Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Affair to Remember

Sometimes you just have to lead off with a picture, right?

I'm so happy to have completed the cover skirt from "Romantic Hand Knits"!

Pattern: An Affair to Remember from "Romantic Hand Knits" by Annie Modesitt
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL, 5 balls, color 005 Aged Wine
Needles: Takumi Velvet size 9 circulars
Size: hip 34 (my hips are actually 37, but this fit well)
Time to finish: one week exactly, from 9/15 to 9/22
Mods: Went down one needle size, added some length to the top section

This is a beautiful pattern that was actually highly intuitive. The genius of Annie Modesitt is evident in this skirt shaping--that is, the lack of shaping. Instead of increasing and decreasing to make the skirt fit snugly around one's hips and backside, she uses ribbing that stretches over these areas, then gradually changes into stockinette to draw the skirt in around the lower thighs. It is easy to formulate the skirt to fit your individual measurements (I used the direct method of continually trying it on to check that it fit right). While I have seen many in blogland long for this skirt, but claim they don't have the body for it, I believe that with careful attention to how the skirt is constructed, it can flatter a variety of figures.

Though the pattern is marked as advanced, I found it rather easy, and ended up not using stitch markers except for center back. You need to know how to execute cables and do a simple lace pattern, but everything is straightforward and well explained. I loved not having to worry about increasing/decreasing over the hips, since it was built into the design.

I used Classic AL because it was the right weight, came in gorgeous colors, and was on sale at WEBS. I'd love to do this skirt in the called-for A-maizing, because it would be a lot drapier and smoother, but it's nice in the wool/alpaca blend, and probably a lot warmer (certainly more affordable!).

There were a couple of minor errata, which I'll be sending to the designer. I understand her life is rather hectic right now, so if they don't go up soon, they will at least be here to hopefully help people.

1. In the first decrease row in the Waistband section, there is a mistake in the number of stiches you knit before the k2tog. In the size I did, the second smallest, it should read k12 instead of k16. Other sizes should look at how many stitches you are supposed to end up with, and adjust accordingly.

2. In the Lace section, once you have reached the part where there are no nonlace stitches in the side panels except the center p2 stitches: the next oddnumbered round says to "p1, k1, (YO, k2togL) 13 times, p2, (k2togR, YO) 13 times, k1, p1," etc. When you get to the p2, there is one stitch left, and no way to k2tog. I just knit this stitch and went on to the p2, and on the next lace round, the pattern matched the directions. I'm not totally sure if this is right or if I somehow messed up, but this method kept the stitch count correct. Maybe others will figure this out, but since I ended up having to rip a few rows twice, I want to warn you to watch out for it!

This skirt was a pleasure to knit and even more fun to wear; I expect to get it out a lot this fall. If you're on the fence about this project, I highly encourage you to go for it!

One last pose like the model:


Anonymous Kim U said...

Wow! That looks great on you - and a good color choice for such a va va va voom skirt.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I can personally attest that this skirt looks thoroughly awesome - an opinion in which I was joined by many folks at OFFF! Great work, and you wear it very well!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous stitchywitch said...

I love it! It's so flattering on you!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Virtuous said...

I absolutely freakin LOVE IT!!

That skirt is THE main reason why I want that book!! Yours is the 1st one of I have seen done!

You must add it to the Romantic Knits KAL! :o)

THANK YOU for all of your notes, esp. on the errata!

I found your blog b/c I was looking at your ripple skirt since I plan to knit that one very soon. How is it coming for you?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Swords and Needles said...

I'm a somewhat novice knitter (my greatest accomplishment thus far is Monkey socks) and I was wondering if you think this skirt would work in denim yarn? I also noticed you said you used only five balls when the yarn in the pattern has a higher yardage, but calls for more (i.e. 12). I just want to make sure I order enough of whatever I decide on before I start this project, so I thought I'd ask someone who made it. It looks awesome!

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm about to start this skirt, and greatly appreciate all the tips. It's encouraging to hear that it's pretty intuitive.

Looks great!

8:35 AM  
Blogger *DB* said...

I picked up knitting about a year ago, and this is my first major project. I just started it yesterday and discovered the errata, and a link to you, on Annie's sit. That skirt looks fantastic on you! I hope it turns out like that for me!

6:44 AM  

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