Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stripes on Stripes on Stripes

You know how sometimes you get a picture of something in your head that you just have to make? And even when you keep running into problems you keep going because you know that it will be awesome when it's finished? Well...

When Knit Picks announced that Felici was being discontinued a few months ago, I panicked and purchased all of the remaining colors that I love. I didn't have any concrete plans for the skeins at the time, but I figured that striped sock yarn is a justifiable stash staple. After I saw all of the skeins added to my stash, though, I decided that I probably didn't need that many striped socks, and thus began my quest to find something else to make with some of the Felici.

My LINDEN mittens were the first project and ended up being a perfect way to use up a skein of Jingle. I don't wear hats (see my previous comments about having a big head), so those were out. My 2 skeins of Sweetheart were just begging to be made into something pretty for a sweet little girl, so I decided that I had a brilliant idea: I'd make a Sadie Baby Dress, a pattern that I've loved every time it came up on Ravelry, for my friend's daughter's 1st birthday in May. I looked through all of the project pages on Ravelry, and they were, of course, all adorable. The fact that all of the bodices were made in a solid or variegated yarn didn't register to me (ominous foreshadowing).

I knew that the seed stitch would look strange in self-striping yarn thanks to the purl stitches, so I dug through my stash for some white fingering weight yarn. I had some leftovers from some argyle socks but when I held it next to the Felici it seemed much more tightly spun. I knit the seed stitch band with one strand before deciding it was too holey, so I reknit it with the yarn held double. The fabric is dense, but works.

It was at this point that I start to consider the construction of the top of the dress. The bodice is knit in three pieces: a front piece and two back pieces that each have a button band. The seed stitch button bands would be knit using one strand of white to keep down the bulk, so I would have to switch yarns every row (is this technically considered intarsia?). Suddenly, it hit me: the top is knit in pieces. There would be no simple knitting around and around and letting the striped yarn work its magic. The stripes would have to be planned and matched up, and I would have to cut and weave in ends for each of the stripes on the top.

Now, let's talk about colors for a minute. To begin with, this is the picture that is on the Knit Picks website:

I see a deep raspberry color, a hot pink, a bubblegum pink, and a light pink. This is the assumption that I went on when I started knitting the top. I started chopping up a skein into the different colors and noticed that the light pink section seemed much bigger than the others, but for some reason I thought that was totally cool. Do I know that Felici colorways have 6 colors? Yes. Could I have check finished projects on Ravelry to see how other projects looked knit up? Yes. Did I? 
What do you think?

B is red/green colorblind and I will admit to having some fun testing him on colors. I used to be genuinely intrigued by the fact that he couldn't tell colors apart, but no longer. I can now relate to his frustration, because the section I thought was light pink is actually 2 very similar shades of light pink and a white that I think ended up having a lot of dye bleed onto it. Since I didn't notice this until the left back was finished and had the ends woven in, I just decided to make the top have stripes of 4 colors and the skirt include all 6. Whatever. It's a design feature.

Despite all of the issues that have come up, I have finished the bodice and am now on the much easier, knit-in-stockinette-until-it-looks-good skirt. I think it will end up being adorable, which was kind of the whole point.

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