Thursday, May 31, 2007
It's A Dress After All
It seems I had enough yarn to make a dress after all.
Size: finished item has a 24" chest measurement. Rosebud measures about 22" around.
Pattern: Improvised on the needles by me
Yarn & Needles: Katia Jamaica, US7 I used all of two skeins and dipped a bit into the third.
I loved using the Jamaica yarn, and Rosebud loves the feel of the smooth fabric. It has a little stretch to it, despite being 100% cotton. I wouldn't use the yarn for a top for myself though because I personally don't like the color blips in the stripes. While I think it is provides that whimsical, not-mass-produced look in the dress, I prefer something more sophisticated for myself. It could also be the hot, juicy colors, which again, are perfect for a little girl, but for me, not so much.
I did discover that a great solution to the blip problem is garter stitch. This yarn looks absolutely gorgeous in garter stitch. I briefly considered making Rosebud a long jacket in garter stitch with this yarn, but I wanted something she could wear more immediately, and she does have a pretty cool knitted jacket already. Expect to see some Baby Surprise Jackets in Jamaica in the future!
Pattern Notes: You remember my genius solution for making this dress was using an invisible cast-on to start knitting at the armpits. I mentioned that Barbara Walker led me to my solution, which is true, but I also want to give credit to Marnie for inspiring this idea. I remembered her posting on the CAL that she often uses a provisional cast-on when knitting sweaters from the hem-up, so that she can change the border details or add length once the main body of the sweater is finished without having to cut the knitting. It must have lodged into my subconscious, because I immediately connected her idea when reading Walker's work.
This technique is definitely has its advantages. Obviously, for knitters unable to commit to a plan or unsure about yarn amounts, it is a great idea. You can knit most of the body of the garment, and figure out details like border treatments and necklines as you go. This way also allowed me to try the dress on Rosebud as I knitted for length and fit, much like a top-down garment.
However, there are some drawbacks. First, I could not figure out how to execute this cast-on in the round. I just couldn't do it. I tried multiple times and besides making a moebius every damn time, the first and last few stitches always looked terrible. I eventually cast-on straight and knit back and forth for a couple of rounds. While this allowed me to move on with my project, it created a gaping hole under the arm was a bitch to close. I was forced to abandon my usually persnickety standards for finishing in favor of the "galloping horse" standard. Finally, I ended up with a very visible line of elongated stitches that were caused by unevenness in the cast-on stitches.
The only thing I would change about this project is that I should have planned for more ease, and maybe done more increases to make it wider at the bottom. Rosebud is a slip of a thing, and it fits well, but I was picturing a looser garment with a more pronounced a-line. Luckily, it does not appear to impede her movement or her play, especially in her current favorite activity.
Up next on the needles is yet another Rosebud project -- Bounce, of course!