for straps I don’t feel it’s necessary and I don’t think did anything to really improve the fit or the way they laid on my shoulders.

I am also really happy with the split hem, it worked out exactly how I wanted it to and I will definitely do this again to a future pullover.

Delineate Tank |

So … I’m not crazy about how it looks on me. It’s fine, sure. It’s okay. But I’m not settling for fine and okay these days.  I want to love this tank top. But I don’t. It’s a fit problem, really. To be pretty blunt about my body type, I am ‘curvy’ in that I have a small waist in relation to my bust and hips. For a top to fall loosely around my midsection means the proportions have to be just right, or I look bigger than I really am. I noticed this is particularly true after I’ve had my kids, because my bust is bigger than it used to be, probably because I haven’t ever gone back down to the weight I was BK – ‘Before Kids’. It’s tough to figure out if I will or not. Wow, I’m really oversharing here, aren’t I? It’s hard to have a conversation about fit without getting into the nitty gritty of body type and style preferences.

Delineate Tank |

That back shot up at the top? I literally have a handful of this top in my hand in front of my stomach, so that we could take a photo of the back without any of it sagging back there. So now I know- A line tops, not for me. Which is a shame, because this was a lovely knit.  And if you have been looking for a great A-line summer knit that is perfect for wonderfully round tummies that don’t want anything showing where your waist begins or ends, I would highly recommend.

While it’s never fun to frog, I have to admit I’m looking forward to knitting with this yarn again! I had an extra skein I didn’t end up using for this, so I’m going back to Ravelry to shop through the patterns and see how this yarn might be a lovely tee or even a light sweater. Because I really, really want to knit this yarn into a garment I want to wear all the time.

Coming soon- outtakes!


  1. Mari-Liis   •  

    Color is absolutely lovely and this yarn looks like heaven. Top looks very good on you – it doesn’t show at all that you are holding somewhere 🙂 Oh what we do to get a beautiful picture 😀 I have thought about knitting a top for myself but I’m not too sure about this…. This one looks OK though…

    • Julie   •     Author

      If you love a line tops, then you would love this! I like a lot of details about the pattern, but I don’t think that it’s something that I love for me. It’s easy for a knit to look good in a photo, but I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s top when I wear this, if you know what I mean. It’s no doubt perfect for someone else!

  2. Susan   •  

    This is very pretty on you! I think we are our own worst critics. I love the color you knitted this up in.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks so much! It’s so true, we are our own worst critics. I adore this colour- the top is fine, it’s not terrible at all. But I love the yarn so much I wanted it to be something I absolutely adored wearing and would reach for all the time. This isn’t quite what I wanted it to be.

  3. M   •  

    Well, the color is gorgeous and the back is very clever, but if you don’t love it, you won’t wear it. So have fun ripping it back. I find a good frog to be cleansing for the soul, so enjoy.

    P.S. your chest will eventually shrink. Just…FYI…mine did. Once my littlest weaned everything went back to what it was long bk.

    • Julie   •     Author

      i agree with you- I love the colour and the back is so clever! I’d like to find a tank top or tee pattern that gives me a fit that I prefer, but incorporate the design elements of this knit that I love best. I can see this being a great mod I’d like to make one day. And it’s true, I imagine that things are definitely going to keep changing for me ‘up top!’ 😉

      • esta   •  

        This would make a great summer cardigan perhaps with that design in the back. As someone who used to have an hourglass figure (BK) I totally feel you. Empire and A-line tops make me look more pregnant, I’ve always preferred fitted jackets and tops. A line skirts on the other hand I do love 🙂

        Enjoy your autumn!

        • Julie   •     Author

          You totally understand my fit dilemma! That is a really good idea about a cardigan with this design in the back- I think there are a lot of great modifications that could happen with this pattern!

  4. Carol   •  

    I think it looks good on you, and it could also be worn in winter as a vest to provide warmth. Its a great colour and style for you. I’m sorry you don’t like it – I think you’re too critical of the fit. You have talked yourself into frogging it, so enjoy the reknit.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I think it’s easy for something to look better in a photo than it actually looks in real life- there is a lot about the tank top that I like, but I don’t feel like it’s something I would wear that often. I love the design, but I find increasingly as I go one with my knitting I’m getting more and more discerning with the what makes a knit something I will choose to wear over and over again. I think if I found a different shape of tank top or tee I would definitely consider making modifications to it to have the design elements of this pattern that I like best. Plus, i loved the yarn so much, I really want to knit it into something I will reach for all the time! The criteria is different for everyone.

