I have finally finished my knitted T-Shirt! I had the idea that I wanted something that I could wear in the summertime, and since I spend most of my non-working hours in a t-shirt, I wondered if I could knit one. That led to a search for the right yarn, and I knew I wanted to use cotton, but I was also concerned about the drapiness of cotton, so I decided to look for a yarn with some elsatic in it. At Jimmy Bean's Wool, I found this Crystal Palace Panda Cotton Yarn on sale in the Granite color and I thought that would look cool. For the hem on the collar and sleeves, I used Queensland Bamboo cotton in Navy, which was also from Jimmy Bean's Wool, but they no longer carry it.
The Crystal Palace Panda Cotton yarn is actually more bamboo (50%) than cotton (24%), and it has a substancial amount of elastic nylon in it (21%). I have to confess that this project was a real challenge for me - first because I had never knitted a t-shirt, second because I had never knitted with cotton before, and third because I had also never knitted with elastic yarn. At first, I put my guage and size into the Sweater Wizard software that I use, and just specified a sweater at my size with short sleeves. I started knitting that, and actually had about half of the body done when it became very apparant that the result was going to be much too large and drapey. I started twice more, reducing the size each time, until I finally decided that the only way the elastic yarn was going to work for this was to knit a sort of muscle shirt almost exactly to fit. And in fact, that's what I ended up doing - taking my exact measurements along my torso, and knitting exactly to fit with no ease.
At the bottom of the shirt, at the collar, and at the sleeves I have used a knitted hem. To do this, I did a provisional cast-on, knitted the length of the hem in stockinette, then did one round of purls, and knitted the length of the hem again before then removing the provisional cast-on and k2tog those sts with the the ones on the needle to connect make the hem. Along the V neck I had a bit of an issue because the hem line kept wanting to turn outwards. To tame that, I ran a length of the elastic yarn inside the hem around the neck line, and that seemed to solve the problem.
The body of the t-shirt was knit in the round, and originally I had choosen set-in sleeves with the Sweater Wizard software. But the sleeves turned out to be a real challenge of their own. At first, I tried just configuring the software for really short sleeves, and I knitted those and actually attached one to the shirt, but they turned out too long (evidently there is a limit to how short you can go with set-in sleeves using the software), and they bunched unacceptable at the arm pits. Undeterred, I did the only thing I saw left to do. I took a commercial t-shirt that fit similarly to the body I had finished, traced the arm onto some paper, and worked out how to reproduce that. I ended up knitting the sleeves flat, and doing short rows along the center just after the hem so that the outer part of the sleeve came down to the right length. With some planning and good luck, I finally ended up with a sleeve circumfrence that adequately matched the arm holes in the body, and I sewed those in with a darning needle and the body yarn.
Even with all the frogging and reknitting, in the end I'm pretty happy with the results ... it feels good on, and it fits like a t-shirt. The yarn is sock weight, and I knitted with size US 2 needles. I was a little afraid that even with sock weight yarn, that the result might be a little too thick to pass as a t-shrit, but in the end I think it works ok.