99 Blue Balloons

So basically no knitting project I make down here will I actually use while I’m in the Dominican Republic.  Therefore I had the time to really commit to a project.  Because that is part of the joy of knitting, the action.  So I decided to make a dress.

In November, I with the help of my sister, went through my boxed up yarn and projects.  I didn’t grab the yarn then, but had a mental catalog that I had 14 balls of Wool of the Andes in Winter Night.  So I got my sister to put it aside when she was visiting my parents, I got my dad to send it to Matt and LB, and I got Matt and LB to bring it down when they visited for my birthday.

So the yarn was in my possession, however, I still did not have a clear plan.  A formfitting dress with cables, but what kind of color, what cables.  No patterns I saw on ravelry quite fit the bill, thought I did consider Kim Hargreaves’s Logan. For a bit I though about an aran style motif of cables and made a few design options with powerpoint.  In my search for cables, I stumbled upon the chunky cable and included it in my motif.  After some thought, I decided I just wanted that cable, I loved the way it ballooned in and out and worked the dress in the style of Logan.

DSC_0109

At the same time, I took my measurements and decided on the ease I wanted (1.5 to 2 inches) and how long the dress would be.  That was all input into excel, because I love using it for my knitting calculations.  I did actually knit a swatch (using US 7s), in this case I needed to to know the number of stitches and rows in an inch.  I had decided that I would go with my preferred method for sweaters, top down in the round.  I thought about using a braided DSC_0105collar, but after knitting it I realized it didn’t work with the cables well, they competed for attention.  So I then decided on a scoop neck.  Of course that is not the normal neckline when knitting in the round but I believed I could make it work.

I first knit the collar in 2 by 2 ribbing on US 6s.  The first attempt, that I don’t remember exactly what I did, simply failed.  The second of not knitting all the stitches and then picking them up with short rows seemed to be one task, until I tried the piece on.  Fail.  The third hit on it almost perfectly, although I know some tweaks to make if I try it again (this time I just sewed in some folds to fix it).

DSC_0106Throughout the dress, I fattened and thinned the cables to change the width, always working with 20 cables for the body and 6 for each arm.  After the collar was worked out the third time I never had to rip back to make any major modifications, on the body that it. That is always something to be happy about, I remember when I had it knit to the splitting point of the body and arms and I put it on, I had to email my knitting pals to share the great accomplishment.  I did have to rip out one finished arm when I realized I knitted it on 6s and not 7s.

Another great thing was that although I did have to use a bit of the swatch yarn, I made the dress to the length I wanted and the arms to the the 3/4 length I wanted (using around 13.5 balls of yarn).  With the plumptness of the chunky part of the cable I decided to name my scrumptious dress 99 blue balloons (I have yet to count how many there actually are, okay now I have because I just could not leave that unanswered and as I classify it there are 236).

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3 Responses to 99 Blue Balloons

  1. Cousin Anne says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Pingback: Belated Birthday Dress | Artsy Ashley’s Crafty Blog

  3. Pingback: The predicted snow next week is not my fault | Artsy Ashley’s Crafty Blog

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