Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Little Black Dress (and other projects).

So.....this little black dress has been secretly hiding for a while (submitted it to one place but they weren't biting) but it's time for it to be exposed! I designed this right after finishing Hip In Hemp, inspired by revisiting photos of floor length dresses my mum designed in the 70's. It is also made with Elizabeth Lavold's Hempathy yarn. I wanted it to be simple but have an interesting texture so went for this all over Jacquard stitch from one of the Barbara Walker books.
It was knit as one piece starting at the shoulders and worked back and forth until the wrap- over was united under the bust area. The skirt was then worked in the rnd down with ribbing to separate the bands of Jacquard stitch. Increases were worked into the Jacquard pattern evenly around. There is an eyelet rnd under the bust where ribbon can be threaded through (the one I ordered is a little skinny so I had to use two strands-may order something different- the place I ordered from had an amazing selection). The hem is finished with Zigzag trellis lace (also from BW) and then a picot cast off. Sleeves edgings were picked up and worked back and forth using short rows in the same ribbing as on the dress.

As you may imagine this project took quite a while to knit and it didn't help that I did quite a bit of significant ripping back during the process! However I'm pretty happy with the end result but whenever I try to have photos taken of me in it I don't like them (partly has to do with the glare of the California sun and my white skin against black)! I am wondering how much I'll wear it and am considering ripping back to just below the hips so that it is more of a top (as you can see I like wearing it over trousers)...or I may give it to someone else (I'm taking it to Scotland so I can try and get some better photos of my sister in it as none of mine really do it justice-perhaps she'll want it)!

The only other thing I'm regretting a wee bit is the eyelet rnd as it has stretched a little with the weight of the skirt (but there is no way I'm ripping back to there)!
I can see why this would be a hard sell for some's all black (don't see that that often) and it's a big project. Price wise though it is good value - I used 10 balls of Hempathy so that works out to about $60 from certain retailers that give bulk discounts!
Anyway I've been wanting to share it for a while and I decided not to submit it anywhere else... whether I get around to writing up the pattern for my blog is another question!
As I was getting myself organized for my trip back home, which involved bringing warmer clothing out of my closet, I came across this poncho I made last winter in Colorado. The pattern comes from a poncho called Rap On Stripes (by Veronik Avery) from Wrap style (for a free download click on the Rap on Stripes link above) Well as you can see I didn't do the stripes and worked reversed stockinette st bands in between regular stockinette st in a solid grey (love grey) of cascade 220. However when I finished I found it fell off my shoulder too much and of course I never got around to working more decreases. So last night I ripped back e and made the neck opening a little smaller. Now I can add it to my pile of woolies to take to the windy Shetland islands!
I'm now trying to decide what to take as projects for the trip (although unfortunately I'm not allowed to knit on the plane...what a waste of hours and hours of what could be very productive time) and after looking at Wrap Style again I'm considering the Shetland Triangle shawl by Evelyn A. Clark (as can be seen here by grumperina) appropriate thing to work on I think...and I have some lovely Jaggerspun Zephyr wool-silk in lace-weight that would look great for this project....and it does say it's surprisingly easy to knit!
I have two other completed is the design I was working on for Gryphon.....can't give away anything until she puts it up on her etsy site but I am very pleased with how it came out and really wanted to keep it for myself! The 2nd project...well that's a secret....!

I'll be back soon with photos of my trip home!


Lise said...

It's a beautiful dress you've made. You should keep it the way it is. Have a nice trip.

Samantha said...

Love that dress. It's fabulous! Why can't you knit on the flight?

marit said...

The dress is lovely! I've never considered wearing a knitted dress(but I might well knit it, just for the fun of it), but this actually looks wearable, and it looks great as a tunic.
Have a great trip back home.

Anonymous said...

The dress is beautiful and looks truly wonderful on YOU! (assumming that is you modeling it!!)

Cirilia said...

I love it!! Wow! It reminds me that I had a dress planned for this summer...whoops =)

Also...did they SAY you couldn't knit or was there a list with banned items? It's probably different for international flights but every time the Webs ladies go to Stitches we take our knitting and a self-addressed stamped envelope so we can mail it to ourselves if they tell us to get rid of it. I've never had a problem, even with scary metal size 9s. I've heard you can have luck with small bamboos, anything delicate.

Anonymous said...

That dress is gorgeous! And I think it would look even better as just a dress, not a top--it's very feminine (perhaps why you don't like it?) and I could see myself wearing it. Don't know about knitting it, though :P I stick to smaller projects.

And why can't you knit on the plane? I know knitting needles are on many lists of banned items, but I've never even been questioned over bringing them onto the plane. And for a long flight, I would be positively FIGHTING to keep them with me! Think of all the knitting you could get done!!!

Gudrun Johnston said...

Gee thanks for all your lovely compliments on the dress! I guess I won't tamper with it after all....what I need is more going out occasions to wear it!
I have checked and double-checked with Lufthansa about the knitting and at least over the phone they say no to knitting..however maybe I should try with some bamboo and take the self addressed stamped envelope....mmmm quick trip to LYS!

Anonymous said...

Love the LBD! Good luck on your trip too - hope you have lots of fun. We can trade travel stories when we get back.

*melanie from

Beth Armstrong said...

Please, please, please can I have the dress? It's gorgeous and looks fab on you but if you need another model...only 3 hours before I leave the house to catch my first flight! Can't wait to see you in 24 hours in LA! Bethxxx

Anonymous said...

gorgeous! gorgeous! gorgeous!
that dress is exquisite. and i think it looks cute with trousers. i`m a fan of that look myself.
the wrap/poncho is really pretty. i`ve been trying for a year to knit a poncho for myself, but alas it hasn not come to be yet. either i love the look of it and the pattern is too advanced...or the pattern works for me but i don`t like the look of it. quandary, quandary, quandary. maybe i should just go for it...jump in over my head for once.

Liz said...

The dress is totally gorgeous, and anyway, wearing dresses with pants is uber hip... Have a lovely lovely trip to the beautiful isles.

Melissa said...

Love the dress! It looks so cute on! You should totally write up the pattern!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOUR DRESS--I worked with Hempathy for my last Design for KnitSimple and loved working with it. You look great in both the dress and the poncho...GOOD JOB..HAVE A WONDERFUL VACATION.

Donura said...

I love that you made the poncho in a solid color. Is the knit purl striping in the pattern? I only looked at the pattern quickly so not really sure. You do beautiful work. I am inspired to knit your skirt pattern in a solid color. I used to wear knitted skirts all the time.

Kris said...

Honey, that dress is gorgeous on you, a black fitted dress needs a low neckline, but you need to ditch the pants. Black dresses call for cleavage and legs :-)