Wednesday, March 28, 2007

cover me, darling please

Remember this dress? I was going to knit Elspeth from Rowan 37 to go along with it? It's been so long that I'm now having second thoughts. I'm not sure Elspeth is right for this dress, and having seen so many otherwise brilliant knitters having trouble with the fit, I'm concerned. Knowning how much crochet I'd have to do around the border has me more concerned. Spending time knitting and seaming and crocheting, and then finding it doesn't fit? That could very well break my will to knit, so fragile lately anyway. I've barely recovered from the Bella unravel. I can't go through that again.

So what should I do? I don't want a shawl because I don't want to have to hold it in place or tie all of that material at the front. I don't want just a shrug, because I have pretty broad shoulders, so shrugs don't usually fit the way I'd want. They ride up in my armpits, and they create the illusion of this vast expanse of skin across my upper chest and collar -- let's just say it, they make me look like a zaftig milkmaid. Not quite the look I'm going for here, so I settled on bolero. I have something like twenty-four balls of Baby Silk in this salmon color, and an equal number in seashell pink. I need a bolero or cropped sweater that will look good with this dress.

I'm open to anything, really. Lace, cables, loads and loads of stockinette, free pattern or one where I have to buy the book, whatever. Nothing where I have to look at a chart for every row, though. I'm done with that for a while. (I bound off the second front of Starsky last night.)

Please also consider that this is going to be worn to a June wedding. In Tulare, California. If Hell had a dry sauna, the damned of Tulare would walk into it and scoff, "Thermostat broken or something? It's chilly in here!" In other words, no suggestions where the pattern begins "knit with four strands of yarn held together."

Let's make this interesting. If you leave a comment for this post between now and midnight on April 4th, you get entered into a drawing to win one skein of Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters (350 yards of sport weight wool) in Ruby River, already wound into a neat little cake.

Please help, dear readers. Don't make me tie that friggin' shawl around my shoulders again.


knottygnome said...

hmm, what about the debbie bliss cathay bolero that was published in IK a few seasons back?

ahh, here it is.

actually, maybe the isis shrug or the oasis staff shrug from that same issue might be good too.

good luck!

MiniLaura said...

Actually, I think Elspeth is a good choice! Just make it with negative ease. (says one bitten by an ill-fitting Elspeth)

Another idea is Cobweb from Rowan 40. (Without the little flowers, I think)
Scroll down.

Unknown said...

Here are some, but I do really like Elspeth! Ugh on having to cover up when it's so hot.

From Vogue Knitting Summer 2005:

From Suss Cousins' wedding knits book:

Maybe this one wouldn't be too hard to make short sleeved:

I love that salmon color with the coloring of the dress and the trim. It's beautiful!

Unknown said...

Oops, the Suss one doesn't show up all the way in the screen, not sure if you'll get it all or not. Here's the tiny version, just in case:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Or here's another one -

Batty said...

How about a capelet that ties at your neck? It's a beautiful dress, and something that just barely covers your shoulders wouldn't distract too much.

Kate said...

I'd stick with Elspeth, if it was your first impulse... it'll be light enough not to melt you on the spot, and the with-Elspeth and without-Elspeth effects of the dress will be dramatic without being shocking.

Anonymous said...

Blue Sky Alpaca has two cardis, one with a lacy inset. The other is "cropped cardigan" which I finished and abolutely love.

Jo said...

I'm not sure if I am keen on Elspeth, but I think the yarn you have matches the dress beautifully.

Anonymous said...

outstanding yarn-to-garment relationship there!!!

If it wasn't gonna be blazing hot, I'd recommend Nora Gaughan's capecho, on the cover of the VK Wtr '07, but all those cables might make it heavy.

What about lace? Covered, but air-conditioned, iykwim. Check out Pam Allen's new Lace Style. Also love the capelet idea - they help me (also zaftig, or "strong-like-bull") feel covered and dainty but free to perspire. Wrap Style has some awesome lace-ish capelets and they go so quickly. Lemme know if you need pix of any-of-the-above and I'll shoot 'em over.

~ hb33 ~

dileri said...

I like Elspeth, too, but not if it has "issues."
How about the ChicKnits CeCe cardigan? You could make that a bit shorter so that it hits at the waistline of your dress.
Or Crinkle from Rowan 39? I love how that one goes up and down for different looks. You could get lots of wear out of that one. Probably shorten the sleeves for a more summery feel.
I'm not feeling the capelet thing, I always think they'll look a bit superheroish, especially if you have broad shoulders.

Natalie said...

Have you seen Stefanie Japel's book, "Fitted Knits"? There are quite a few cropped cardigans in there with long sleeves that you could easily leave short. I think the Cropped Cardigan with leaf ties would be smashing with your dress (on a side note, I was able to check this book out from my local library). SHe also has a great website with some options (there is a free mini sweater that might be nice)

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

First let me say that dress is gorgeous!
I don't know if you know how to crochet, but this is cute

Also I really like my Anthropologie Caplet, but it might be too big for this dress, but it should be easy to modify the pattern.

This is cute too

I don't see anyway to get this pattern without buying the kit.

Your first choice is great, too! Ok I'm less than helpful :) good luck!

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

oh! I came across one more today the Reading-in-Bed-Shrug from the current issue of Interweave Knits, I'm totally planning to wear places other than bed. Lacy, light weight mohair, but then you couldn't use that lovely yarn, never mind.

ikkinlala said...

I don't have anything to suggest, but I wanted to say that I think you're on the right track with bolero - I agree with dileri about capelets. I hope whatever you find works well for you. Your dress is gorgeous!