Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last Monday I finally did the deed. Literally months after I'd cast off the dress, I actually cut the thread which bound it to the cone of yarn.

Of course, before I did that, I wound off an absolutely enormous amount of yarn, a huge hank of it and I cut the thread on the other side of the huge hank. If I need to do any reknitting at the top, I'm covered.

Then I set about dealing with the unwieldy hem/cast on edge. In the time that's been freed up since finishing the dress, I taught myself to crochet and I did a single crochet all the way around the bottom edge. It took forever. Well, not really forever, but it took 3-4 hours.

I was telling a new coworker about the dress the other day and she asked how many hours I thought I'd worked on it. I couldn't even hazard a guess. So I was aware of the time as I did this crocheted border. Looking back, I can only say that I've worked on the dress "a lot". I had thought 100 hours, but I think that's a woefully low estimate. Fortunately this was 3-4 hours well spent as the hem is now much more stable and the scallops that are a part of this lace design are already showing up more clearly. I'm even considering doing a similar border up each of the side edges.

Those are much shorter - I bet it would only take 2 hours.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sewing Commences!

Last night I FINALLY sat down and banged out the skirt for the practice dress.

It's funny - someone yesterday asked how many hours I thought I'd worked on the dress and I couldn't even begin to venture an estimate. There have been busy months and there have been slow months in terms of dress progress. September, for example, was a slow month. Not really sure why - I was on vacation for a week, but what was I doing the other 3 weeks? Not a clue.

Speaking of which - mental note to self: You are not as smart as you think you are. Or rather, you are every inch the brilliant woman that you think you are, but your memory is not as good as you think it is. So the next time you draft a brilliant pattern piece or come up with a brilliant knitting pattern, for god's sake - WRITE IT DOWN. TAKE SOME DAMN NOTES. As you might remember I had to piece together the train b/c the pattern was too wide for the fabric and also because of the fabric flaws. Trying to figure out what the hell I was thinking when I cut out those pieces was challenging at best. I did figure it out eventually, but a note or even some conscientious pinning would have made a big difference.

So anyway - sewed the skirt last night. Wow. It's large. I keep saying that about parts of the dress, don't I? Anyway, just looking at it I think it's going to be too full for what I'm going for and I'm going to end up switching to a more A-line skirt, but I'm going forward with it for now. I'm also a little concerned that the drape of the train is going to end up being too short.
See that little bit of train hanging down? It looks too much like an afterthought. And I'm blaming that on the size of the other skirt pieces, not on my pattern drafting.

Didn't get to try it on with the knitted lace - it's too unmanageable in its current form. Once I have it attached to some form of bodice I'll do a test run.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The dyeing saga...

Dyeing linen is really hard. It's insanely complicated, which is something I really wasn't prepared for when I came up with this "I'll just dye it!" idea months ago. Poor planning on my part really.

But apparently plant fibers are insanely more complicated to dye than animal fibers (like wool). Very few dyers actually seem to dye linen. And dyers seem to be a very close mouthed group of people as a rule. I'm not sure why this is, but I'm having very little lucky getting advice and am mainly relying on one article I found on Knitty for guidance.

Fortunately it's a really thorough article.

So I'm going to have to dye this thing and I'll probably have to do it on the back fire escape and I guess I better do it before it gets too cold. The time has come. I must bite the bullet and buy some dyeing materials.

** Well that's the blog I'd written before I was given a little bit of hope on the dyeing front. Through the wonders of the NYC MetroStitches I am possibly getting hooked up with some ladies who specialize in linen dyeing. Hopefully they'll give me some advice! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me...