Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Knitting Redux

So I've alluded to the fact that there are some problems with the bottom of the knitted lace - specifically the part knitted on the Size 13 needles. Heck, I might have gone on at great length, I'm too lazy to go back and reread old blog entries.

This past Saturday Justin had his bachelor party and our apartment was filled with many, many men drinking a lot of whiskey and watching old WWF videos. I took this opportunity to flee to the East Side and spend the night at the apartment of my good friend & minion Jenny Gill, whom this blog knows well. I took the dress with me, figuring it could use some air, since it hasn't left the apartment since it came home as a cone of yarn many, many months ago. I took the dress out of its bag and told Jenny (probably for the 5th time) of the problem with the bottom border and how I was becoming more and more convinced that I was going to have to cut it off. She was skeptical, but once she saw the dress she agreed. The majority of it looks fabulous, the pattern is crisp and generally lovely. The bottom just looks kind of bedraggled and somewhat like it had been mauled repeatedly by Chiana. (Which it has not. She has generally been very well behaved to the dress.) Even when I was knitting it, I knew this part of the dress was very delicate and I talked about the almost frothy quality that it had, something which I, quite frankly, loved. I knew it was delicate, but I had faith in my ability to avoid protruding objects on the wedding day and generally prevent disaster.

Unfortunately dyeing was the downfall of the dress border. If I'd had correctly colored yarn from the start and only ever had to steam block it, I think the border would have made it. But I think any full scale immersion in water would have done it in. The repeated dunkings and agitations that dyeing the dress not once, but twice required, were just too much for the border. The yarnover holes became HUGE and the more tightly knitted "leaves" of the pattern became tiny. The crocheted border now just looked like crap. I would try to describe it some other way, but frankly, words fail me.

So I resolved to unpick the top part where I had bound off and starting knitting again, with size 8 needles. After about 5 minutes of picking at the final knot, I got it free and pulled back the last 3 rows, which included two decrease rows and a row of plain knitting I'd added for stability. The lifelines I'd chosen to leave in - 3 of my original 6-7 turned out to be really, really well chosen on my part. There was one just below those final three rows - made unraveling them and picking up the stitches a snap. There was another where I switched over from the Size 10 to the Size 8 needles. Okay, this one really has served no purpose in terms of knitting, but it's nice b/c it's also where the train ends, so it provides an easy reference point in terms of that. The final one is where I switched over from the Size 13 to the Size 10 needles. When I finish this blog entry, I'm going to go and cut the yarn below this lifeline. I'll then pick up the stitches and do... something. Maybe a crocheted bind off. Maybe something else.

I made this decision Saturday night and now it's Tuesday. I have made some excuses as to why I've put off this cut for 3 days. Some were legitimate - I drank a lot of wine on Saturday night and didn't want to do anything stupid. I also wanted time to do some new knitting at the top and make sure it still looked good. The overall design of the knitted lace piece won't really be changing, but the train will be dropping down to start at my lower back as opposed to my mid/upper back and the train itself will be becoming slightly smaller. I wanted to make sure this looked okay. It does. And I think a smaller train will if anything, be more appropriate to our casual wedding. Plus I still have no clue how to bustle the damn thing.

But it also took me a few days to get used to the idea, at least in my subconscious. Thinking about it consciously for as long as it's taken me to write this blog, I'm starting to get a little nervous. So I'm going to stop typing (ie. procrastinating) and go take the plunge.

The dress will be better for it.

PS I bought some buttons today. If they work with the dress I'll buy some more soon.

PPS The fabric part of the dress is going very well and once I work out some train issues, it'll be just about done. I should still be able to meet, or come very close to my goal of having it done before Justin & I leave town this weekend.

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