I've taken quite a break from my blog, which I think is inevitable at times. It's not been the easiest of years, and I've not had much free time at all. But I've started something I wanted to blog about! My knitted dress.
I've been wanting to learn new skills for a while. Twenty years ago I fell in love with a hand knitted dress, which I saw worn at a party. I've always had it in mind, but felt the skills involved would be way beyond me. I have knitted in the past, but not much, and I've achieved the sum total of one and a half jumpers (half was finished off for me by a kindly aunt after I'd sat on it for 10 years). But I went to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace earlier in October and fell in love with this dress from PurlAlpacaDesigns.
The Icon dress. I'd never cabled before, but I didn't think it could be that hard. I also had some alpaca wool tucked away from a while back - the dress is for 100% alpaca wool, which is incredibly soft and lovely to work with. I thought it would be the perfect project both for teaching myself new skills and relaxing over the winter. So I went ahead and bought the pattern.
I have to admit, this is not an easy pattern for a beginner. I struggled so much to get going and finally had help from a kind fellow blogger and from a friend. I had to unpick several times. The cables turned out to be very easy, and I used youtube to find out techniques for those. But the pattern is written with a lot of prior assumptions, and it's not a pattern someone like me could have interpreted without help. This was one of my test cable sections.
And I do mean beginner. A classic example... I didn't know about stitch markers! I really didn't. After the advice about popping in stitch markers (these aren't mentioned on the pattern, but it's been an enormous help to have them and be directed as to where they go), I first used safety pins. I couldn't understand how anybody had the patience to keep undoing the pins and popping them onto another stitch. I was absolutely clueless about just popping a stitch marker over the end of the needle! That's a true beginner for you. But, now I'm finally on my way, I'm so pleased with how it's going. It's fun. It's challenging. And it's ever so relaxing.
I've set myself a year, as I wanted to be realistic. I'll keep you posted.