Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Burnt Brioche Dress

elsebeth lavold eucool
Stretched vertically, but shaping still falls within acceptable range - huzzah!

According to my ravelry project page, this dress has been in the works since 2015, which sounds about right to me; it certainly feels like it's been forever or so. Technically, this version of the dress has only been in the works since October 2016, and I've had projects on and off between stints of knitting this up, so once I got the math figured out, it came together pretty nicely (if I do say so myself) and without too much fuss. It has gone through a couple of false starts though, from two bottom-ups to working out the issues with the CO and raglan shaping (see below), and I'm very pleasantly surprised at how well this yarn has held up to so many frogs! Blocking itself took 2 days to finish because of the torrential and not-so-torrential downpours, with the humidity that comes of those, so fortunately for me, it dried out just in time for the one sunny day of the projected week! (I thought April was supposed to be the rainy month and May was supposed to be sunshine, lollipops flowers, and rainbows. April showers bring May flowers, or so I thought it was supposed to go.)

elsbeth lavold eucool
Side-split hem.

Onto the details:

  1. Top-down. The CO took me 3 or 4 tries to get right, because the regular brioche CO looked much too loose to me, in that it looked really sloppy. In addition to this, I had calculated a neck size that was a smidgen too small the first two times, I think.
  2. Raglan sleeve shaping to get the sleeveless dress, because I really like the look of it. This part took two tries, from ripping out all the way back to the base of the neck to the end of the raglan shaping. After I got the correct shape, I BO the raglan "sleeve" stitches and split up the front and back, continuing down flat before doing quick armhole shaping and reconnecting to knit the body in the round.
  3. Shaping spread out between the center back-ish area and the sides (for the front). These come down a little lower than I had originally knit them, because it stretched out a bit during blocking, but thankfully they still fit within the right areas or so. I'm eternally grateful I don't have to rip back and reknit because they shifted downwards.
  4. The original length was actually the slit starting high/mid thigh and the dress ending just below the knee, so the vertical stretch dragged the entire dress down to mid-calf area. This also worked out (and I kind of planned for this eventuality also, stopping below the knees so I'd be happy if it stayed there or if it stretched down) - hurrah! I was worried I'd have to kitchener an inch or two from where I started the slit, but because it stretched out, it saved me a bit of work there.
  5. I reinforced all - I might have missed one or two raglan edges though... - of the potentially weak spots where I split to knit straight or reconnected for in-the-round. Both split hem areas have been sewn together, as have the AHs and especially the one raglan point that was particularly weakly connected (I think it was just the nature of the construction that that specific connection was going to be a bit more tenuous than the rest of them, but I probably could have done something to avoid that to begin with, like doing a k2tog or something). It doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart anywhere, so I'm going to be happy with that until it does.
  6. I probably should have foreseen this, but it's a bit see-through, which I'm going to say was unavoidable: knitting at a tighter gauge would have destroyed me physically and emotionally, and I'm not sure whether the fabric would have been too stiff if I went down a needle size besides.

elsbeth lavold eucool
I'm bffs with my wall. Doing Fusion Dance with it, DBZ style.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out! I'm thinking of writing up the pattern for this, as has been the plan for the past three years, but there's no projected timeline whatsoever. I'm coming to realize that setting myself these deadlines is an exercise in futility. Who knows? I might even be more motivated to finish it if I'm not forcing it on myself.

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