While touring around the Gibsons’ Fibre Festival a couple of weeks ago, I found 1218 meters of Bluefaced Leicester, hand-dyed by Knitopia’s owner, Lynne. With subtle greys, teal and black through-out the yarn, I knew it was destined to come home with me. It’s a heavy sport weight, almost DK but not quite. I have managed to wind 2 balls off the 454 gram hank. Each has been about 150 grams thus far.
I was going to stick to my same-old same-old and knit a cardigan – long, flowing … something like the Audrey Coat. But then I had a stroke of genius: I have always wanted a wool dress. Yup. Always. So the swatching, sketching and designing started …
A couple of my friends always tease me because swatching is my most favourite part of a project. There’s anticipation, excitement to be working with a new yarn, and the needles clicking away patiently as you muddle through figuring out what is going to work. And yes, I am a total nerd, I label my swatches – but you know, before you laugh, I now have a drawer full of various yarns and gauges and I can now pull out alpaca, cotton, acrylic, wool, blends, etc. and show you how the yarn will act at different gauges. It’s really quite helpful! and a good learning tool.
So with the designing going along as I knit, I cast on, said a prayer and started to knit!
I have tacked on buttons to get an idea of what they might look like and I think they are great with this since they pick up the teal. I will put them on properly soon.
The dress starts with a 4.5 inch band that sits immediately below the bust. The bust stitches were then picked up off one of the long sides of the band, then increases were done over the first 3 right side rows which leaves a slightly gathered look in front. I then picked up the garter bands and knit the button holes. I left the stitches live along what would have been the cast off edge and did an i-cord bind off all the way around, along the front bust and back down the other side.
I am now working on the short row sleeves and the skirt, which increases from 28 inches at the top, where the stitches are picked up on the opposite side of the band, to 70 inches for a full, flirty skirt that will swish (yup, swish!) around my knees. I am so excited about this knit. To ensure I was heading in the right direction, I placed everything on scrap yarn and tried it on – it fits! Whoot!
Here’s to continuing to push push push my comfort zone – I hope you are too :)