Thursday, 21 January 2010

Skittish A-Line Skirt in silver grey

This was supposed to be the bell shaped skirt (free pattern published on but the bottom flare seems to have dropped out due to the heaviness of the yarn. The hemline is still quite flared, much more than I would like. The skirt does look a bit like it's skitting about!

The yarn is the silver grey colourway in Gedifra Samina. I like this yarn because it looks lovely and glossy but I must say that I much prefer it in black. The reason being that the yarn is 75% wool (the inner core of the thread) and 25% nylon (that's the much thinner thread encasing the inner core, sort of knitted around it!) and if the nylon thread breaks or moves about then the much darker wool thread inside pokes out. Unfortunately those little bulges are quite noticeable and I should think that this is only going to get worse with wear. I have poked the bulges back into the stitches and with a bit of pulling and prodding towards the wrong side - but I am not at all sure how long it'll stay this way.
The pattern promises a very comfortable skirt, and they are spot on about that! The skirt is very nice to wear, with one caveat: it can do with a slip underneath because the star stitch pattern does leave some gaps that make the skirt see-through in places.

The star stitch itself was interesting to knit: you knit five stitches together but don't slip them off the needle, you do a yarnover, knit the same five stitches together for a third stitch, do another yarnover and a third time knitting the fives stitches together and then finally slip those fives stitches off the left needle. You make five stitches out of five stitches. The result is a sort of star shape.
It is very difficult to knit off those five stitches three times with normal tension. I found that even if I knitted the five stitches very loosely in the round before, the stitches just weren't long enough to do this star stitch easily. It became a major headache. The best way to overcome this is, in the row preceding the star stitch, to knit either one or even two of the five stitches off with a double loop (wrapping the yarn over the right needle a second time before pulling the thread through the stitch on the left needle, then slipping the stitch off the left needle. The stitch on the right needle has an extra loop over the right needle - if this makes sense!) - then dropping the extra loop when knitting the star stitch row: slipping the five stitches from the left needle to the right and slipping the wrapped loops in the process, then put these five stitches that are now longer than before back on the left needle to knit off the five stitches together for the star stitch. That's the best method to avoid struggling with five stitches that are just too tight to cope with.
In the star increase round that asks for four stitches to be knitted together, making five out of four stitches, - I only added one extra loop, a second one was not necessary.

It was lots of fun to knit this and it only took me two weeks too. It was nice being able to insert the waist elastic before I finished knitting the whole thing - I have huge problems with WIP-finishing and I find that if I do as much weaving in of ends, sewing up bits and inserting elastic as early as I can, then the last bit of weaving in the last loose thread is so much easier due to it being bearable!
I think I am going to knit this skirt again, in a different yarn and colour. I may replace the star stitch stripes with cables, not twisting the same direction but towards each other. I'll just have to smuggle the 'invisible' increases in there somewhere!

1 comment:

  1. It looks fab! But how you managed to do this in 2 weeks is beyond me... my version of this pattern was a long-term, heavy slog experience! I managed fine with the star stitch, as long as I remebered to knit those stitches very loosely on the previous row. Otherwise it was totally impossible.

    Mine also turned out heavy with a flarey bottom (!) even though my yarn was totally different (100% cotton), I was wondering if perhaps a different edging pattern might be more forgiving rather than the star stitch repeats, but I could bring myself to frog the last few inches just to see!

    - Beth