  5. Jodi   •  

    It looks beautiful in these photos, but if you’re not happy, you’re not happy. I appreciate the “oversharing” — sounds like the pattern might be perfect for my post-kids tummy. 😉

    Gorgeous yarn, beautiful color, neat back detail.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I think this is an ideal pattern for a lot of people, but I find that the more I knit, the more critical I’m getting about what makes a knit I’m going to actually wear. While I love the process of knitting, I don’t think it’s enough to just enjoy the journey- I want to love and wear (frequently!) the finished product. And I love the back, too!

  6. Sarah   •  

    If you like the back (and it is stunning!), then perhaps find a pattern that will fit well and use this chart pattern for the back of it?! Even if you knit it as a panel to avoid having to do a lot of math for the shaping, you’d still get the impact of the lace. I too cannot do A-Line – makes me feel like I’m wearing maternity clothes. I need to have a waist too. Good luck with the pattern search!

    • Julie   •     Author

      You totally understand my fit problem! That’s a really good idea about finding something else and then modifying it to incorporate the parts of this pattern I love best- I think I will do that!

  7. Katie   •  

    Its absolutely beautiful and I think it looks great. Perhaps you could learn to love it….

    • Julie   •     Author

      I haven’t frogged it yet! It’s possible. I’m going to leave it as it is until I figure out what else I’d like to knit with the yarn, and once I figure that out,t hen i’ll frog it. So if that doesn’t happen before next summer and I try it on again…. you never know!

  8. Marsha   •  

    Love that you plan to frog it and make it into a loved garment. You inspire others to have the same freedom. I knit things I did not like for years and they sat folded away. Somewhere in the time I realized I could just rip it out and start over! Especially with yarn that was a pleasure to knit. I look forward to the next incarnation of this lovely yarn.

    • Julie   •     Author

      It’s so true! We spend so much time on a knit, it’s never fun when we realize that it might not be right for us. But there is no rule saying once it’s knit up you have to love it- good yarn deserves to be re-knit into something you want to wear all the time.

  9. Christine   •  

    It’s funny how as knitters we keep on learning something from each item we knit. Good for you for acknowledging that you don’t like it and are willing to frog. I have a sweater that I knit a while back that I have never worn…although I love the yarn. You have inspired me to frog it.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Frog it!! I think as knitters we often need some time to let the knit rest before deciding to frog, I won’t frog this until I know for sure what I want to knit with it instead. Our feelings can change, but if it’s a great yarn and you’d love to knit it again and the knit never gets worn… I say frog and knit yourself something you will wear and love.

  10. stefanie   •  

    Wonderful job. The orchid is lovely and the back stitch pattern interesting. You look fabulous and don’t look like you’ve had a baby at all.

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Stefanie! I think the top is fine, but it’s just one of those times when you put something on and there’s nothing wrong with it, but you don’t love how it looks on you.

  11. Renee Anne   •  

    Yeah, now I’m curious to see the outtakes because based on these photos, it looks absolutely lovely on you….but I hear you about the boob-waist-hip ratio thing. Any sweater I knit that is supposed to be somewhat fitted has to be almost entirely rewritten for my measurements, which just isn’t fun sometimes. Then again, I’ve only knit one sweater for myself and I can’t wear it anymore (it doesn’t get cold enough here) and I’m working on the second one, which I can try on along the way because it’s a raglan cardigan. Someday, I’ll knit a properly fitted sweater for myself.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I don’t think the outtakes show the baggy-ness so much (although I need to put that post together this week, so I’ll have a chance to get a closer look), but they might show some of it.

  12. Melissa   •  

    beautiful–I love the pattern in the back! before and after kids–life is just never the same all around. The photos do glow, though 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      Haha, thanks Melissa! So true. 😉

  13. Val   •  

    All I can see is a super cute top in a terrific colour! I’m totally going to steal that split-hem mod, it just looks so great and I’m always looking for ways to add ease around my hips. I guess that’s why I gravitate towards a-line tops… they’re just so darned comfy on my flat-chested pear shape (how’s that for over sharing!). I hear you on not being thrilled with the fit but it’s such a beautiful FO – if it’s not too late, would you consider taking in the waist with a sewing machine?

    • Julie   •     Author

      I sooo love the split hem! I’m going to do it again on my next knitted garment, for sure. I have a cardigan I’m just casting on for, and it’s totally going to be modified for the split hem because I loved that detail of it so much. There is a lot I like about this top, but it’s really obvious to me wearing it that it’s not something I’m going to reach for that often. And i like the yarn so much, I would prefer to knit it into something that I want to wear all the time.

