Thursday, July 5, 2007

Indigo Ripples Skirt

I had to stand on a chair to get this picture. I desperately need to get a real camera.

Pattern: Indigo Ripples Skirt, IK Spring 2007, size XS
Yarn: Rowan Denim in Nashville (225), just over 8 skeins
Needles: KnitPicks Options Circulars US 5, of various lengths, and one crochet hook
Date Started: June 9th
Date Completed: July 4th (I had put this aside to work on something else...which I haven't finished...oops)

Like many others, I was wowed by Eunny's finished skirt, and followed her lead on modifications. I went down one needle size, and lengthened the stockinette portion of the skirt (I'm modest). I lengthened it quite a bit (post-washing, this sections measures 14"), so I only did 50 rounds of the lace pattern, as I was worried I'd run out of yarn (I ran out anyway...on the bind-off round...more on that later). I also substituted sssk for the sl1, k2tog, psso, and substituted M1L for M1R on round 25 in the lace pattern (as suggested by Dotty on the Indigo Ripples Skirt KAL).

The other major modification I made was to alter the cast-on and increases to make my skirt sit lower on the waist. I'm not a big fan of clothes that hit at my natural waist (I can't stand to have anything tight around my belly). So, I cast-on the stitch number for the next size up, and stopped the first set of increases when the total stitch count matched that listed for my size (so I did 4 fewer increase rounds in the end). Seems to have worked -- the skirt sits relatively low.

Lastly, I made a crochet chain with yarn doubled instead of the i-cord for the drawstring.

Rowan Denim is a pretty fun yarn, but it does have its drawbacks. Being 100% cotton, it can be pretty tough on the hands and wrists. Being dark denim (the last pic below is the most accurate representation of the color, though it isn't 100% right), it left my hands looking rather...smurf-esque (don't worry, it washes off easily and didn't stain my clothes). It produces a lovely fabric, though. And I got a kick out of seeing its transformation in the wash. I machine-washed it on the cotton/sturdy (ie, hot) cycle, as the label recommends washing the knits at a relatively high temperature. Since I pay to use my washer, and I'm cheap, I washed this with jeans and a color catcher sheet thrown-in (which came-out quite dark). Out of the dryer, the fabric still isn't very soft, but like a pair of new jeans, I predict the skirt will soften (and fade) with time and wear. I did have to block the lace afterwards, as it was pretty lumpy -- I took the lazy way out and hit it with some steam and simply pulled at the lace in both directions to open it back up and add a little length.

My only problem with the yarn, as I alluded to earlier, was that I ran out of it. For those of you making or considering making this skirt, please allocate more than a full ball of yarn for that ruffle (if you're using the Rowan). It's a monster. One of my LYS carries Denim, but the dye lot was off. I bought it anyway, as the source I bought it from initially was out-of-stock (d'oh), and I figured that a slight difference wouldn't be too terribly noticeable since I only needed it for 1/3 of the bind-off round (and the drawstring). It was noticeable to my eyes (mostly the drawstring), but imagine my surprise when I pulled the skirt out of the dryer and saw that I could not, no matter how hard I tried, see the difference any longer. I guess that the new dye lot (which was darker) was over-dyed just a touch more than my original dye lot, and a cycle in the washer evened everything out. Hooray!

This skirt is going to get a lot of wear. It's cool and comfy, fits well, and looks pretty stylish (especially by my standards). I'm not sure I'd be wearing it on the hottest of days, as it is a little heavy, but it'll see plenty of action. I'm already planning to make another Kat Coyle skirt (probably the one out of Greetings from Knit Cafe, possibly in hemp). I always thought that knitted skirts were a bad idea of colossal proportions. I am officially a convert (unless that saggy bum thing happens, in which case I'll let everyone know).

ETA: Here's the update on the "butt sagging" issue. Thankfully, there doesn't appear to be one! At least not through one solid day of wear, which included a few miles of walking, and many hours seated at my work computer. The bottom of the skirt does appear to have stretched a bit (probably from the walking), but no sagging anywhere. Yay!


Toya said...

you skirt came out great

Octopus Knits said...

Lovely job! Have you seen the one Brandy finished recently ( )?

Amanda said...

Thanks for the link, Octopus Knits! Her skirt is lovely (that's the second ecru one I've seen -- they come out very striking), and it's nice to see someone else making those mods to make the skirt sit lower.

Penny said...

your skirt is beautiful!

Thank you! I've been eying Eunny's mods and wanting it a little more modest before i start the lace so even tho i'm short and small i might play safe with a whole set of 10 balls? that is if I can find the yarn...

Dotty said...

I'm glad to hear that you were able to work around the "out of yarn" issue. My heart skipped a beat when you posted about it on the KAL blog. It's very interesting that you can't tell the difference in colour after washing it.

And use the hemp for your next skirt. It's as hard on the hands as cotton but you can't beat the drape. It makes the swishy-est fabric.

Adrienne said...

Your skirt looks wonderful!

Amanda said...

Thanks, everyone!

Penny, I'm 5'7" (but my legs are kind of short -- I've got a long waist), and like I said, only needed about 8.25 skeins. However, I did alter the skirt so it would sit lower, so that reduced some of the yarn I would have needed. I think with 10 skeins, you'd be safe.

Dotty, I'm glad to hear the hemp makes such a lovely fabric! I had been thinking of linen, but the hemp sounds very similar and is much more affordable. As for the dye lot issues, I can only guess that the synthetic dye they use has no variation to it (ie, it's just one compound) -- so, differences in dye lots may just be the difference in the degree to which the yarn has been overdyed. Washing may bring everything down to the same level. Though, you couldn't pay me to test that theory with another garment!

Robin said...

Love it! I have this one on my list, also the Knit Cafe skirt. Did you see the Knit Cafe skirt that Lara of Yarn It made? Hers turned out great and inspired me to buy the Knit Cafe book. I also just got hemp yarn and the pattern for the lovely lace skirt by Hemp for Knitting and should be starting that in the next few weeks.


itsjustmeghan said...

love it! it turned out so cute! and i do love your modifications. to be honest, i hadn't considered knitting it until i saw Eunny's pictures showing the accidental longer version. i love the just past the knee length. i think it's perfect!
absolutely fab!
keep us posted on the butt sagging!

Virtuous said...

I plan to make the XS just like you so should I get 9 balls of yarn to be on the safe side?? With your BO scare and all.....there is not one LYS here that carries Rowan and I will need to order off of ebay! :op

Amanda said...

Virtuous, I did add a lot of length to my skirt...if you plan to knit it exactly as the pattern calls for, 8 should be enough. But, if you're going to make any modifications, I would go ahead and get 9 to be safe. And make sure you have about 1.5 balls of yarn left when you start the ruffle!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your tips ... very helpful information! I am following your advice and so far, so good!
Your skirt is perfect!