Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Slow Start

I’ve been making a lot of projects from stash this year. The packing and unpacking that goes along with a move has a way of showcasing the amount of materials one has accumulated over the years. And I’ve accumulated a lot.

As I was organizing my yarn, I kept coming back to three groups of partial skeins: eleven colors of Sublime Yarns Lustrous Extra Fine Merino DK, five of Classic Elite Yarns Moorland, and one of Moda Dea Eclipse (formerly made by Coats). Each yarn has some wool and manufactured fibers such as nylon or acrylic. The Moorland also has alpaca and mohair.

Coordinating Skeins of Wool Blend Yarn

The colors work remarkably well together, considering that they were purchased at different times for different projects. A minor challenge is that Lustrous and Moorland are both DK weight while Eclipse is worsted weight. I used some Eclipse in the original Lustrous project; I know the difference will be noticeable but not off-putting.

Three Yarns Side by Side to Compare Thickness
From left: Moorland, Lustrous and Eclipse are similar in thickness.

After a search on Ravelry, I decided to make #06 Feather and Fan Dress from Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2009. I’m taking a chance with wool blends in a pattern that calls for silk.

By far, the yarn that I have the most of is the green Moorland. I started knitting the bottom of the dress in green, thinking that I would follow it up by also using it at the neckline and for the crochet trim. About a dozen rows in I started to think that because I would be moving from US-7 (4.5 mm) to US-6 (4.0 mm) needles, it would make more sense to start with the thicker Eclipse yarn. I frogged those initial rows.

As I began to reknit the dress, I came across a few broken spots in the skein. I didn’t think too much of them; I simply created joins and kept moving. After I switched to the next color, however, the Eclipse broke as I made a stitch. The Eclipse has been in my stash since 2008. I don’t know if age played into the break but I think it’s possible, as I didn’t see any evidence of bugs or other critters. In retrospect I wonder if I actually dropped a stitch but saw the yarn ends from one of the previous breaks. Not wanting to take any chances, I pulled the stitches off the needles and threw away all of the Eclipse.

Beginning of a Knit Feather and Fan Stitch Dress

I returned to my initial plan of starting with the green Moorland and am about 18 rows into my third attempt at this dress, which is my farthest so far. The bright side of the second attempt is that I had the presence of mind to check the size before I threw away the knitting. The project notes in Ravelry show some people saying the pattern runs large and others saying it runs small. Based on my early results, I think it runs large. I had started making the larger of the two sizes, but am now knitting the smaller size.

Close-Up Photo of Feather and Fan Stitch Dress

Between fewer stitches for the smaller size and staying the course with my latest yarn choices, the project is moving along much more quickly now. I hope that next week I’ll be able to report progress beyond row 18.

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