As promised, here is a post about my dress. I thought I would have gotten more done by now - I'd hoped to be finished with the sleeves and the smocked section around the ribcage, but I just never seemed able to settle down after I got home with my patient and went on nursing duty. Happily, BD is vastly improved and doesn't need me as much. Something Enormous to be Thankful for. But there were other days were great amounts of frittering took place and then there was the long stretch of trial and error knitting I had to do to customize this dress to fit me the way I want it to fit.
This is my first top-down project and there is an interesting comparison between the traditional bottom up vs top down that is worth noting.
So where am I on this dress? I've added THREE inches of short rows to the bust - and I am pretty sure I'm going to need another 1/2 inch still, but I am very happy with the way it fits. I tried the dress on when it had no sleeves and the single inch of short rows looked like enough, but picking up stitches around the armohole defined it a little more rigidly and when I tried the dress on, the front rode up some more. Rather a lot more, so I added 2 more inches of short rows.
Also, I discovered that sleeveless, the armhole opening was perfect but when I picked up stitches around it to make a sleeve it made for a somewhat skimpy sleeve. I don't have big biceps but I do slip the first stitch of every row when I do flat knitting so I have half the number of pick up stitches as I have actual rows of knitting. On the long stretch from underarm shaping to shoulder top this makes for a good looking pick-up ratio but across the shoulder top I needed a few more stitches. When I knit this again, with sleeves added, I won't slip the first stitches of every row till I've knit about an inch on front and back. Then the pick-up will be easy and I'll have that little extra width right at the top of the sleeve cap.
Of course - I didn't decide this till I'd knitted about 1/3 of the left sleeve, tried on the dress and found - oops. looks a little like knitted sausage casing. To experiment I just started picking up the stitches for the right arm sleeve, adding 6 more stitches at the very top of the sleeve cap. Much much better. Only I had run out of #6 needles, with one still in the bodice and one in the other sleeve. So I used a #5 and knit happily away, forgetting about the size difference. My Bad! Had to take that sleeve out and raid the left sleeve for it's needle. Ahh. Sweet. knitting looks happy, slightly bigger sleeve fits well. But - once there were 2 sleeves on the dress and I tried it on ... That's when I discovered I'm going to need about 4 more short rows across the front. Funny how just that modest tension of a sleeve stuck into a bodice can make it fit differently.
So. That is where I am on this last day but one in November. My hope and goal and desire is to wear this dress to work when I go back in January so I hope my Knitting Mojo stays with me throughout the holidays.
Hope your Knitting Mojo stays with you too. Ta.