This Moment – Box of Beauties

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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One Dress, Three Ways

While I may have recently extolled the virtues of knitting the same pattern over and over again, I must confess that I still like variety in my knitting. So when I decided that The Blessing needed a closet full of handknit sweater dresses for the coming winter, I knew there would be some serious alterations happening to some of my favorite patterns.

Case in point: Elena Nodel’s Maxi Top/Dress for babies

I knit it the first time following the directions.

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Knit in Mosaic Moon “Muted Berries” on Targhee DK
Rav project page here

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Well, I mostly followed the pattern. I had to space out the increases in the skirt differently to minimize the pooling, and I used the trim color differently. But other than that, this one was by the book.

I like the pattern so much that I cast on a second dress almost immediatly after binding off the last one.

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This time I used Mosaic Moon “Bollywood” on Mountain Meadow Worsted
Rav project page here

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For this second dress, I eliminated the increasing trouble that I had in the first dress by putting pleats in right under the waist band. I figured that if I could hit on that perfect “pooling free” stitch count at the top, I would avoid trouble later on. This meant that I used more yarn because the skirt is full from the top. I like it.

By now, I was getting pretty tired of the almost identical knitting, so I went crazy with the mods on the third in this series of dresses for The Blessing.

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Mosaic Moon “Dreamcatcher” on Mountain Meadow Aran
Rav project page here

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This time was using an aran weight in a DK pattern, so I went down a size. Then I made the following modifcations:
– After the collar was knit, I split for sleeves and worked the front and back separate for the appropriate length; did not bind off sleeves at this point, but left the stitches live until I could come back to them.
– Instead of garter waist at the arm pit, I began the waist band under the arm pit, and I worked a 1×1 rib waist with an eyelet round in the middle for a drawstring
– I worked increases only on the sides of the skirt, 2 increases each side every 1.5 inches.
– I made ruffles at the shoulder to bind off the sleeve stitches.

I love this incarnation. Although in retrospect I should have made the arm holes smaller and I should have knit the 18 month size. I assumed my gauge would be hugely different from my DK and worsted gauges, but it wasn’t. It fits fine, but probably not for terribly long.

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I love a good pattern, and I love it even more when I find it inspiring me and enabling me to let my own creativity into the process so that I can not only create an exact replica of the designers project, but also create something new and all my own! This pattern did just that. Not bad for a free Ravelry pattern, huh?

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Ply From a Swift? Yes We Can!

I enjoy letting a fiber tell me what it wants to be. Often I have an idea of what I hope for or a project in mind, but I really hate fighting with a fiber that wants to be something totally different. So I was very excited when I set out to spin this fiber for a friend on Raverly, who, when asked how she wanted it replied “however”.

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Mosaic Moon “Way of the Lost Souls” on polwarth

She did mention the hope of knitting a hat with it, so I sort of aimed for a self striping DK to worsted weight. I started by spinning a thin single without splitting the braid at all, with the intention of n-plying it. But then I realized that this fiber did not want to be thin.

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Well, not thin enough to be a three ply DK anyway. It was looking kind of fingering and I knew that just wouldn’t do.

Naturally, I switched to plan B and finished up the braid with the thought that a nice, slightly fulled single would be really nice, too.

It was nice. Super nice.

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But then I got to thinking about knitting a hat with it and decided it was more like a shawlette kind of yarn, which was not really the plan. Maybe it was time for Plan C?

So, I contacted my friend with her options. Did she want these 460 yards of fingering with loooong color repeats? Or would she prefer a bulky n-ply? Plan C it is!

I was actually a little relieved that she picked n-ply. But then I was stumped for a second. I have always plied off of bobbins and there I was with a skien in my hand. What to do? Can you ply from a swift?

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Yes. You can. It might be hard to see from this action picture, but that is my yarn on the swift being plied onto the wheel on the right (plus a lot of evidence of my seven children in the background).

Ah. That is much better. Much more hat-like.

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I sent it off in the hopes that I will get to see what it becomes.

This fiber definitely had a preference. I wonder if it will be happy as a hat?