Friday, January 6, 2017


So, you might be wondering why, if I still have the original ‘Ruffles and Lace’, would I want to be remaking this garment? The Bonita cotton isn’t going to wear out – I could say that it even still fits but only if I have the old huge shoulder pads that we were wearing back then! I did get it out last year and tried it on when I was looking for something to wear for a family wedding but the sleeve cap/depth of the armhole was just not working for me now. And what a shame because it is still a nice garment! I tried pulling it this way and that and decided there was no reviving it as is – it would have to be taken apart and re-knit and we all know that wouldn’t happen! I love the lace pattern and I love the trim/ruffly rib edging so why not re-do it?
To revamp this and make it 2017 wearable, I am going to change the sleeve to an elbow-length with a more fitted width and depth in the cap/underarm area. I’ll raise the v-neck and shorten the whole thing to high-hip length and add that little bit of A-line shaping to the body that I have become so fond of.
schematic from 1999
The original half-sleeve width at the underarm (I - for my size) was 23 cm, it will now be 18 cm; J changes from 20 cm to 15cm; K goes from 35 cm to 16 cm; H at 12 cm becomes 14 cm – wow, what a difference a fitted sleeve makes. Really the only change to the body is to slope the shoulder slightly by 1.5 cm, narrow the neck and shoulder width by 1 cm each and alter the depth of the underarm shaping, reducing it by 1 cm – which will actually change it by 2.5 cm when you add in the shoulder shaping.
2017 shape
Oh yeah, I changed the depth of the hem and only did 4 rows of the transfers – not just to get it over faster, but I didn’t feel like the shortened length needed to have as much extra weight at the hemline. And my swatch, I went with T5 (2 full numbers tighter than my original T7) for the lace and for the rib went 2 numbers down for all those instructions. The ruffly rib is a 9-stitch repeat so for all my hems, I will plan to be within that for a nice match at the seams. For example, on the sleeve, according to the schematic, I should have 46 sts each side, but the band will match when seamed if there are 45-0-45 ns so I start with the 45-0-45 needles, knit the band and transfer the stitches up. Knit a row  2 numbers higher than main tension to get rid of the doubled sts and allow for that row not to be too tight so the band won’t be kicking out. Then, when transferring to the every third needle out of work for the lace pattern, fudge the edges so you can increase to 47-0-46 ns so there are 2 plain sts at each edge and to make up the extra stitch for the lace pattern to be symmetrical.
I’m going to shut up and get knitting!
 Machine knit like you have a deadline! 

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