Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Vogue Challenge Restores Knitting Mojo

Do you know I started knitting again? Like really knitting. Not just working on a pair of socks just because they're there. (The knitting's done on those, by the way. I haven't done any more on them. Like finishing. Or the embroidery I thought about doing.)

But I was reading around on my Ravelry boards and noticed that there was a new active thread on the Vogue Knitting group. Someone had the bright idea to celebrate the magazine's 35th anniversary with a knitting challenge. Could you knit two, three or even four projects from the "anniversary years" of 2017, 2007, 1997 and 1987?

The thread was a few weeks old by the time I got into it and reading about everyone else's projects got me more and more interested. And then I couldn't take it any more. So I jumped in.

For one thing, I had just received the 2017 late winter issue and there were a pair of knee high (ok, thigh high) socks that fit exactly what I had been wanting to knit for Squam. So I ordered the yarn--the very yarn the pattern called for, which never happens--and started swatching right away.
And that's as far as I got because I got a little distracted by the magazines I ordered from ebay from 1997 and 1987. And then I immediately started on a cotton sleeveless dress done in irresistible stripes. Oh here, I have a picture:
Isn't it great!

Even though I'm not crazy about knitting with cotton, I knew that's what this dress needed. And I started pulling out the cotton I had from raveled sweaters...like this red one:
 and this purple one
  and this blue one
  and this green one
  and this mustard one
  and this pink one
and, oh my!,
how did a person who doesn't like working with cotton get so much cotton yarn!! ?

Since all of them were already disassembled, raveled, and balled, all I had to do was pick and choose. And I chose all of them of course. Unfortunately the green is very limited because I've used it for a few projects already. If I had more of it, I would have dropped the red.

I did a swatch.
(close enough)

I did some figuring on how to make all these different yarns work together.
Some will be used as is, some will be doubled and the green will have to be tripled. This will get them all at 10-12 strands which will be close enough.

I auditioned some colour arrangements:
 Ok, I tried one and stopped there. (That middle colour really is more purple than blue.)

And I started knitting:
Quickly I had the first stripe sequence done and by now I am already up to the bust. (Did you notice that after auditioning a stripe sequence, I went and made a mistake in following it on the very first sequence!? That's alright, things are not going to be so predictable in this one anyway.)

And I did much much measuring and calculating to make sure the dress would fit me, not the "standard body type" (or average least-bad size) that patterns are made for. I measured the key points (waist, hip, bust, etc) and figured how many stitches I should have at those points, and then measured how far I have between those mile markers (vertically) to make the stitch adjustments, which told me how quickly to increase or decrease.

I even decided to go so far as to make the back wider on the bottom half (because, you know, it is) and to make the top wider on the top half (because, you know, it is) instead of splitting the difference and using the same numbers for the back and front. Will it make a difference? I don't know but I may as well find out.

And let me tell you, if you're having trouble getting going on a project and keeping momentum going, knitting stripes is the way to go! (It's the crack cocaine of knitting, except, you know, legal.)
Here's the back to about the bust line. (It is a lot wider than that, but stockinette stitch really curls in on itself.) I put the stitches on a string to hold them while I started working on the front. I'll make sure the front waist/bust shaping works ok and then that will confirm how much further to go on the back before the armhole decreases.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, this turned out so cute
    Thank for sharing your creative process: it inspires me to unravel and do some alchemy knitting��


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