east linton

East Linton is finished.

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I am very pleased with it indeed.

Apologies for this next shot, in which I appear to be thanking the god of felted tweed . . .

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. . . but you do get to see more of the yoke and the neckline.

I really like knitted dresses, but, like a lot of people, was concerned about knitting a garment with a tendency to hang and sag. For example, I thought Rannoch in Rowan 42 looked amazing. I was considering making it, but then saw a baggy and badly fitting version worn by a disgruntled model at the Knitting and Stitching Show, and had second thoughts.

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Still looks lovely pictured up there on Rannoch moor, though.

The problem with this dress when I saw it, it seemed to me, was that it was worked in an un-springy yarn (kid classic), at a loose-ish gauge, and it drooped simply because there was an awful lot of it. Or perhaps it was just too big for the miniature model who wore it. In any case, I decided that my dress would have less skirt, and hence less droop; would be worked at a tight gauge; and would be reasonably close fitting. I knitted the felted tweed at 6-and-a-bit stitches to the inch. This has produced a nice firm fabric. I was brave with the fit, and worked the sleeves and the body at a size smaller than usual, with hardly any intended ease. The result was a slim fitting, not-at-all droopy dress.

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As well as the East Linton landscape, I must also acknowledge the influence of Lene’s nocturne in the dress’s design. This lovely sweater was knit in a yarn I’ve never encountered but which, in its combination of alpaca and viscose, seems quite similar to felted tweed. I loved the muted palate of nocturne, and its stripey sleeves.

The design is based on EZ’s seamless yoke, with help from Ann Budd with the sizing, and Barbara Walker with the shaping. It has a turned hem, for stability, and picot edging at the neck and sleeves. It uses 6 colours of felted tweed – whose yardage really is pretty amazing. It took under 4 balls of the main colour, and there is over a third of each ball of the contrasting stripe colours remaining. Perhaps I could make matching stockings. But then I really would look utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, I love this dress. It is warm, a great fit, and really easy to wear. It took a whole lot of relentless stockinette, but, oddly, I’ve found knitting it quite comforting over the past few weeks. I also find it incredibly evocative of the landscape of East Lothian, and, weirdly, its light as well. But this is probably just me. I now realise, however, that this is the fourth time in less than six months that I’ve made myself a seamless yoked garment. Does this count as an EZ addiction? Time to move onto something new.