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.
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 collar, 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).
Throughout 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).