I’ve been wanting a hand-knit dress for quite some time now. My perception of knitting a dress, though, was that it would be a never-ending slog and take forever to accomplish.
Joji Locatelli’s Traveller Tunic caught my eye a while ago, though, and I decided to knit it in some Spirit Trail Brigantia I had in Echo. Reading through the pattern, Joji called for the length to be knit 26″ from the under arm. I realized that, since I’m pretty tall (5’9″ unless I’ve started to shrink in my old age ;-D ), this measurement was going to hit me in just about the exact worse spot. It would be too short to be worn without pants, but long enough that it would hit me right about under my butt. Not an attractive length for me at all.
So, I needed to knit it longer. And since I was going longer, why not just keep knitting and make something I could wear with tights and boots? So, that’s what I did!
Notes for my pattern modifications are:
I knit the pattern size 40″ bust and used just a bit over 2 full skeins of yarn (I broke into the third skein for part of the second sleeve).
I moved the shaping from the sides into the body by approximately 25% towards the center on either side (so stitches are 25% of stitches – shaping – 50% of stitches – shaping – 25% of stitches, on both the front and the back).
I continued knitting the body, with increases per pattern, until it reached just above my knees (great thing about top-down patterns – you can try them on as you go). The length ended up being 29″ from the under arm. I added a few more increases than the pattern called for, but spread the additional ones out over more rows to slow down the “A-line” of the dress (I didn’t want it to flare out too much).
I also decided to make it nearly long sleeved instead of elbow length by continuing the sleeve decreases. I knit 9 decreases instead of 4 as written in the pattern, and the sleeves are a bit longer than ¾ length (if I push them up just a bit, they’re ¾ length).
I finished my dress late Saturday evening, steam-blocked it on Sunday morning (and a steam-blocking was just fine!), and wore it all day Sunday. So comfortable, and cosy, and at the same time, not too heavy (Brigantia is such a great yarn, and I think DK weight is my favorite yarn weight. At least right now 🙂 ).
Yep, I love it!! And now I want more hand knit dresses!!
On another note, I’d love to start sharing some of YOUR Spirit Trail projects on my blog! So, if you’re interested, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you have something you’d like to share ~ include photos, pattern info, modifications, which yarn and how much you used. I’d really love to share your creations here, too!