Thursday, July 05, 2012

Stripey Dolly Dress

I made a little dress for my niece Lucy's cabbage patch doll. I thought it would be a quick & easy little thing, but it became a series of technical lessons and insights - which was actually really cool. I'm a process knitter and my technical skills are generally acquired on a need to know basis. Sometimes I'm not even aware that I never really learned the prettiest way to do things because I do them so rarely. As I made this dress I was thinking of maybe making Lucy a cardigan to match, so I let go of my desire for a perfect looking end product and used it as a learning opportunity. That said, the pattern was pretty crude, so the end results weren't going to be stunning anyway. 

Lesson 1: Superwash yarns aren't forgiving
I used the Cascade 220 Sport Superwash, and found that when it comes to colourwork superwash isn't as forgiving as regular wools. Superwash is very smooth and it doesn't stick to itself like untreated wool. You can see a lot of bumps and lumps where the yarn is woven in, or where the increases are made (see above). If done again, I would make the increases down either side of the body, rather than across the body.

I realized that I really didn't know how to weave in yarn as I went, so I consulted a book (Sally Melville's "The Knitting Experience: Color". Above is the inside of the dress, where the yarn is woven in - properly. I started by weaving in the ends in one direction, but after a bit of consideration I decided the yarn is a bit slippery and it should be woven back in the opposite direction to keep it from popping out. 

Above is the outside of the dress where the ends were woven in. It isn't a super-duper mess, but the stitches aren't as neat and uniform as the rest. I don't know if this would improve with A. more experience, B. trying other techniques, or C. using a yarn that isn't so unforgiving. TECHknitter suggests weaving in or skimming in the ends when making narrow stripes

This was one of those things that I knew I did not know how to do. My stripes were a mess, they were all off kilter. I totally lucked out and didn't even have to look this one up - Rosie told me she'd learned how to take care of this problem in the Turn a Square hat pattern. Thank you Rosie & Brooklyn Tweed!

The last bit wasn't new to me, but I figured I'd show you anyway. I made the bottom edging into a folded edge and then sewed it down. 

New Gadget: Clover Wonder Clips
Making a folded edge was a great opportunity to crack open a package of new Wonder Clips! They are little plastic clips that are designed for holding seams when sewing or knitting (or sewing knitting). They are definitely a nice alternative to using safety pins, which take forever to put in, and sometimes the coils can get caught in your stitches. Me Likey! :-)

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1 comment:

Lisaleh said...

Those clips are also used when handsewing sewing the binding on quilts! Another good option is hair clips.