Another FO, in Cascade Ultra Pima! This time round, it was pattern lust combined with long flights and jet lag that allowed me to finish this so quickly. That is, finish all the knitting quickly and wait forever to sew it up.
I’ve set myself two rules for plane knitting: First, no metal needles. You never know what security’s thinking at any given time, so why take chances? And second, knit simply, preferably something that can be worked by touch.
Last month, I broke the second rule badly, calculating and executing a complex provisional CO (a deviation from the pattern) at Narita airport, after boarding had already started for my flight. Oh and surrounded by several toddlers in various screaming modes too.
It worked out fine, and while the toddlers made valiant efforts to auditorily puncture my eardrums, none of them attempted to grab my yarn, which filled me with such gratitude and good feeling that I even helped the embarrassed mother of one of them to push the empty pram along, while the brat writhed and screamed on the floor.
Anyway, on to more interesting topics, how and why did I deviate from the pattern? Let’s first look at how it’s intended to be constructed:
(i) Work back hem band, pick up stitches along one long side, make entire back working back-&-forth.
(ii) Work front hem band, pick up stitches along one long side, work b&f till skirt is finished, shaping arched top with short rows. Cut yarn, leaving live stitches on arched top.
(iii) Provisionally CO for bottom of bodice front, make bodice (splitting for neck), after shoulders are finished continue with neck extensions till they’re long enough to meet at centre back.
(iv) Make icord for certain length, continue with icord but this time work last stitch of icord with one stitch each from arched top of front skirt and bodice bottom (thereby joining them), continue with simple icord after front pieces are joined.
(v) Make sleeves and then sew it all together.
While this is a brilliant and fun construction, I feared I might not have enough yarn; knew I had to add more fabric to the bodice; considered longer sleeves; and definitely wanted to knit my skirt in the round.
To make sure I wouldn’t run out of yarn, I had to start in the middle and work outward. So I CO provisionally at waist level, worked a few rounds straight, shaped the top of the front into an arch, then finished the back working b&f. Then I made the front bodice, joined shoulders and neck extensions and attached front pieces with icord. After sewing up the sides, I had a sleeveless bodice, with the original provisional CO at waist level. From here I worked the skirt downwards in the round.
Looking at the project gallery, I knew I had to add some short rows to the front since the bustier knitters ended up with the i-cord cutting across the bottom of the bust — quite an unflattering look. So while working the medallion chart, I added a couple more cable repeats in the centre. It sounds complicated to describe, but was rather intuitive while knitting; I extended the medallion outwards along its outer edges for some more rows than in the pattern, while continuing with the decrease/yo combinations which fill most of the medallion. Oh and I worked one of these extra repeats in short rows, to add fabric to the front of the bodice and not the sides.
And I think that’s all I have to say; it’s a beautifully designed and very flattering pattern, and a really wearable and wow-ish addition to the wardrobe.