A step by step guide to knitting the Frankie Tank.
Ever gotten half way through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?”
We have 🙋♀️
That’s why we’ve created these step by step overviews to help guide you through the knitting process. At each stage we’ll show you how each section of your piece should look, and at the end, how to sew it all together. Voilà!
YOUR FRANKIE PATTERN
If you're a total knitting newbie - WELCOME! 🧶 Before we get started on the pattern it’s a good idea to learn the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with, just be gentle with the yarn - it’s super fine so will break if it’s worked too hard or too many times. We’ve put the below video together to cover the basics. Learn how to cast on, do a knit stitch, a purl stitch and put them together to create a 1x1 rib stitch, lastly we learn casting off. Once you've got these mastered you'll find this pattern is a cinch!
💭 For more detailed videos of each technique, head down a little further where we've got specific videos for each stitch type.
🏅🧶 You got this! ⚡️💪
Remember learning a new skill can be a little hard at first and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature!
If you get stuck, reach out to us and we'll give you a hand! 😎
TEST YOUR TENSION
It’s a good idea to check that the tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is in line with what we need. We knit a “tension swatch” to make sure the tension is juuuust right. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your jumper will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold it's shape and might be too big.
If done correctly, your 10x10cm knitted swatch in garter stitch should be 7 stitches wide and 12 rows high. To test this, jump on your needles, cast on around 12 stitches, then knit in garter stitch for around 15 rows. Then get a measuring tape and measure out 10x10cm and count your stitches and rows to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension.
You can knit the Frankie in size 1, 2, 3 or 4. Each piece of the tank is knitted flat, at the end we'll stitch the front and back panels together to make your cozy masterpiece. Your pattern is read like this: 1 (2, 3, 4).
You can knit Frankie in either a cropped shape or a slightly longer shape. You'll see instructions for both in your pattern.
📏 Lying flat your piece will measure:
Size 1: 46cm w x 42cm h (cropped H38cm)
Size 2: 52cm w x 47cm h (cropped H43cm)
Size 3: S4cm w x 52cm h (cropped H48cm)
Size 4: 58cm w x 56cm h (cropped H50cm)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Your kit comes with everything you need to knit your masterpiece. To knit Frankie you’ll use;
10mm circular needles - we use these for the rib at the bottom
15mm straight needles - these are to knit the body of your top
3-4 balls of Chunky Merino wool
Darning needle - this is used to sew your masterpiece together and weave in loose ends
THE TECHNIQUES YOU’LL MASTER
We recommend using the two needle technique. Two needle cast on uses your two needles (surprise!), starting with a slip knot on your left needle, each stitch is knitted to form a new loop and this loop is then added to your left needle. You repeat until you’ve made the desired number of stitches. To see casting on in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
💭 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways - our suggestion is a simple technique but you can pick any that’s right for you.
This handy little stitch makes up the backbone of most knitting patterns. Each knit stitch looks like a little ‘v’.
The second most common stitch, purl stitches look like little bumps (or purls!). Where you knit a knit stitch with your yarn tail at the back of your work and your needle going into the back of the stitch, the purl is the opposite, so your yarn tail is at the front of your work and your needle goes into the front of the stitch.
Garter stitch is a basic stitch that's created by knitting every stitch in every row - super simple hey?! 😎
1x1 rib stitch is a textured pattern usually used on the cuffs and necks of jumpers. It’s made by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, then knitting the same stitch sequence in the next row. When doing your rib stitch it’s important to make sure your yarn is on the correct side of your needles (at the back for knit stitches and at the front for purl stitches). To see rib stitch in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
To cast off, knit two stitches then slip the first stitch on your right needle back over the second stitch and off the needle. You’ll have one stitch left on your right needle. Knit another stitch so you’ve got two stitches on your right needle and then slip the first stitch off. Continue to the end of the row. When you’ve got the last stitch on your right needle, cut the yarn and thread this through the final stitch to secure. To see casting off in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
OKAY, LET’S KNIT UP A STORM!
We start with the back panel, it’s the simplest piece of the knit and will give you the confidence as you move onto other pieces. We knit from the bottom up, starting at the rib and going up to the shoulders.
Cast on the required number of stitches using your 10mm circular needles.
Once you've cast on the right number of stitches you move on to the rib. We knit the rib following the instructions in your pattern. Remember to create a rib we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next. Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of our stitch to ensure the stitch is executed correctly.
Next, we switch to using our 15mm straight needles and into garter stitch.
To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle (in this case the 15mm straight needle) in our right hand and knit onto the stitch on your 10mm needle in your left hand. Simple!
In this first row of garter stitch we're also going to decrease the number of stitches on the row.
We’ll work the allocated rows of garter stitch - just keep knitting! 💪💪💪
This is where we begin to shape the back panel for the arm holes. Follow the instructions on decreasing stitches at the start and end of your row.
Steps 6 - 7:
Continue following the pattern.
Step 8 - 10:
This is where we split the work so we create the two shoulder straps. This means we will only knit some of the stitches on your needle before we turn our work and knit those same stitches again. The rest of your stitches will just hang out on your needle until we're ready to come back to them.
Step 11 - 13:
Okay, shoulder one done. Time to rejoin our yarn and finish this piece. We rejoin our yarn by tying a knot to the bottom of the stitch on the closest to the end of your left needle. First we'll cast off some stitches to create the space for the head hold. Then we will shape the other shoulder.
Step 1 - 7:
Now the front follows the same structure as the back in terms of techniques. So simply follow the pattern through cast on, rib stitch, and garter stitch.
We start shaping the neckline on the front panel a few rows earlier than we did on the back but the process is the same.
Step 8 - 17:
Shape both shoulders by following the pattern. Remember we knit one shoulder at a time so some stitches will remain on your needle when we knit the first shoulder up.
SEWING IT TOGETHER
Now it’s time to get to work with the darning needle to sew your masterpiece together. We lay our pieces flat and sew them together.
Lay your front and back pieces on a flat surface, the right sides facing you. Then sew the shoulder panels of the front panels to the back panel together using the invisible seam technique, and leaving the hole in the middle for the neck hole.
Next we sew the sides of the top together. We lay the pieces flat so that the side seams are facing each other and starting from the rib at the bottom we sew up towards the armhole using the mattress stitch technique. Sew up to the point which the tapering for the armhole starts.
💭 It's normal for the wool to get a bit shabby as you go, so we recommend using a few pieces and tying them together underneath as you go!
FINISHING YOUR PIECE
We're SO CLOSE! I can see the finish line 🎢🙌
The last thing we do for every piece is weave in the ends. That’s basically just tidying up the piece so all loose ends are trimmed down and tucked into the inside of your work. You use the seams here to weave those ends in so they are nicely hidden away.
We'd 💕LOVE💕 to see how you go! Share your masterpiece with us by tagging @cardigang_knits on Instagram or by sending us an email at email@example.com
Until next time! 😘🧶
Morgan & Cat xx