Thursday 1 June 2023

A little challenging: vanilla dress

I do love a challenge and if it's small and the price of failure is low, even better.

When my Frocktails co-organiser Lisa's little baby was about to turn one, it seemed the perfect opportunity to try knitting a cute little dress. That it would only take two 50g balls of yarn made it too tempting.

With some Knitting For Olive merino/cotton (colour: dusty artichoke) from The Yarn Bowl and the Vanilla Dress pattern from Knitting for Olive, I was off.

Right from the start there were some new tricks to learn. The neckline is started on a crochet chain and then an I cord bind off is done to create the neck edge. Neat and easy to follow.

I was going great guns until I got to the main lace pattern and then I couldn't figure out how the stitch count worked. It was Easter and I was out in  the country at my folks place. A quick help-needed post to Ravelry and I had a reply in a time that would put emergency services to shame. They explained how to read the chart without necessarily starting at the farthest right and ending at the farthest left - the only way I'd read a chart up until this point.

I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

Then I went and rolled my ankle at a mountain bike race - I got off to walk a tricky downhill section and failed at walking! Loud crack, monstrous swelling and pain and I had to hop out of the bush with the St John's guys and Marshals half carrying me. More time to knit, I guess...

The next challenge that was new to me was to knit the little sleeves in the round on double pointed needles.

I have a gorgeous set of KnitPro Ginger interchangeable circular needles, and a matching set of KnitPro Ginger single pointed needles. Obviously I needed to complete my needle stash with the Ginger double pointed needles.

Knitting with double pointed needles was a bit like wrestling a spider with tetanus to begin with. Eventually I worked out how to hold the needles so it was less like Pick-Up-Sticks and more of a continuous, smooth action.

And then it was finished. Nothing beats a baby sized garment for a somewhat immediate result!

It was blocked on the day of the first birthday party which I couldn't make it to as my ankle was nowhere near good enough for driving.

But just last weekend I caught up with Lisa and baby Cleo and gifted it. I hope it fits!

Having finally got my head around the pattern and all I learned from it, I'd jump at the chance to knit it again in a bigger size for next year. What a great experience.

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