  14. Shannon Meyer   •  

    You are just the cutest thing, and your top is pretty great too. Have fun knitting it into something you really love:)

    • Julie   •     Author

      Thanks, Shannon! Being excited to knit it again into something else really softens the blow of frogging. It was a fun knit, regardless!

  15. AngelaH   •  

    That yarn looks/sounds amazing. I’ll chime in and say I think you look lovely in these shots, but honestly, it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel it. We all have our own body awareness, and why would any of us want to wear something we didn’t *fantastic* in, especially after spending all the time to make it. I have similar curves, and I totally understand what you mean about the right kind of loose around the waist — when it’s right, I feel casual and great; when it’s wrong, I feel square and kind of dumpy. Good for you for knowing what you like and for not being afraid to talk about it!

    I’m really excited to see what this yarn becomes!

    • Julie   •     Author

      You know exactly what I’m talking about! I have tops that are not snug around the waist but still the proportions just work, but when they are wrong…. so true. Square and dumpy is exactly how I feel in it, even though I know it is a beautiful knit.

  16. Eliza   •  

    This is SO HELPFUL. I can definitely see that this doesn’t fit you in the way you usually style yourself, but for me… Well, my tummy is a constant. I think I’d have to become gluten & dairy free, and practice yoga everyday to really get rid of my tummy. And… well, I’m not willing to make those sacrifices! So an A-line tank with a deliciously textural back, that sounds pretty grand! 🙂

    • Julie   •     Author

      A line is perfect for hiding healthy tummies! If I didn’t love the yarn so much and was hellbent on knitting myself something else with it, I’d mail you this one. 😉

  17. Brandy   •  

    Like others, I think the top looks good on you. And the back is just spectacular. Why didn’t I think of that?! But my opinion doesn’t matter much if you don’t feel good in it, which is the most important thing to make a garment loved. And I do see what you mean about it not doing anything particularly special to feature any body shaping in the mid section – not necessarily a bad thing if that’s the style you want… I have the opposite problem – no real curves between waist and hips. So I need some shaping there to help me out a bit or I can get a little lost.

    I hope you find a great new project to use this yarn in because it is gorgeous! I am on a deep berry pink kick lately so I am crushing on this color hard!

    • Julie   •     Author

      So true, the back is spectacular, it was worth knitting for that alone. I find that I do need some waist shaping or the bust area needs to have negative ease to have some ‘skimming’ in the waist. It was definitely worthwhile to try knitting an A line top, though- it was educational!

  18. Jennifer   •  

    You look beautiful in it, BUT I feel that the top is hiding your sexy (which is not hidden in the back shot where you had to pull it in.) So, glad that you’re going to take that yarn and make something that you feel beautiful, cozy AND sexy in!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Aw, thank you! Yeah, the cut makes me feel short and boxy and sort of blegh. It’s weird when a pretty top makes you feel decidedly un-pretty, but better to knit it into something else!

  19. onkuri   •  

    Oh that’s a shame that it doesn’t fit the way you want! It is a beautiful garment, though. If it were knit in pieces it would so easy to redo the front, adding additional waist shaping. Any chance you could frog it to the level where waist shaping would start, and knit it back up putting in additional waist decreases and increases?

    • Meredith MC   •  

      I had the same thought- you just need some shaping on the front of that top, and it will fit beautifully. Like you, I have curves and I often rewrite the shaping so it’s flattering. Big bonus- you’ll use less yarn too! Good luck with this!

    • Julie   •     Author

      That is a very good idea about a partial frog, but to be honest I’m not crazy about the straps/shoulder area of it, either. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be!

  20. Sam   •  

    It’s a shame you don’t like this on you because it looks so pretty. The colour is lovely and the stitch pattern on the back is gorgeous! I totally sympathise with putting all that time and effort into something only to find you don’t love it the way you thought you would. At least with yarn you can frog it and reknit into something you do love.

    • Julie   •     Author

      I agree, the back is amazing! There is so much I like about this knit, but I know that it won’t be something I reach for again this season, which makes me think that the wonderful yarn should become something else.

  21. Theresa   •  

    I have a great idea for you…just frog the front and knit another “back” which you’d use as the front, with a tank top underneath of course. The lacy front would hang better.

    • Julie   •     Author

      This IS a great idea, except that it’s knit in the round, so I’d have to frog back to the split hem to re knit the front and back the same (which is truly a very good idea, I think someone should do that!)

  22. Kat   •  

    What a shame! It’s good to know what we like/feel good in, and this ended up being a good learning experience. Frogging’s always a bummer, but this yarn looks lovely, and the color is amazing on you, so I absolutely cannot wait to see what else you make with it!

