Friday, 25 February 2011

Playtime Dress - A Cautious Tale of A Tension Square

I've started knitting Mary-Jane a playtime dress. I'm using Robin Paintbox and 4mm needles. The tension of this yarn is not the same as the given pattern. Which, by the way is a freebie from Lion Brand. But I thought it might not make too much difference. I cast on, and managed to do a couple of inches before bed time. A night or two later I carried on. At 9pm, I only had four and a half inches to go till I got to the yoke. I knitted furiously, and watched the third part of Stephen King's Rose Red (don't go rushing to watch it).

I got to 8 inches and decreased for the yoke, being very pleased with myself. Only then did I think that I mught just check my tension. Even my knitting against the ball band. The ball band says 22 stitches and 30 rows. My tension was 22 stitches and 27 rows. Hmph. Instead of being 14 inches wide, it was only 12. This would have made a difference, especially after the decreasing for the yoke. Only one thing to do. Well two things really. One is obvious - frog it all.

The second thing was to take the tension measurements and adjust the pattern. Thankfully the shape of the dress is straightforward. So I worked out how many stitches to cast on, for each of the three sizes. I'll decrease the same way for the yoke, (k1, k2tog) all the way along. I've not yet worked out the stitch numbers for the shaping, but am sure that it won't be difficult to do (as long as I'm not tired as I make stupid stupid mistakes then!). Plus I've got my workings out written down in one of my trusty note books. I'm thinking that I will like this garment. I'll like it even more if I can pull it off.

I cast on the second time, feeling more confident. I did a couple of rows and started feeling tired. I also started feeling that something else needed to be done with this pattern. I hate having this feeling, especially when I am tired as I can't think straight. I hate sewing up, a topic already visited. I don't really hat sewing up, I'm just not that good at it, surprisingly. And it doesn't appeal to the Lazy Knitter in me.

With this in mind, I looked over the original pattern. Circular needles, is what I thought. This garment can be done on circular needles, no sewing up. The top of the yoke, from where the arm holes start will have to be done backwards and forwards. But no sewing up.

I've now done a couple of rows on circulars. I have however, forgotten how to do garter stitch in the round. I did the first round as knit, then two (or was it three) rounds in purl. I know this is not the answer, but it will do for now. I shall have to remember how to do it. Soon. This pattern has Adaption Potential.

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