A dress that screams, “PINK!”

cocktail dress-7This dress has been done since May 7, when I eagerly cast on the Saco Stripes tank.  It’s called Cocktail(Dress) by La Maison Rililie.  This is the second pattern of hers that I’ve knitted.  I also made her BlueSand Cardigan and both patterns were well-written with nice polished details, like i-cord edgings.  While I didn’t always appreciate knitting the i-cord edging at the end when I wanted the dress to be DONE, I really like the look of them. cocktail dress-9I had to deviate from the pattern at the bottom, when I started to run out of the main color.  There are no contrast stripes in the original pattern, but since I bought my MC at a deep discount when it was discontinued, it was unavailable.  I had plenty of the lighter pink, so I improvised as shown above.  I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but it’s grown on me.  I think sometimes we fret over elements of a pattern while knitting them that become completely irrelevant later when wearing the garment.  cocktail dress-10

My sizing is between the small and medium sizes.  I wanted to hit something around the 34″ bust for a bit of negative ease there, but I wanted to keep some of the positive ease around the waist and hips.  I just compared my measurements to the finished garment schematics and tried to hit something that worked well for my body.  I left off a decrease in the waist, knitted to the high hip increases and worked as specified, then I added an additional hip increase.  I’m happy with the body skimming fit.  I also like the colors together more than I thought I would, and while it definitely screams, “GIRLY,” it is a dress, after all.  cocktail dress-4I put off taking pics till after my chin stitches were out, and then I just decided to do a photo shoot with just me, my camera, my tripod, and a remote.  Matt takes a lot of my pictures, and he does a fabulous job of it.  I can be very finicky about the specificity of an angle in a shot, or a weird face I’m making, so it’s nice when I can take a bunch of time and play around with the camera.  That’s also why this post is photo-heavy.  cocktail dress-2I used Laines du Nord Baby Milk yarn, a merino, milk-fiber, and cashmere blend.  I wish it wasn’t discontinued and was available in more colors.  It’s hella soft.  I used pink, light pink, and dove gray.  All in all, the dress cost only about 48 dollars, so I’m especially pleased for that much yarn.

Back to knitting!

Close, but no.

I knitted as fast as I could, but I overestimated my ability to finish the Cocktail(Dress) in time to wear to a wedding this evening.  Guess I’ll have to settle for this old thing instead.

cocktailI added a little bit of length and made some mods.  Even so, I had a couple of extra skeins of the main color so I thought I was safe.  I realized a day ago that I was definitely going to run out.  Rather than order more yarn and wait a week or so for it to get here, I decided I would try striping in some of the lighter pink contrast color since I had plenty of that left.  I would prefer a solid body, but I think I can live with this too.  cocktail-2Thoughts?  Does it look ok or is it obnoxious?

My daily dose of fiber is 109 yards

My goal is to be able to wear this dress by next Saturday, so I’m trying my best to knit one ball of the Laines Du Nord Baby Milk (109 yards) per day, so I will have a spare day or two for finishing.  So far, I’ve been close to meeting this goal.  I think I’m technically a half-ball behind, but I only have 4 balls left of the main color, so I’m keeping up pretty well.  I don’t think I’ll actually need all of these, but I plan on making the dress a smidge longer than the sample.  I’m thinking an inch or two, depending on where it hits my legs when I try it on later.  cocktail update

The dress is called Cocktail(Dress).  So far, I’ve made a few mods.  I had 4 extra stitches around the bust, making something between the small and medium bust sizes.  I did one less waist decrease on the front side only.  I did an extra set of side and dart increases on the low hip section before the specified increases for the small size.  I aimed to have the waist measure close to 31″ and I’m aiming for about 39.5″ on the full hip area.  I just try it on every so often and see if I like the way it fits.  I don’t have any positive ease at the bust, but I want a couple of inches at the waist and at least an inch in the hips.  The colors are really growing on me, and i think the pink will be flattering to my skin tone, as pink seems to be for many skin tones.

This Cocktail(Dress) should have a fabulous cocktail to go with it.  I’ve been obsessing over lavender lemonade so far this spring.  I take this recipe for lemonade and add two heaping tablespoons of dried lavender to the simple syrup as it cooks.  My co-op has dried lavender in the bulk herbs section.  It’s very handy for experiments like these.  I throw that lemonade in a glass and add a shot of tequila.  Sounds a bit weird at first, but it’s DELICIOUS.  Vodka or gin would probably also work just as well.  The lemonade is quite sugary.  The third time I made it I used 1 cup sugar instead of 1 3/4, and I liked it just as well.  I think I’m going to be making this all summer long.  Favorite cocktails?

Girly cocktail, anyone?

Hello, pink!  I’m starting the Cocktail(Dress).

cocktail

I think I will end up making some kind of S/M hybrid, putting the ease of the garment somewhat between the measurements for these two sizes.  I’m ok with some negative ease in the bust, but I don’t want this hugging my tummy and hips in an unflattering fashion, so I’ll just modify as necessary.  Hooray for top-down garments you can try on as you go!

So far this pattern looks like it is as carefully planned and written as the BlueSand Cardigan, so I expect an easy journey.

I need a serious case of startitis

I passed my dissertation defense, and am now officially Dr. Dominick!  Good alliteration, eh?  My dissertation research included two knitting groups with 4th grade girls to see if participating in the knitting group enhanced their social skills and academic achievement, while reducing problem behaviors.  The group seemed to have a medium effect on lowering bullying scores and raising communication scores.  The girls loved participating in the group and I loved working with them, so while I would have expected a greater number of positive results, it was a lot of fun conducting the group.

In knitting news, I’ve been totally lazy about getting a good picture of my New Girl skirt.  I will get to it soon.  In the meantime, I’m feeling a little out of inspiration for new projects.  I just finished a secret project that I will get to blog about later in the week, after a baby shower.  I have those socks on the needles still.  I’m almost lamenting the end of the cold weather here, because colder weather inspires so much fabulous wool knitting!  I’m ready to focus on warm weather items with linen, but I’m not sure what to make.  I’d love suggestions in the comments.  I have been eyeing Cocktail(Dress) for awhile and I have a TON of Laines du Nord Baby Milk (merino/milk fiber/cashmere) to use, but it’s in super pale pinks and gray. milk-2I don’t usually swath my person in that much pink, but the yarn was a STEAL from WEBS, so this dress will only cost me around $40 to make.  milkI think the peachy color on top would work for the sleeve caps, then gray for the chest stripes.  I have the most of the pink on the bottom, so that will have to be the main color.  I’m going to swatch a bit and see what I think.  It might be some super girly insanity.  But I want more ideas! I’m ready to fill up my dance card with summer knits.  What are you planning for the warm weather this year?