    • Julie   •     Author

      I’m pretty excited to knit with it again, too! It does take the sting out of knitting something that I know I won’t reach for. I’m thinking of knitting Manzanilla, with it actually. But I’ll need to do more hunting on Ravelry before I frog and commit!

  23. Celeste   •  

    Thank you for the ‘oversharing’. It’s nice to know there is more than one of us with this shaping. Only for me add in narrow shoulders. That’s a hard one to compensate for along with the distinct hourglass.

    I was going to suggest some sewn in darts (think seaming the two sides with more selvage) on the waist sides, but if you have that much yarn left over by all means rip. You learned something distinct and beneficial from this knit, plus had the enjoyment of the lovely yarn. So now you can go forward with the yarn again and more knowledge.

    One word of caution though, which you likely already know, but just in case. The ripped yarn might have a different gauge now that it’s been knit/blocked. Just something to keep in mind with pairing with the fresh skein.

    • Julie   •     Author

      What! I didn’t realize that a frogged skein would have a different gauge than a fresh skein- is that true even if I wash the yarn after frogging, to relax it again?

      And I’m glad that you know what I’m talking about- for knitters (and sewers) it’s so important to be really frank about what suits us, and what we feel most comfortable in.

  24. Sierra   •  

    As much as it’s not fun to rip, isn’t it exciting to realize that you’re okay with it. When I ripped 3/4 of a sweater out in January and didn’t care I felt I hit a whole new level in my knitting. I want my knits to fit me the way I want, not the way they knit up. It’s been fun discovering what works for my body shape and what doesn’t. Sorry you have to rip but have fun finding a new project!

    • Julie   •     Author

      you totally hit the nail on the head- being okay with ripping back is definitely a level in knitting, it feels! After all that time, I want something I’ll love wearing, not just fold away into the closet and never touch again.

  25. Karen   •  

    Heartbreak. It is so fun to knit things and so frustrating when that’s where the fun ends. I am sure everyone has said this, it looks great on you. But obviously you have to like it. Good luck finding a new pattern; thanks for sharing!

    • Julie   •     Author

      You know, I’m actually not that sad. I enjoyed knitting this, but I feel like I want to keep knits that I will wear and enjoy, and if I don’t…. then I either give them away, or want to frog them to re use the yarn for something that I will love. This yarn was so lovely, I’m already looking forward to using it ‘again’!

  26. Nathalie   •  

    I hear you all the way to Germany about curviness and chest-waist-hip ratio. I always recalculate waist shaping for every jumper I knit – even the ones that have waist shaping, because it’s never aggressive enough. I can’t do A-line, boxy, or anything apart from cinched, really, because I just don’t appreciate looking enormous when I’m not. Anyway: I was actually looking at Delineate because I love the back but was wavering because of the A-line. So a huge THANK YOU for saving me the time and the effort! Make something gorgeous and flattering out of that yarn, the colour really suits you!

    • Julie   •     Author

      There’s been some helpful suggestions in the comments, one of which would be to knit the back twice, so that it’s the same front and back, and add waist shaping. I think that for curvier people like us this could be a solution! But one day I might find a different construction for the top, and use this amazing back stitch. We’ll see. So glad that you totally understand my shaping issue!

  27. miss agnes   •  

    Such a shame, it looks so beautiful. The color is lovely but I can see why you don’t love it, the fit is not there. I’m sure you’ll find the right pattern for this beautiful yarn.

    • Julie   •     Author

      It’s true, but loving the yarn so much really takes the sting out of the idea of frogging. I haven’t frogged it yet, I’m going to give it more time to see if I change my mind, but I’ve been thinking about knitting Manzanilla with it instead.

  28. Tahnee   •  

    It is a shame, but I totally get what you mean. I also have a body type in which these sort of top shapes make me look bigger than I am, in a bit of an unfortunate way, so I tend to avoid them. At least it’s exciting that you can use yarn again that you enjoyed knitting with so much.

    • Julie   •     Author

      You know exactly what I mean- if my my bust was pre-baby stage, I think I’d be fine with it, but it’s being bigger up top that is creating some ‘tenting’ that I am not used to and don’t find very flattering on me. It’s challenging when our bodies change and we don’t quite know how to dress them!

  29. Jennifer C.   •  

    I understand what you mean about fit. I only have a few sweaters I’ve knit that fit me just how I’d like. I recently realized that if I like the yarn and not the FO there is no shame in frogging and re-knitting. Incidentally, I think some kind of darts at the front of this sweater would be just the ticket for your shape!

    • Julie   •     Author

      Darts are a great idea! There’s been some amazing suggestions on this thread, I hope anyone looking to make this pattern finds them helpful! You are so right, it’s worth frogging and trying again if the fit isn’t right and you know that you aren’t going get much wear out of it.

