A couple of months ago, I left you with a little teaser. Do you remember?
The yarn and pattern was given to me by a dear friend. Now, being who I am, I hardly ever follow a pattern to the letter, especially if I appear to run into some challenges. What pattern you ask? It has a name that is a little hard to remember or pronounce. It is called UKHKA 73 (yes, all in caps…), it was published by the UK Hand Knitting Association, and was designed by Audrey Wilson. I have had the most delightful contact with the UK Hand Knitting Association. I was looking for Errata for the pattern (something I always do before I start, it often saves headaches later on), and had to contact them. I had the most wonderful exchange with one of their reps, who happily send me the errata very quickly. As it turns out, the pattern I had already had the errata corrected in it, so I was good to go. Of course that usually takes me a while… I had sweaters and shawls to knit (as in they were on the needles before this project… 🙂 ) So while I made a little progress, it ended up sitting next to my chair like this for a month or 2:
I wanted to make some adjustments to the original pattern. First, the yarn (which was sold to my friend as a package deal, and should therefore work well with the pattern) was really a little thick for the stated gauge. The yarn is very soft, (It is Cascade Yarns, Pacific) and knits beautifully at about 18 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm). However, the pattern was written at 22 stitches per 4 inch, which makes the resulting material a bit stiff and dense. So, I decided to change the gauge of the pattern (yes, the calculator was my biggest friend), and cast on what you see above. The markers were purely there so I could keep count. Counting about 180 stitches with 2 little girls around is a challenge to say the least… 😀
Now, the yarn, as I said is lovely soft, easy to use, except for a large number of knots in almost every skein. Often it is just 1 ply that is knotted with a awful, hard to undo knot, but several times the whole thread was disconnected and knotted together. I seriously dislike knots in my work, but I have not been able to undo the 1-ply knots. I have cut out the whole thread knots, which hopefully means the dress will not get holes due to bad knots. The color is good though, and it knits very nicely, not much splitting, even when I was trying to knit with 4 skeins attached to my work. There is a little fuzzing going on, which probably means I need to watch how I was it, but I do that with everything I knit, I do not think it will be a problem. The fuzzing is undoubtably created because it actually is a 40% Merino, 60% Acrylic blend. According to the Cascade website it can be washed on warm, and dried in a cool/low temp dryer. It comes in a huge number of wonderful colors. And yet, because of all the knots, and not just in one skein, I do not think I would choose it again easily. Alright, the last bit of info on the yarn, it is put up in nice large skeins of 100 grams (3.5 oz), 213 yds (195 meters). Suggested needle size is US 7-8 (4,5 – 5 mm).
But, back to the adjustments that I made to the pattern. The whole dress was 15 inches tall/long. (Oh, I am making the biggest size, size 3/4) My daughter, when I measure her from the back of the neck (where a T-shirt starts) is 11 inches to her waist, and she is a size 2. Therefore, I wanted to make the dress longer, preferably with the amount of yarn I already have. I also discovered that the bodice part is only 7 and a half inches long, which seems a little short, definitely for what I am envisioning. I will be making both the skirt and the bodice longer. And I think I can do it with the amount of yarn that was included in the kit. 😀 I would show you pictures of where I am at at this point, but my camera card is full, and I have not had a chance to do the things I like to do before I empty it. You will have to wait until next time! 😀