Last week I was sent an email by a friend of mine asking about local places to buy interesting knitwear. Seeing as I don't tend to buy it anymore I didn't have a heap of suggestions (Topshop does not count as a useful suggestion!) and asked her if she could tell me specifically what she was after. She told me that she was feeling inspired by Finnish knitwear label I Know Why No . Their stuff is rather different from the stuff I normally make, but I like to respond to a challenge. The basic idea was to create a very simple, super-openwork dress. I thought about the yarn and realised quickly that something spun simply wasn't going to stand up to the strain of a whole dress pulling on it without stretching out disastrously. Plus, I had a craving to use some ribbon yarn.
I decided to use Colinnette Giotto in Mushroom. I had to order online, direct from Colinnette, and I must say it arrived very quickly, was excellent value for money, and all in all was lovely to work with. I think the dress ended up looking pretty great and I'm really pleased with how it fits the "brief".
The pattern is extrordinarily simple, basically a glorified garter stitch, although I wouldn't recommend it as a first project as the 20mm needles are a bit cumbersome and the shoulder seams are grafted.
Finished Measurements: 36inches/92cm from shoulder to hem; 18inches/46cm across unstretched. Due to the extreme size of the stitches, these are only guides for the flat garment. This is definitely a "one size fits all" design.
Materials: 1 pair US 36/20mm knitting needles. 2x100g skeins of Colinnette Giotto in Mushroom. I used approximately 120g/170m of yarn, unfortunately this did require starting the second skein, however this could definitely be a 1 skein project if one or two of the pattern repeats are skipped. Tapestry needle. Stitch holder.
Gauge: 10 sts/2 rows = 6"(15cm) square. Gauge is far from critical for this project.
CO 30 sts using backward loop method. This is important as a tight cast on will lead to puckering around the hem and a poor fit.
1st Row: Knit
2nd Row: Knit
3rd Row: Wrap yarn once round needle, k1 *wrap yarn three times around needle, k1* Repeat to end.
4th Row: Wrap yarn once round needle, k1 *drop 3 stitches wrapped in previous row, k1* Repeat to end, dropping the single loop created at the very end of the row.
5th Row. 3rd Row: Wrap yarn once round needle, k1 *wrap yarn three times around needle, k1* Repeat to end, dropping the single loop created at the very end of the row.
6th Row: Wrap yarn once round needle, k1 *drop 3 stitches wrapped in previous row, k1* Repeat to end, dropping the single loop created at the very end of the row.
Repeat rows 5 and 6 an additional 4 times so that 6 elongated rows and 6 "recovery rows" have been completed.
Next Row: Wrap yarn once around needle, k1 [wrap yarn three times around needle, k1] x9, bind off 10 stitches (you will end up knitting 11 stitches so that there is 1 stitch left on right hand needle), [wrap yarn three times around needle, k1] x9.
Transfer stitches to a stitch holder, dropping the extra loops in the process so that two sets of 10 stitches remain. These will become the shoulders. Leaving a long tail (~30cm) cut yarn. This is the front/back. Repeat until a second set of 2x10 stitches has been achieved. Transfer the front and back pieces onto needles so that the left and right shoulder pieces are aligned and each side has a length of yarn hanging from it. Using this yarn, graft (using Kitchener stitch) the two shoulders together. Grafting is beneficial to a seam in this instance as any seam in such a loose fabric risks showing clearly when stretched, as a shoulder seam would be. As the side seams will not be under tension, these can be easily woven together (very loosely) and will disguise themselves in the drape of the garment. Using a tapestry needle, stitch through the ribbon yarn to hold the ends in place, in running stitch along the yarn and cut short, leaving ~1cm security.
Blocking is, of course, unnecessary in this instance. It is recommended that the garment is stored flat in tissue paper or securely on a hanger. When wearing it, it will readily snag despite some resistance from within the yarn. This is easily fixed by pulling the garment back into shape, although care is recommended.
This is my first pattern write up and thus it is possible that there are errors. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment and I will try to resolve and confusion or errors as soon as possible.