Luckily, I haven’t had too many craft projects that end up with me questioning my taste or ability to clothe myself. This one did. It also has given me yet another opportunity to come to terms with my impending demise. Let me introduce The Skirt of Doom!
It’s such a simple thing, really! A great idea I was drawn to in the magazine, Love of Knitting, fall 2011. The pattern is Graphite Pencil Skirt by Shirley MacNulty. The construction is brilliant, instructions so clear, technique is easy, great social knitting. The waist band is clever as are the hidden increases. I purchased beautiful, luxury Rowan Cashsoft – a soft, bouncy blend of wool, microfiber and cashmere. I bought plenty for the project, and happily paid the premium price for a piece of clothing that would have been completely custom. The color is a dark plum. I have many accessories and makeup that will work perfectly with this color.
Yarn, needles, pattern – Let’s cast on!
So what’s the problem? Me! The pattern is fine, except for being boring in the extreme. 30+ inches of K3, P3 in the round on a very small needle even while socializing or in meetings makes me want to stab myself with the needles after a short while, let alone the hours and hours it took to gain much length. Every time I picked it up, I sighed so heavily my dogs would look at me funny.
The other problem? Me again! I’m firmly in the mid 40’s, have had one child, have a persistent 10 lbs of weight that won’t go away, and if I am generous about 5’2”. This isn’t the problem, as I am pretty happy with who I am, the problem is fitting me into a ribbed pencil skirt knit in a bouncy yarn. It hugs every curve and lump! I have certainly learned about negative ease – and I don’t love it over my bum! I don’t usually adhere to every rule about fit and style that comes down the pipeline, but honestly, a skirt like this isn’t flattering to me anymore. I would have rocked this skirt when I was about 22 and weighed 110 lbs, but I don’t wear tight fitting clothing much anymore, let alone something that fits me as closely as a sock! Oh, and I don’t weigh 110 lbs anymore, either.
Some people identify themselves as either process or project knitters. I can’t identify completely either way, as I love the process, and knit to get the item of clothing. This project failed in both areas. Ribbing as a knit technique is fine for cuffs and hats, but for an entire skirt or sweater? No thank you! And I still want to have a skirt that I knit, but I think perhaps something in stockinette, with some other details like an interesting hem and definitely in an A-line shape, knit in something that will have more drape, like a linen or bamboo blend.
It’s also telling that the pattern is listed on Ravelry, but only has 2 projects attached to it. One of those two is mine, as I have not yet frogged the skirt. None of the pictures of this skirt is actually on a person – even the picture in the magazine is on a mannequin. Lesson learned!!
When I posed the question to my Fiber Friends on one of our Friday night gatherings, “Should I Finish or Frog It?” the advice was mixed. The general consensus was to put it in time out for a while until I could come to a firm decision. The skirt will be frogged soon and the yarn is being knit currently into a Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, which has 5,695 projects attached to it on Ravelry. Perhaps there is some wisdom in the masses? I’ll let you know how it turns out!