The knitting madness strikes!

17 Jan

In which a slightly gusty, rainy day turns my thoughts to yarn and needles.


I have looked at this knitted dress pattern from Etsy seller babydee over and over again. Isn’t it just stunning? Imagine a full length black lacy gown over a red or cream slip…

… and then imagine how long it would take to knit one! I know vintage knitting patterns often call for a much smaller gauge than modern knits, so if I started this tomorrow I might be finished by next winter! Even with the lacy pattern it would be a marathon effort. In addition, I know knit dresses are slightly impractical as knitting likes to stretch out with wear. But, how pretty…!

Are any of you knitters? What would be my chances of this turning out nicely if I decided to give it a shot? Or should I devote myself whole-heartedly to my sewing machine?

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15 Responses to “The knitting madness strikes!”

  1. Miss Emmi January 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    The only thing I’ve ever knitted was the DNA Scarf (I used to work on it in lectures because moving my hands would keep me awake, andteachers didn’t mind because it was science-y) but that was an ordeal and a half and it was less than a metre long!

    I think that dress looks amazing, but imagine if you got halfway through only to realize you’d made a mistake earlier on! Frogging is much more heartbreaking than unpicking (I should know, I’ve had to do my fair share). That said, it’s easier to multitask while knitting, and it is fairly relaxing and quiet compared to sitting at the sewing machine.

    • whipstitchsewing January 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

      That’s my concern – getting halfway and then realising it’s not going to work. But i do like sitting in bed at night and knitting 🙂

  2. Lily January 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I can’t knit at all (wish I could) but I would imagine that would be a drama and a half! And then you need to make another dress to go underneath it!

    I was thinking that I should learn how to knit… but it seems like learning how to sew is enough trouble!

  3. Veronica Darling January 18, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    My advice would be to learn continental knitting (I have some links to some good video sites, check my knitting label/tag on my blog) because it’s the easiest to learn and fastest in the long term…

    I reckon you can do anything! This may or may not be crocheted though… looks light and flowy like crochet? I’m not experienced enough though, but I’d give it a shot.

    xoxo

    • whipstitchsewing January 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

      I actually knit continental already, my German mum taught me when I was four! Yeah, it’s definitely quicker, I am always tempted to teach people I see knitting ‘english style’! My crochet is not so flash though 😦

  4. Amy January 18, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    This is gorgeous! She has a few other amazing evening gowns as well. I just favorited about half of her patterns 🙂

    I think that yes, the gauge on this is going to be extremely small. I have a late 50’s lace cardigan pattern and the gauge is 11st/in. Modern socks are usually 7-8 st/in on us #1 or so needles. I love the tiny needles but that cardigan and especially this dress is going to be a labor of love. Some one will need to take you out to a super fancy dinner when you are done! As far as stretching out it will depend on the weight of the dress, the characteristics of the stitch as well as the yarn. Some modern yarns have spandex in them which might help or you could carry an elastic thread or woolly nylon along with the yarn so it has a little more bounce back. I am not a super expert so talking to someone at a yarn shop might be able to give you better advice and some suggestions as far as yarn would go.

    If you decided to knit this I would be a blogger cheerleader for you it is certainly a gorgeous pattern!

    • whipstitchsewing January 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

      Hmm, very good advice on the yarn front. Maybe even sock yarn would work since it has some polyester in it? I generally like knitting with thin yarn (have made many socks and some cardigans already), it’s just a full garment is a bit intimidating!

  5. Alyssa January 18, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    I’ve done my share of knitting and really didn’t enjoy it. It hurts your hands after awhile, is tedious, and it is never easy to remember where you left off! Plus, if you make a mistake you have to rip all the way back to it.
    If I were you, I’d buy knitted/lacy fabric and just sew with it. You’d be hard pressed to find it in a chain store like Joanns, but if you can get to a store like Mood that is actually in a garment district you should do alright.

    • whipstitchsewing January 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

      Oh dear, we have nothing even close to a ‘garment district’ here in Adelaide! I am very jealous of anyone who lives in a city that does!

  6. Carla Hills January 18, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Unlike sewing, you can knit while watching a movie or TV…but in Australia I found it really hard to knit, especially in summer!, just because of the heat. My hands sweat too much 😛 In terms of how long that would take to knit up, probably not THAT long…if you knew what you were doing. Its a lace pattern, so it should form up fairly fast. She only says that it’s knit once in the description though, otherwise it says both ‘knit’ and ‘crochet’….so I double check that for one, I also might ask what size yarn and needles the pattern recommends…so you can judge that as well.

    • whipstitchsewing January 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

      Yes I think asking the seller whether it is actually knit or crochet would be a smart thing to do. I’m a pretty fast knitter and if it is a repetitive lace pattern it shouldn’t be too bad. To be honest, I’m really just worried I will finish and then the whole thing sags and is unwearable!

  7. Abi January 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    I love knitting and crochet, but I’m not particularly advanced 😛 I’ve never really knitted anything more than a scarf, and I used to stick with crocheting granny squares. I’d really love to try knitting actual garments sometime, especially when I see some of the beautiful vintage knit patterns out there. I can’t imagine how long it would take to make this! But it sure would be stunning!

    At the moment I’m knitting a whole bunch of squares (25 stitches, about 14cm square) in pretty matching wools that I plan to stitch together into a throw rug. I might try and do some crocheted squares to put in too. It’s a fun little project I work on when I have some spare time or want to keep my hands busy.

  8. Nadja- En salig blandning January 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    If you really, really like to have that dress, go for it! But be ware about the time it takes, mabey even a year wouldn´t be enougf of time to it….
    I´m knitting a new sweatter at the moment, working upp til 13 inches in the backpiece has taken me mabey 15 hours (of course I can´t knit so much at the time so im only estemationg the time)…

  9. Andi B. Goode January 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I’ve just decided to start knitting! I have two rows of a hat done. ;] I used to knit when I was little but decided to take it seriously. My mum once crocheted herself a ball gown!
    -Andi x

  10. Cheryl Marie April 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    That dress would be stunning. For me, it would probably be a 5-year project, but even then I think it would be well worth it. Have you made any decisions on this dress – did you actually purchase the pattern? Just curious – I know this original post was from a while back, but the dress is really intriguing!

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