Pattern: 09 grey dress from Rebecca #35
Yarn: "Cumba" by ggh, 42 % virgin wool, 28 % alpaca and 30 % acrylic(150 m/ 50 g)
Color: natural white
Price: € 3.95 per ball (that's the offical price for the yarn, but it's been a while since I bought it, so I'm not sure what I paid then. I bought it at Lanaiolo, the same yarn shop where I bought the yarn for the orange dress, also a design from Rebecca. Did I mention that I got the magazine for free when I bought the yarn for the orange dress? :) (I think I got it for free?) )
Amount: theoretically you need 9 balls, but of course I'm so talented that I only needed 7, ha! I say it's 7, because I'm counting 2 balls that are left, but there could be more somewhere else. I had to start one ball to do the neck, but I didn't need a lot.
Needles: 3.75 mm I wish I could say I'm a 100 % sure that it was this size, but sorry, I've been really really tired for a couple of weeks and I think it's taking a toll on my memory. By excluding other potential needle sizes I've come to the conclusion that it's very likely that one. By the way, recommended needle size is 4-5 mm.
Gauge: well, something completely different!!!!
Dimensions: size 34/36, theoretically
Modifications: Many! I started knitting this dress last year, thinking it was going to be a nice mindless project since I bought the original yarn, meaning no re-calculations, you just swatch until you find the right needle and then off you go. That was the plan. I made a swatch and then left it at some place where I couldn't find it anymore. I remembered that the gauge was correct though.
I started knitting the skirt part, which seems so easy but I can't remember how many times I ripped back. It was too short, too long, then I decided that the waistline of the original dress was too high up. I'm not really a fan of baby doll dresses and less if they are knitted. This also meant that that the skirt part was too long again!!!! The good thing is, the yarn endured all the ripping back patiently. You can rip back as much as you want and it's going to be fine. At the end of the skirt part, you do some decreases, which I did, but I also added about 10 rows more instead of continuing with the bodice part, because I was afraid that the skirt would look too puffy and I wanted it to taper off slowly.
The next step after deciding on the length of the skirt and the position of the waistline I proceeded with the bodice part. I must confess that I also derived a lot of pleasure from knitting this - ha, ha, ha! After a couple of cms people started making comments about the smallness of the dress. My initial unwavering optimism deflected any kind of doubt, but after a while it cracked down and I had to admit that it did look indeed small. Which meant - I had to swatch. My new swatch told me that the size was indeed good enough for my waist, but would cause problems later on. The bodice part is knit straight, there is no shapping, which usually would be ok as the pattern is very stretchy, but in my case I had to do work in some increases. I tried short rows, but the pattern is very ungrateful for that kind of thing, so I just increased on both sides until I had the same number of stitches as for the next size 38/40. My swatch told me that it would be ok if I did so, but I think I was just wishing that life be easier, meaning if I didn't have to think too much and just follow the instructions. If it couldn't be the instructions for size 34/36 it could at least be the instructions for size 38/40, right?
Anyway, I also decided that the neckline was too high and I wanted the shoulders to be less wide. I made the decreases and hoped they would look fine. For the neckband, I picked up stitches from every second bindoff stitch and row. I assumed that the pattern would stretch a lot.
The sleeves were knit without any modifications. Halleluja! :D
Comments: It's tight around the bust. I wasn't sure if it was still ok or just wishful thinking. I decided to be brave (also because the friend that I called to check the dress was already at the knitting group) and just go to the knitting group. Thankfully, my friends liked it. If not, I would still not have ripped back!
After blocking it looked a little bit off. I just wanted to finish the damn thing and did not take great care with the blocking, so the edge of the skirt were scalloped and very uneven in height. Strangely, I wasn't much concerned about that. I thought I would give it a good washing and then it would shrink back. And of course, I was right. :D In the end, you can block as much as you want, but there is a limit. And I think, I was also lucky with the yarn.
The yarn is nice and soft. And it seems to be robust. I really liked that you could rip back so much and it still looked fine. I recommend it.
Oh, I forgot to tell. The next day, after I finished my dress, I was doing some cleaning up of my stash and other knitting stuff and I found my swatch! The small one is my second swatch and as you can see, the gauge is completely different. I have no clue what happened. Maybe I used a different needle size for the first swatch. It's possible that I knit the skirt part with a smaller needle and then wanted to switch to a bigger needle. The other explanation would that my knitting is very moody - sometimes I knit tight and sometimes I knit loose - but that strikes me as a very strange explanation.
I think next time I would either add more repeats to make it wider or go up a needle size. I tend to going up a needle size, because I actually like the first swatch it is softer and the stitches don't look so tense.
By the way, I just realized that a couple of images from the blog template are missing!! Grrrrr...
Friday, March 20, 2009
Pattern: 09 grey dress from Rebecca #35