  30. Kessa   •  

    I do not think you are oversharing at all! In fact, I feel that talking about our body shape “quirks” help give those who do not have the ‘standard’ shape (i.e the majority) a voice. I have a similar problem.. But it is my underbust that is small (I think it is actually smaller than my ‘waist’..) and wish I had more information about it when I was younger rather than think it was my problem and fault that my bra was constantly riding up because all the other girls seem perfectly comfortable and mobile. But yes, the pictures look lovely and that lace at the back is a showstopper! It is a pity it didn’t work out because this design and colour looks so good on you! As for the fit, I personally find that a bit of waist and hip shaping added always helped with the garments I’ve knitted.. And it looks like it should be relatively straightforward to add shaping to this design since the front is St st. Looking forward to the outtakes!

    • Julie   •     Author

      It’s interesting how we how we so seldom talk about fit and the shape of our bodies in relation to that, because even if someone doesn’t have the same shape, I find it fascinating to hear from others about their fit challenges- I think it encourages us to be kinder not only about our own bodies but about the bodies of others. There are no perfect or imperfect bodies, just a wide variety that we don’t often get to hear about!

  31. Becca   •  

    Hey Julie,

    I think this is a beauty and the back is totally stunning! However fab we think it is, though, YOU’ve got to feel fabulous in it! So, I understand the frogging decision. The last garment I made is actually really unflattering for my shape (my top half is two sizes smaller than my bottom half – getting stuff to fit right is a challenge!) Looking forward to seeing what else you make with this yummy yarn. AND your outtakes, which I always love. Here’s to knitting stuff we’ll actually wear! 🙂 x

    • Julie   •     Author

      I’m so behind on posting my outtakes! This week, I swear. We took a lot of photos, some were a bit too dark, it got overcast quickly while we were shooting. And I’m glad you understand the fit woes- and what I like so much about the conversion here is that we are talking about fit in a matter of fact way, not pointing out about what we like or don’t like about our bodies. i find that really positive!

  32. Tien   •  

    The color is gorgeous and the back is stunning! I have the same issues with A-line tops (although they are super comfy to wear). Absolutely love the split-hem detail!

    • Julie   •     Author

      It was a learning experience, now I know that A line is not really for me. And I’m so glad you like the split hem! I’m knitting a cardigan at the moment, and I’m totally going to do a split hem on it, as well (it’s top down so I’ll have to wait until the end).

  33. florapie   •  

    Have you tried it on backwards yet? Since you’re wearing it with a tank top underneath anyway. It won’t be the form-fitting shape you want, but it might be an acceptable option!

    • Julie   •     Author

      That’s actually a really good idea! I haven’t, but I’ll give it a go. someone else had suggested that knitting both the front and back with the geometric design would probably work out great, and I suspect they are right!

  34. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    The yarn is simply gorgeous. The color is a favorite of mine for sure. I definitely love the back of it too. Like you, I have a big problem with anything that is A-line or boxy fitting making me look larger than I am because my waist is small too. I’m a clothing size 6 and I’m only 5’3″ so I can’t afford to wear things that make me look dumpy or heaven forbid frumpy!!!
    I’m not about to wear something I can grab a handful of around the middle.
    But I have to say, your knitting is true perfection, as always my friend.

    • Julie   •     Author

      It sounds like we have similar proportions! I’m 5’4″ and A line and boxy make me look short and sort of thick, which isn’t my ideal. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the cuts looked great on everybody? I especially love boxy tops, they seem so youthful and fashion forward, but they do absolutely nothing for me. I saw a new tank top pattern today that i love, and has a lace back very similar to this, I’m thinking of giving it a try and substituting the lace chart of the newer pattern for this back, since I love it so much. We’ll see! But I’d be surprised if I can hold off re-knitting this yarn this fall/winter.

  35. Alina   •  

    “It’s fine, sure. It’s okay. But I’m not settling for fine and okay these days. I want to love this tank top.” Oh, I know how you feel, Julie! Though personally I love this top on you, I know that if you feel that something is off, nobody can persuade you in the contrary. May I suggest something? Whenever I feel like my waist is being lost in the access of fabric, I make a simple thin i-cord to wear around the waist, it makes such a huge difference and puts all the proportions in the right place. It usually works great with dresses and summer tops. It is such a beautiful piece, it is worth trying to save it!

    • Julie   •     Author

      That is a great idea! I have an i cord machine, actually (one of those little hand crank ones) and I will give this a try and see. There have been so many great ideas for this, I hope anyone else thinking of making this tank reads this thread- the collective wisdom is staggering.

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