And yep, I will wear it!
Summer Sundress (although it’s more of a warm-but-not-too-hot-weather-sundress)
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Southwest Trading Company “Beyond”, 100% thick and thin cotton, discontinued, 10 skeins; bit of my handspun silk
Needles: Denise, various sizes
Finished: August 5, 2007
So I finally got up off my butt to finish this one, which has been sitting on the back of my desk chair since I wore it out a while ago (perhaps Amy’s party at the store?) and the straps stretched. This weekend I finally detached one end of each strap, cut off a good two inches, and sewed them back on. They’re pretty good now, and they’ve already stretched out from the last time, but I think I’ll sew some ribbon behind the straps just in case.
Here’s how I did this one up, it’s real easy! I decided to hold the yarn double for the bodice, to give thicker fabric (more holding-in-ness) and so it would be opaque – this yarn is way thinner than the 5 sts per inch the ballband claimed! I got 4.5 sts per inch with the yarn doubled. Then I decided how long I wanted the bodice to be (I think it was 14 inches), multipled by my gauge, and cast on provisionally. I knit in stockinette, straight, until the bodice was long enough to go around me – I did two inches less than my full bust measurement to account for stretching and for a snug-ish fit. Then I grafted the ends together to make a tube.
For the skirt, I first picked up stitches along one end of the tube – one stitch for each row, since in this case, flaring would be a good thing! I think it was something like 215 stitches. I put the picked-up sts on a holder and cast on provisionally for the skirt, the same number of stitches, in a single strand of yarn on 3.75 mm needles. I knit the skirt in the round, with a few hip increases before I realized I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish the whole skirt at that gauge. I decided to flare the skirt by changing needle sizes – I think I used four of the balls for the skirt, so I went up a needle size or two every time I changed skeins.
When I got to near the end of the last skein, I decided it wasn’t long enough, and that’s why I added the couple inches of handspun silk before casting off very loosely and ruffley-like. It’s the perfect length now. After casting off the skirt, I went back and did a three-needle bind off with the top of the skirt and the picked-up stitches on the bottom of the bodice for a strong, neat seam.
I did a few rounds of single crochet around the top of the bodice to pull it in a touch, then just did straight seed stitch rectangles for the straps and sewed them on. Voila, a knit dress! The actual knitting was quite quick.
The yarn was a bit of a bitch to knit with – it’s a knitted tube with slubs every little while. It was horrible to graft with. On the plus side, it did have massive yardage, which is what made this all possible – it was 250+ yards per 50 g skein! And I got it off elann for super cheap, so the total cost of the dress was less than $30!
The dress is super comfy, and I really like the way it came out. It’s pretty flattering, as well. I’m not overly worried about sagging or the like; I have multiple knit skirts and haven’t really noticed that problem much with any of them (you might be able to tell I’m a knit skirt advocate!). At any rate, the skirt doesn’t really hug the butt that tightly, more just skims over it because of the construction. And it’s reversible, so I can switch which side is the front for more even wearing.
It’s a little warm to wear this right now (sticky, horrible heatwave) but I think it’ll be perfect in a few weeks when it starts to cool down and gets to maybe 20-24 degrees C (ummm…68-mid seventies F?) during the daytime. And in the winter, perhaps I shall wear it as a jumper, with a long sleeved tee underneath and kick-ass knee high boots!