Promises Are Meant To Be Kept

January 17, 2014

I will return to the socks I’ve been discussing in a week or two. Let me share a story. I like to write. In my spare time, while I was employed steadily, I wrote stories about characters for my nieces, Jessica and Elizabeth.. I named the characters Sunny and Moonbeam and made them to look like my nieces. They have had some fun adventures in these stories, including meeting dragons I have sewn for my nieces. The dragons are Stella, the Brave, and Capice, the Understanding. In one of these stories, it seems I promised to make my nieces doll clothes for Sunny and Moonbeam. I must tread carefully here, as I may have promised them sewn doll clothes.

So, what is sewing doing in a knitting blog? No more than it has to be. I like to sew from time to time. I have discovered I do not care for sewing doll clothes. All those short, small seams drive me half crazy. But it couldn’t be too bad to knit Sunny and Moonbeam a dress, could it? So, I googled free knit doll dress patterns, or some such order of those words. I found some pretty patterns, and I printed a few off. I don’t think I’ve printed off the one my boyfriend thought was too old-ladyish. If I did, I’m saving it for after the prettier dresses. But it was a pretty dress. 

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Alas, I settled on a pretty looking dress with a cowl neckline, then I began to unravel a doll blanket I’d knitted on the Knifty Knitter ™ Loom years ago, that I have not used since my nieces were moved to Florida. I chose a purple and gray combination because I think its pretty, and my youngest niece likes purple. I hope the color combos aren’t too old-ladyish, but second and third graders seemed to like it when I was knitting in class, so I think I’m okay.

I read the pattern after I printed it off. It wasn’t written traditionally, but it was in steps. I figured I could work with it. The bodice front was a little confusing, but worked out in the end. The bodice back, well the first one I knit went well. I did what it said and it worked out. The second one, with checking, was confusing, and written exactly the same as the first except that the cast off stitches happen one row lower on a purl row instead of a knit row. Apparently, this is supposed to give you the sides. I’m not sure if it did or not. I still don’t know which one I knit first or second or which was supposed to be left or right. I got confused, and had to rework this twice, before I simply laid it against the bodice with its counterpart and knit to match.  If this was not being done due to a promise I was reminded of, I would not have continued with this pattern.

I would either have tried another, or given up and hand-sewed the doll clothes. I still may hand-sew some doll clothes, but I wish to finish some other projects first. Once the bodice pieces were finished and joined, I began to pick up stitches to add the skirt on. I realized at this point, that the pattern designer must prefer flat needles. When I’m making a round piece, I much prefer double-pointed needles. I adjusted the pattern for such, making it easier as I just had to knit, and slip in ribs at even intervals and remember where to increase. I used tally marks to track my rows, as is my habit.

The skirt went easier than the bodice for certain, but it is a larger piece. I began with 52 stitches, and increased in 13 stitch increments to 91 stitches during the last few rows. Even for only six rows, 91 stitches, with a 2 purl rib or not, can feel like it takes forever. But it did get finished.

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I then went on to knit the sleeves and cowl later, which I will address in next week’s blog and then will return to the foot of the sock I am knitting. I hope to be at the toe or finished with it soon so I may begin the second sock.

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