Ravellenic Games 2012 Wrap-up

I got it done!!  This was a bit of a nail biter.  I finished late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning.  It wasn’t dry until Monday morning though.  I got some pictures taken on Monday.  I just want to note that I was modeling this dress in Los Angeles heat wave weather.  Yuck.

Pattern: Sparkle! Dress by Shirley Paden – was a free pattern from a Vogue anniversary issue

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark in Fjord Heather and Black, about 5 and 6 balls respectively.

Start Date: July 27, 2012

Finish Date: August 12, 2012

Mods: Substantial.  I made this in the round instead of flat (!?) as written in the pattern.  I cast on 240 stitches for the smaller size, because I didn’t need any selvedge stitches.  As I wrote about last week, this ended up being way too big.  I started over, and took out an entire pattern repeat, 40 stitches.  I also used smaller needles.  When I got to the back slit, I made sure that it would land in between two medallions.  I cast-on steek stitches for this.  My row gauge was a bit off as well, so I started just going by measurements and not by the pattern directions anymore.  I knew I wanted a slightly higher (less deep) slit than was in the pattern.  I want to be able to wear a bra with this.  My guesstimate of height turned out perfectly, because it starts right above my bra strap!

I also cast-on steek stitches for the armholes and the neck.  I wanted to keep going in the round and not work back and forth.  It was also a bit of a personal challenge for me.  I have cut steeks before, but never really planned where to put them before.  I was a little confused because the pattern calls for bind-off stitches at the armholes in kind of stairstep shaping.  I wasn’t sure how to do this with a steek.  In the first round of the armholes, I bound off the first set of stitches (8) and kept going in the round.  On the second round, I put 3 stitches on either side of the bound off stitches on waste yarn, and cast on my 9 steek stitches.  I bet this sounds convoluted.  For the rest of the armhole shaping, I just decreased on either side of the steek.  I kind of winged it, eyeballing it to see if it looked like the right curve to me.  I used the same technique on the neckhole.  I was slightly worried that the neckline would look like a straight line, then raglan lines up the shoulders, but it ended up with a nice curve.  And when the steek stitches are there, it’s impossible to try on the dress to see how it it going.  Here’s an in-progress shot:

And a closeup of the neckline steeks:

If I had to do it again, I would make the steek stitches closest to the body all in one color.  Just so it was a little more obvious where the steek was.  But it didn’t make much of a difference.  On the decreases next to the steeks, I decreased toward the steek (ssk on the right side, and k2tog on the left side) on the very last stitch.  As supposed to having selvedge stitches.  And I would usually decrease in towards the body.  But they look really clean doing it this way, on shaping next to steeks.

I reinforced my steeks by handstitching.  I did backstitch with black sewing thread.  I used to do a crochet steek, but I wanted to try something new, and I couldn’t find my old directions for crochet reinforcement.  I also thought it might not be that important, since I had used wool.  But boy, am I glad that I did.  I feel like they started unraveling in towards the stitching pretty quickly.  I cut the steeks and picked up stitches around the armholes, and around the neck and back slit.  Here’s a bad picture of me picking up around the cut steek:

I picked up stitches, and then did an applied I-cord on all open edges.  For the neck, I did a continuous I-cord from the back slit, all the way around the neck.  I did a few extra rows of I-cord on the back neck to make a button loop.

You can also see how I trimmed the steek stitches and tacked them down around the edge.  I found this button in my stash, so I didn’t have to go out and find one:

I had cast on provisionally to start the dress.  I released all of those stitches from my crochet chain and did an I-cord bind-off over those stitches as well.

This was kind of a crap shoot how it was going to turn out, and I feel like I got lucky that it worked!  I found a few small colorwork mistakes after I was done, but I did some quick duplicate stitching over the mistakes and I can barely find them now.  It evened out so nice after blocking.  It also loosened up a bit too.  When I tried it on right after I finished it, it was pretty snug.  When I was making it, people asked me if it was for me, or for a young girl.  I think it turned out the perfect size.  Would I love a little waist shaping?  Sure.  But I guess it is a shift dress.

And here she is!  Phew!  I am looking forward to some small projects!

(Looking in to the sun…)

Did you make it to the finish line?




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5 responses to “Ravellenic Games 2012 Wrap-up

  1. That is an awesome dress, love the finishing. I’m seriously impressed you made the deadline too, especially after your last post!

    • jborders

      Thank you! At some point I thought about scrapping it, but the fact that you had already favorited it, kept me going!


  2. Lisa

    You are the most amazing knitter!! I can’t imagine having the nerve to steak something. The dress is fantastic.

    • jborders

      Thank you Lisa! I’m pretty happy with it, but don’t know when I’ll get around to actually wearing it! I’ve been missing you on Mondays. You gotta get those new students in line, so you’re able to come out!


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