Tuesday, September 9, 2014

delay tactics...

or should I say ‘wasting’ time? Actually, it’s more like doing something fun instead of the work I intend to do – you know, I really blame this habit on my Mother – when I was a kid and we had chores to do, she would make us work to, say, clean the bathroom and then we took a break and played cards before tackling the next job of cleaning a bedroom… and as the day progressed, the card-playing took up more time than the actual cleaning… Anyway, I admit that I still have a tough time buckling down to get the work done and it’s always been more appealing to do the fun stuff first.
What I should be doing ? Pattern writing – I have decided that I would offer a few patterns for sale now and again – not as structured as the ‘pattern of the month’  but just whenever I felt like it and all summer I have been meaning to write up the RTR Lace Cardi – I did re-knit it already – the yarn is Yeoman Yarns cannele (100% mercerized cotton, 245g cone) -  so, I’m putting it out there – order your yarn (knititnow.com) – you’ll need 3 cones for the 36-44 sizes (4 for the 48-54 sizes) – Sue orders on the 1st and 15th of each month, so if you get your order in for the 15th you should have it in hand by the time this pattern is ready - I promise it for the end of the month! There, a deadline! I never miss them!
So, in between little bits of pattern writing, I’m doing -  what I like best – knitting!
My sister, Jan (lives in Toronto,  has her doctorate in sociology and is very involved in women’s rights and politics) asked me to start her on a knitted wardrobe – she was here in June for 2 weeks and she specifically liked my shift dress and wants a few cardigans to go with so that she has several suitable option for most any occasion.  She already has the 1rt raglan cardi and tank (blog post March 16, 2014) in leaf green that I made for her birthday in March.
My basic shift dress is ‘Dress Up Day’ from Knitwords #16,  Spring 2001 – (what you may not have known - I was Lindsay’s chaperone for the ‘Canadian Search for Miss Universe’ in 2000 – Lindsay was on our cover like 20 times out of the 53 issues and, for the pageant agenda, I was supposed to have a ‘day dress’ for certain functions as well as evening wear, so that was my day dress!  You may have seen me at a seminar wearing this dress – I did alter it once – in 2006 – it had been just hanging in my closet for about a year and I realized that I felt that it was a little short – I still had the exact same yarn, so I cut it across under the bottom of the vertical dart and above the side slit, rehung it on the machine, added 60 rows and grafted it back together! Now it is just knee-length instead of above-knee, more age-appropriate!
Jan loved the idea that I can still wear it 13 years later!!! I made it with 2 necklines – a scoop neck on one side and a v-neck on the other because sometimes you feel like a vee and sometimes not – also depending on what you put with it, you have the option…mine is olive green wool crepe deluxe and of course, over the years I have made many cardigan/jackets that I can wear with it.
My plan for Jan: her  main colour is navy so the shift dress is WCD French navy. I will do: ‘Granville’ (March 15/12) in midnight tweed WCD – I made a stockinette swatch and it isn’t an exact match with the stockinette of the French navy but I’m hoping the textures of Granville will change it up enough to ‘go with’ it;
my wool version of the ‘Rib’nShrug’ from my blog April 28/13 in Thistle 4 ply wool;
and a raglan A-line in a lace pattern in a 4 ply mercerized cotton, mid/dark blue and maybe ‘Tobacco Road’ KW#53 in the same French navy WCD. I plan to have this all done for the end of September too;-)!
The most important things about making a dress that will endure the test of time – choose good yarn and a colour you will love for that long; choose a classic style that will always be in style – mine is plain, shaped sides with vertical darts front and back – or front and front, simple edges easy finishing. As you are knitting, be sure to hang yarn marks at the edges in 4”/10 cm increments – I cannot stress how much this does to help with the finishing and seaming; knit slow and steady and pay attention to your shaping methods and details. Also, I did make new swatches – after all it was 13 years of some pretty intense use on the same machine – my original was knit at T4 with a gauge of 38 sts and 47 rows – I got the same gauge at T5 with this yarn. Now, I want to point out that I’ve had this dress for 13 years and it still fits – not that I am the same size, but because it’s a very good quality yarn I can wash and reblock and resize it to fit whatever size I currently am (15 lbs plus or minus ;-) than I was in 2001)!

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