FO Spotlight: Little Phryne Test Knit

I finished this project a while ago, but didn’t finish finish it until today. Meaning, when I blocked it, it grew to gargantuan proportions and didn’t shrink back up with air drying. All that needed to be done was to re-wet it and throw it in the dryer but, with my current situation and stress level, that didn’t happen for a while.

In any case, here are the details!

The rundown

Pattern: Little Phryne by Taiga Hilliard aka cashmerejunkie

Yarn: 2 skeins (880 yds) Cascade Heritage Prints, a 75% wool/25% nylon sock weight yarn. Pattern calls for 800 yds for the size I made.

Size made: 4T-5T

Needles: US5s

Techniques used: Longtail cast on

Modifications: I made a few adjustments to the raglan increases so the eyelets and increases would be evenly spaced. I shortened the overall length by 4″. I ended up binding off early (partway through the seed stitch border at the bottom) because I ran out of yarn.

Difficulty: Easy. This would be a good intro to raglan increases.

Ravelled: here. You can read about how I did a cool repair job on it here.

The Pretty

My daughter was really excited about wearing it! She says it helps her twirl better. I’m glad that I modified the length as it would really be in the way if it were any longer.

Because of the yarn I chose, there are details in the pattern that don’t really show up. There’s an eyelet border around the bottom edge as well as seed stitch bands on the sleeves and at the top of the skirt. I probably would do it the same if I made it in self striping yarn again, though. I think it would look nice in almost any colorway, solid or semisolid. It would also work well as a color block piece if you wanted to use up some different yarns.

Even though it was 880 yds on US5s, the majority of the dress is stockinette stitch in the round. So, with my Addi rockets, it went remarkably fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if I made another one. It’s a simple enough knit, but it looks really lovely. I got a ton of compliments on it while I was working on it at my LYS.

She’s pretty much in constant motion. It makes getting modelled pics challenging, but you get the idea. On the whole, I’m very happy with how this one turned out. If I make it again I will likely incorporate all the same modifications. I wouldn’t mind using a similar yarn for it, either. I like how the stripes turned out!

Happy knitting!

Cooler Than Sliced Bread: A Knitting Trick

How did I not post about this when it happened??? All I can think is that I planned to include it on the piece in question’s FO Spotlight post. However, I hit a major stumbling block during the, ahem, blocking, and I never did a spotlight post. There’s no telling when that might happen, so I might as well go ahead and toot my own horn now.

As an aside, I’m what you might call “anxious” at the moment. I was supposed to hear something about the job on the table today, but didn’t. I was also hoping to work on repairing my dropped stitches but had stuff to do all day and couldn’t. So here I am, facing another evening without a knitting project to dig into. Last night I knit a few rows on my Feathery Lace Stole to tide me over, but I really need decent light for that, too.

I digress. A couple of months ago I made a Little Phryne dress for my daughter…out of sock yarn. It’s awesome, but it kind of took me forever. It took a bit to get started and on track. It’s a test knit and there were some numbers and whatnot that needed reworked. I started and frogged a couple of times for various reasons. Well, the third or fourth time I got going on it, I noticed a mistake several rows back. There was no way I was frogging it again, but the mistake was too complicated to fix by just dropping one stitch column down and working it back up. The dress is top down with eyelet raglan increases, and one of the increase sections just didn’t line up.

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Here’s what it’s supposed to look like

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And here’s the wonky one

See how the center spine in the second pic takes a little jog to the right? After the second round of eyelets? And how the eyelets don’t make a nice V shape? Yeah. I don’t know how I made it approximately 14 rows without seeing that, either.

But, hold on a moment here. This is sock yarn. Self-striping sock yarn. I could have added a few random cables and you’d never be able to find them. It’s a little like stripy magic eye. Who would ever notice? Well, what is once seen (by a knitter) can never be unseen and I set about finding a way to fix it. In my last post, I linked to a similar-ish repair job the Yarn Harlot blogged about. If you search back in her archives (sounds a little racy, doesn’t it?) she has another post somewhere about the same kinda deal. I had read both recently and decided to give it a try. So, first I did this:

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Please forgive both the poor lighting and the toddler potty in the background

And then (brace yourself) I did this:

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Aaaaaaghhhh!

I did a couple of things differently than the venerable Harlot. First, I did not label the loops of yarn as I unravelled them. That allowed me to peer painstakingly at each one to figure out which to work next. Second, I didn’t finish it in fifteen minutes of lighthearted knitting. It took me about a half hour of anus-pinchingly detailed work (sorry, Mom) to knit each row back up.

In case you don’t feel like trekking over to the Harlot’s blog (you really should, but I’m not judging. Much.) the idea here is to reknit each row using the unravelled loop. Since it’s attached to live knitting at both ends, that gets a little tricky. I used smaller needles to do this but it still ran pretty tight at the end of each row. If you attempt this, I’d recommend having a couple of small crochet hooks handy and maybe a tasty intoxicating beverage for when you’re done (really…wait until you’re done).

I didn’t take any pics as I was working on it because, honestly, if I’d stopped I might never have started back up again. Also, I wasn’t really thinking about pictures so much as about getting all those blasted stitches where I wanted them, for crying out loud. However, when I was done, I ended up with this:

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The tension is weird and there’s a visible ladder on the left edge of the reknitted panel, but the center spine is straight! The tension issues were easily remedied by a few tugs and pulls to get it all evened out. Now, I couldn’t even tell you which increase line was repaired. Success!

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Can’t see the line, can you Russ?

So there it is. Not the easiest thing I ever did, but it beat the alternative. I added a nifty little tool to my knitting arsenal and saved a WIP from its final frogging. I finished knitting the rest of the dress, then proceeded to block it. Unfortunately, disaster struck again! As soon as it hit the water it went from being about a size 4 to somewhere around a size 10. I’ve gotten pretty good about doing decent gauge swatches, but I never bother to wash them. Whoops! And so I never got around to figuring out how to shrink it back down. I plan to dampen it a bit and then throw it in the dryer (it’s made of Cascade Heritage Prints, a sock yarn, so should fare fine) but haven’t gotten around to it.

It’s really stinkin’ cute. I should just do it.

Happy knitting!