About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Remaining Unruffled?

Still no visual for you; I haven’t taken the time to recharge my camera. But yesterday I bound off most of the stitches on the ruffle at the hem of Celeste’s skirt, enough to know that the ruffle as worked, didn’t.

The ruffle on the original skirt [designed on human scale] works for several reasons: the yarn is bamboo, so the fabric is as supple as silk; gearing up two needle sizes to work the ruffle increases that fluidity, so there is no bunching where you double the stitches, only graceful folds, and probably other reasons due to the physics of knitting or the properties of the yarn that are not presently occurring to me at dark-thirty and before breakfast.

But ... I may have found a work-around. This yarn [Hempathy] is just the tiniest bit splitty. I think I can make that work to my advantage by frogging back to the round before the ruffle increases and meticulously splitting those stitches into their component parts. Which will give me 120 stitches in roughly the space of the 60 I had been working; then I could split the yarn as I knit a new ruffle, working one round with one ply and the next round with the other ply. This would give me a lighter, more fluid fabric, with perhaps only the teeniest bit of wonkiness where the yarn splits at the beginning of every two rounds.

It would ensure that the ruffle is the same color as the body of the skirt. It might even be pretty and graceful, as is the ruffle on the skirt as designed. And if after a few rounds I discover that I do not like it, I can frog again, smooth the split strands back into some semblance of a plied yarn, pick up my 000 needles, and work a few rounds of ribbing to finish the bottom of the skirt. Ribbing would also mask most if not all aberrations in the re-plied yarn. It would also solve the problem of the bottom edge of the ruffle curling up, as it currently does, due to the physics of the stockinette stitch.

I may also have come up with a solution to the dearth of attractive skinny ribbon at the fabric store with which to do the lacing-up along the back panel of the skirt. I would not be at all surprised to find that I have a suitable color of silk ribbon lurking in my ribbon-embroidery stash. This first came to mind a few minutes before the alarm went off, when I mused that if I wind up with an unruffled skirt, I could feminize that long, tapered tube by stitching some silk ribbon flowers near the hem in a Coldwater-Creek-esque frenzy. And then I realized that that same silk ribbon would be supple enough to lace through the loops along the back panel and trail gracefully down the back of the skirt.

Which may be motivation enough for me to dive into my studio this weekend and find places for all the stuff I shoved in there when I cleaned out the hall. Or at least winnow out enough things that I can get to the stuff I need, when I want it.

Fourthborn, I think we can take it as a given that I won’t be wanting to attend the dolly work meeting and swap meet on Saturday afternoon. I think I will be going on a group date with Señor Swiffer, Daisy Dustrag and my dear old friends Ben and Jerry.

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