This started out as a remake of a Honeymoon Cami
that I had made a couple of years ago in a silk-angora mix yarn (which then proceeded to grow well beyond the rhelm of decency). Then I thought of changing a bit here... and ended up with something that bore no relation to the HC except the triangle pieces at the top!
For anyone who happens to have a bust size in the 35-36" range, and a yarn and needle combo to give them 7.5 sts/inch (non-springy yarn like cotton or silk) or ~6.5 sts/inch (springy - gives a final measurement 2" smaller for a body-hugging tank), I can give you an exact pattern (for everyone else, a generic tutorial follows the *****):
CO 216 sts on a circular needle, join being careful not to twist, place marker for beginning of round. Knit one row.
Feather and fan lace pattern repeat: row 1: [k2tog] 4 times, [YO, k1] 8 times, [SSK] 4 times (repeat until you've hit the beginning of the round again)
row 2: knit
row 3: knit
row 4: knit
Repeat 4 rows of F&F lace for 10" of length. Note that the lace gives a tighter gauge than the stockinette, but it stretches.
Switch to stockinette (knit all rounds) for 4".
Shape underarms and V at the same time (the number of stitches is different, and the fact that I do the V neck at the same time as the underarms, but the method is the same as the honeymoon cami, which most certainly has better directions!):
Starting 4 stitches away from the beginning of the round, bind off 8 stitches (first underarm). K1, K2tog, K44, SSK, K1 (have reached centre front, 48 sts from underarm bind off) - TURN (working first triangle). Purl all stitches back to underarm.
Continue decreasing one stitch on each side of triangle, on each right side, purling wrong sides, until down to 4 stitches. Put remaining 4 stitches on a holder.
Go back to the remaining body stitches, start new yarn at the centre front, K1, K2tog, K44, SSK, K1, and continue in the same way as with the previous triangle.
Go back to the remaining body stitches, bind off 8 for the other under arm. Continue as before for third triangle, but when you reach the last 4 stitches, keep going with a 4 stitch I-cord - try about 8" at first.
Continue as before for the last triangle, making I-cord at the end of this one too. Try on the cami and figure out the best length for the I-cord straps. Graft the straps to the back triangles.
1. Pick your yarn, test your gauge.
2. For a springy yarn (ie wool blends and acrylic) take your bust measurement, subtract ~2" and figure out how many stitches you need at your gauge. For non-springy yarns, subtract 5".
3. I used a 24 stitch repeat feather and fan lace pattern (8x3). F&F can be done with any even number X3, but smaller repeats will give narrower columns. Find the number of repeats you need to get close to the number of stitches you came up with in point (2) (In the above case, 9 repeats of a 24 stitch pattern gave me 216 stitches, which was about 6" smaller than my bust - since I knew my yarn would grow, I was fine with that! Larger gauge yarn will have fewer repeats and much less stitches).
4. CO the # stitches you determined in (3). Knit one row. Knit in lace pattern (for example row 1: [k2tog] 4 times, [yo, k1] 8 times, [ssk] 4 times, row 2-4: knit) (you can do [k2tog] 3 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [ssk] 3 times, instead, etc) for 10"
5. Knit every row for 4"
6. Sort out the division of stitches for underarms and triangles. Your underarm bind off should be around 1", and the number of stitches in each triangle should be even. Therefore the number of cast-on stitches, subtract 2" of stitches, divided by 4 should be an even number - if it's not, fudge the underarm bind-off numbers until it is
7. Proceed around the body, starting with binding off the underarm stitches for one side, and knitting each triangle by decreasing one stitch one each side, each right side row until you get down to 4 stitches. Bind off second underarm, and make other side the same. Add I-cord straps to the ends of the front two triangles, try on the cami for strap length, and graft straps to back. (more detailed explanation above, even more detailed explanation over on Knitty for the Honeymoon Cami!).
Let me know if you want more clarification - I've just rediscovered that simple things in your head are really difficult to explain in writing!!