Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Retro-Fitted Skirt



It came out a little more "night on the town" than PTA but it's my Bell Curve Skirt and I love it!

It was almost not to be, though, because of some dastardly star stitches..... which actually were the reason that this skirt went from being merely a "nice" skirt to an eye-catching "wow" skirt that I'm thrilled with!

Those of you who have been following along on my knitting adventures know that I struggled with the Swallowtail Shawl because of the "nubb" stitch (P5Tog). Based on that experience you would think that I would avoid patterns with a similar stitch. Think again. I'm apparently a slow learner.

A major design feature of this skirt is the textured effect of the 4 columns of "star" stitches running the length of the skirt. The "star" stitch requires that you K3Tog wrap and reknit the same 3 stitches together. Not surprisingly it was miserable to execute.

There are many beautiful examples of this skirt on Ravelry and tons of great suggestions on how to make executing the "star" stitch easier, but none of them worked for me. I began to consider other options including blocking it heavily and wearing it draped over my head as a monk's cowl or, I pondered briefly, was the mini-skirt really such a bad fashion statement? That would be yes, at my age.

Fortunately I have friends. Better yet, I have knitting friends! I've mentioned them; I've hinted about them; but I've yet to name any of them.... until now! The first member of my Topanga Knitting Group to be unveiled is the very special Murielle who is a knitwear designer, a newly opened Etsy shop owner, and my own personal creative muse. She adorable, to boot.

She looked at the skirt, listened to my tearful story, and with a shrug of her shoulders pronounced that the skirt would look much cuter with a flouncy ruffle edging anyway. Really?

And she was absolutely right! And that's why she's a knitwear designer. The ruffle was made by casting on 12 stitches (using 1 needle size larger than used to knit the body of the skirt) and worked in seed stitch for the desired length (roughly 1.5 times the circumference of the skirt bottom) and then sewn on by machine.

Particulars: Bell Curve Skirt, free pattern on Knitty; Zoe yarn manufactured by Artfiber Designer Yarns; US 8 and 9 needles; modified by adding a seed stitch ruffle edging as described above. To get the best possible fit with this skirt make sure you have a tapestry needle handy so that you can take the skirt off the needles several times for fittings and adjust your increases as needed.

Lastly, I would like to say how much I appreciate it when someone takes the time to leave a comment on the blog. I try and respond to each of them unless it is designated as "no reply" or "anonymous" in which case I don't, for obvious reasons. But I would like to say thanks to the anonymous person who left a comment on the last post suggesting that I hang the quilt on the front door ~ I love that idea!

29 comments:

Alison Boon said...

I love love love that ruffle, it really does give the skirt the wow factor. I feel that mine is the runner up in this comp, but I don't mind coz yours really does look great.
I am going to have to make another one, but with a ruffle.

amanda said...

Applause for Murielle for the ruffle idea! This skirt is perfect!

Bridget said...

I absolutely agree that the ruffle makes the skirt! That is the nicest knit skirt I've seen so far, and I hope you'll find lots of opportunities to wear it.

(P.S. Go Irish!)

jillian said...

Ooh la la! It's gorgeous on you. The ruffle really does make it!

Silvia said...

Fabulous skirt! You look great, and the ruffle is perfect. Well done!

Marilyn said...

The skirt is beautiful. Have you completed your Haven scarf from Heartfelt? I'm just getting ready to start mine and would love any tips.

Monika said...

This skirt turned out wonderful! You wear it so pretty. I haven't looked at the original, but I must say, I like the ruffle too.

Pat K said...

Fabulous! You'll be a knockout in it. Excellent planning on your part to have a knitwear designer in the wings! ;-)

Renee said...

That looks stunning on you! The ruffled edge is brilliant! I'm a huge, huge fan of your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for liking my door hanging idea. The Christmas quilt owner who I got it from is a member of my knitting group -- aren't they just the best people to have around?
Your skirt is da bomb! And I don't say that lightly. Three cheers for the whole package - the fit, the color, and the ruffle.

marit said...

Wow- that's a gorgeous skirt! It looks fabulous on you.

sweetp said...

Wow. Just Wow. THat is really very stunning. You look amazing in it!!

Denise said...

As I said on Ravelry, I just love the skirt :)
As for fingerless mitts, the ones I just did took one evening each. That's the kinda knitting I like ;) so I'll be making more for sure.

KnittySue said...

That pattern was surely made for you, it's just beautiful..and yes the ruffle makes it.

Channon said...

Love it, especially the ruffle. Between you and Alison, I think this skirt will be my reward once I get some of this weight off!

amanda said...

Yowza - that skirt is smokin'! I've seen several knitted skirts this season and they look great on everyone. The ruffle is a great suggestion and definitely give it a bit of "flair"!

raining sheep said...

You look GORGEOUS. That skirt is amazing on you - you look amazing in it. The ruffle gives the skirt a lovely shape and the style just suits you so well. I am pretty impressed.

Marie said...

The skirt looks stunning on you. I love it just because of the ruffle and the dark shade of yarn you chose. You'll be able to wear it with almost anything.

Diana said...

The ruffle makes the skirt, and it looks fabulous on you.

tiennie said...

This is perfect for you! You model it so well. So gorgeous!

Tracy said...

Oooo-la-la! Absolutely gorgeous, Claudia! The shape looks so good, and looks so good on you...LOVE the ruffled hem! I've never knit a skirt before, thinking it would make me look dumpy...this gives me hope! Your friend Mureille is a great knitter--her talent-filled shop is an inspiration! Thanks for sharing...And let us know how the skirt went down at the PTA! lol! ;o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Hilary said...

In the word(s) of Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway Season 4: FIERCE. Claudia, that skirt is so fierce!

knitting dragonfly said...

I love the ruffle!! What a great idea, it really makes the whole skirt looks great. And great on you. Good pair of legs you have there.
giggles
Vicki

Glitzy said...

That's a super cute skirt. Found your blog via blogcatalog

Windyridge said...

It's lovely and you have the figure to wear it.

Glitzy said...

I am still knitting. Thanks for stopping by. My main blog has a link to my knitting blog in the top left. I haven't posted to it though since grad school is time consuming. On ravelry I am glitzy.

the Lady said...

Nice skirt! Nice ruffle too.

Foxglove Cottage said...

What a beautiful skirt! I love the ruffle too!

Jules said...

That's an adorable skirt! Your friend's advice was spot on, and the yarn you chose was perfect. Tell me, did you have to line it?