black and white

One of my birthday gifts was this lovely skirt designed by Rob Ryan for. . .yes, Clothkits. (I am so predictable). I made it up a few weeks ago — cutting and sewing it neatly and without hitches in (ahem) just three hours. (Sewing hubris? Wot? Me?)The facings and linings worked slightly differently in the pattern instructions than with the big birdie skirt. Not having to match up, pin and sew curves on the facings makes for a much speedier skirt. And what a skirt it is. Absolutely delicious.

I would show you some more pics of the process of making the skirt — but I can’t (missing computer issues continue, O, when will it end?). But one of my favourite things about this garment is its lovely scalloped edging. I obviously needed a top with scallops to match. So I knitted one up.

The top is a sort-of copy of one I saw sported by a knitting comrade at K1 yarns a few thursdays ago. Hers is a version of “Elf” in this Marie Wallin book for Rowan. It has lovely, elaborate crocheted scallops. Mine is a lo-fi seamless raglan, knit from the bottom up, at 5 stitches to the inch, using one strand of kidsilk haze. I just made it up as I went along and crocheted on the scalloped edging using two strands of yarn and a simple repeat. But this is merely because I’m not a very good, or very experienced, crocheter. The edging in the original pattern is much more impressive.

Now, a word about knitting black kidsilk haze: DON’T!. It was like dealing with a fractious, elusive, woolly creature. I couldn’t see my stitches. I couldn’t tell the right from wrong side. I couldn’t see a berloody thing. And that’s to say nothing about the prospect of pulling back stitches or frogging the stuff. The yarn is pure evil! At least the body and sleeves were mindless tubes of stockinette — I just went round and round — but imagine the horror of the crochet. Sheesh. Never again.

So this was not an enjoyable process at all, but the end result is fine, and precisely what I wanted.

We’ve been down in Lancashire for the weekend, and I had a nice walk to Lytham yesterday. I was wearing the top and skirt. It was very windy. I mention this so that you don’t think that I’ve suddenly gone all tufty, or turned into some kind of cone head. And the skirt just wouldn’t hang flat either. But this is simply the effect of a brisk north westerly coming at me head on down the Fylde Coast at 80 miles an hour. Bracing, as they say.

Anyway, here is the whole black and white outfit:

The building I am standing in front of, wearing its own black and white outfit, is, of course, the Lytham Windmill. Along with the Blackpool Tower, it is one of the Fylde’s iconic landmarks. You can go inside, peruse exhibits about milling and regional history, and chat to the nice folk from the Lytham Heritage Group, as we did yesterday. Here’s one more pic.

Pattern: my own made-up seamless raglan tee with crocheted edging. See instructions for similar bottom-up seamless prototypes by EZ or Ann Budd.
Gauge: 5 sts to inch, 3.5 mm addis.
Yarn: Kidsilk haze, black, 2 x 25 g. Yes, this is a top you can make with just 50g of yarn.
Edging: two strands of yarn, 4.5 mm hook, working a repeat of 5 tr, skip 1, 1dc, skip 1 into a round of double crochet.
Ravelled here