June 14, 2011

Yes to the Dress!

Rather than going for a traditional dress, I'm knitting a skirt and a top. I found a pattern a while back called Intolerable Cruelty that I absolutely love. Although it is nice enough for a wedding I prefer the traditional floor length where you can't see your shoes. I started knitting it on the first this month but I approached my knee length, I needed to figure out how I wanted my skirt to end. I needed inspiration and I needed it fast. So back track a bit, and my dad surprised me with a Groupon a couple weeks ago for my favorite local yarn store. Art of Yarn has so many different books and patterns that my local bookstores just don't carry --- tons of potential. As I was flipping through Annie Modesitt's book, Romantic Hand Knits the pages... there it was. A floor length white skirt called Now Voyager that I couldn't see the model's toes. Perfect! So here is my list of modifications:

  • Because of the yarn I choose and my gauge, I knit the pattern using the 1X instructions.
  • Instead of reverse stockinette stitch for the pack panel, I just knit through the back loop.
  • In the last decrease row of the shaping, rather than decrease by four stitches, I decreased by two stitches. This gave me a stitch count of 252 which allowed me to start at band 3 of the Now Voyager pattern. Beware: I made the mistake of starting on band 2 forgetting that 252 is the stitch count after completing the increases for band 2.
  • I don't like the slip stitch rectangular detail on the skirt so to make it plain stockinette like the top of the skirt, I just knit where it said to slip the stitch. 
I currently am working on band 7. Since each band has a different amount of rows, I don't know how many more I will have to knit. I'm also not sure I'm a fan of the picot hem on the bottom so I might be looking for a neat crochet edging detail when I get there with the left over crochet cotton I have from my necklace. I've tried it on and I'm loving it so far. I can see myself wearing this skirt over and although I may dye it a different color after the wedding.

The only errata for Now Voyager is the gauge information wasn't provided. If you like her other patterns make sure you check for errata because although there are a lot of nice patterns to knit, there are lots of mistakes in her book and lots of knitters found her personal jargon confusing at times. Anytime you start a new pattern you should be checking two things: for any errata or designer notes not included in the pattern and Ravelry finished projects for that particular pattern -- especially for modifications you might like or notes others have voted helpful. It can save you a lot of time and heartache. Often I find there are some knitters who have done a better job at making their piece fit better than the official models.

Bottom line: I merged these patterns because I like the simplicity in stitch work; I can knit this skirt relatively quick with two kidlets under 2.5 years before the big day. Also, rather than emphasize stitch detail, I emphasized shaping. The ribbon corset on the back is the quick but more importantly, beautiful detail I was hoping for. Most lace skirt patterns I found were shapeless or too complicated. Since the bottom part of my shirt is lace, I didn't want to over do the lace and look like an over sized doily. I wanted to be consistent in the yarn I am using for both pieces and the patterns I chose allow that.

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