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Knit A Bikini
you know you want to

Amanda Ray created this great bikini pattern for Bust magazine. This pattern is for medium to advanced knitters. Do not attempt this as your first project. (Note: my dear friend Tobi Armstrong and I made a few changes to simplify it.)

Pattern
Size: Medium (see instructions for making pattern bigger or smaller)
Stitch Pattern: Stockinette Stitch. This popular stitch alternates a row of knitting with one of purling.
Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch/6 rows = 1 inch. Make sure to test your gauge by making a small "swatch" using your yarn and needles; if you're getting more than 5 stitches to the inch, try again using larger needles; if you're getting less than 5 stitches, try using smaller ones.


Materials:
3 skeins Cotton Classic by Tahki Imports (Note: when using skeins of yarn, always wind them into balls before you begin knitting. You've seen this done before it's when one person holds the yarn up between two hands and the other person winds. In the absence of another person, you can use your own feet to hold the yarn.)
One pair size 6 knitting needles (metal needles work best with cotton yarn)
One size I crochet hook
One yard of elastic to match yarn color, or invisible (clear) elastic


Bikini Bottom
Front: Cast on 62 stitches (or 66 for larger bottoms) and work in stockinette stitch for 14 rows, beginning with a purl row (work 20 rows for more coverage). On row 14 (20), bind off 7 (or 9, for larger size) stitches at beginning of row, continue knitting until only 7 (9) stitches remain on needle, then bind off these remaining stitches. Break yarn. Reattach yarn and purl your way back across the 48 stitches you have left on your needle. This is where you'll begin your descent to the crotch, so fasten your seatbelts. This pattern is all about decreasing to make it easier, because increasing is a pain in the butt trust me! So here we go. And remember, you only decrease on knit rows. It's going to seem wacky, but in the end it will work.


First of all, to decrease, you will knit two stitches together. For decreases on edges like we're doing here, you should always do the decreases at least two stitches in from the end so that you make nice edges. So, decrease two stitches at both sides of the bikini every other row for 16 rows until you have only 16 stitches left. (On every other row: knit two, knit two together, knit two together again, then knit across the row until you only have six stitches left on the needle. Then knit two together, knit two together again, and knit two. You've decreased by 4 stitches.) Okay, now you're at the crotch. Without decreasing, continue knitting in stockinette stitch for 20 more rows, and bind off.


Back: Cast on 86(90) stitches. Work in stockinette stitch for 14 rows (or 20, for more room in the seat). Just like you did on the front, on the 14th row (or 20th row), cast off 7(9) stitches at the beginning and end of the row. Reattach the yarn and purl your way back. Decrease by 2 stitches on each side of the next, and every other row, for 28 rows, until you have only 16 stitches left. Work in stockinette stitch for 13 more rows. Bind off.

Sew the crotch and sides together. You can hand sew it using a large needle and your knitting yarn, or you can use a sewing machine (I used a sewing machine on mine). Don't try it on yet, or you'll hate me. Here's where your crochet hook and elastic comes in. Single crochet over the elastic and around the waist of the suit (starting at a side seam). Now you can try it on. Pull the elastic to fit your waist and hug your butt. Sew the elastic together, smooth it out, and you're done with the bottoms.

Bikini Top
Divide remaining yarn into two balls. We're going to make both triangles at once.
Directions are for a full coverage A, a comfortable B, or a scanty C cup. If you decide you want more coverage or have a larger bust, just cast on 5 to 10 more stitches. These instructions will still work.

Cast on 33 stitches for each triangle. Work in stockinette stitch for 18 rows, then start decreasing two stitches on each side of every other row for 16 rows, until you have nothing left. Bind off, and you've got your tops!All right, now you're really almost done. To finish the top, take your crochet hook and make two 2-foot chains that will be attached to the top of each triangle. You can hand sew these on. Now chain a third chain that's 4 1/2 feet long. This is going to tie around your chest at the bottoms of the triangles. Attach the chain to the triangles the same way you did the elastic in the bikini bottom by making a single chain with your crochet hook along the bottoms of your triangles and around the long chain.

Excerpted from get crafty: hip home ec.