Late last summer I started working on a beautifully cabled project. It was the 3rd Norah Gaughan pattern I had been wanting to make for quite some time, Dickson, after Halyard and Beatnik. It took me some time to complete mainly because of the modifications I performed.
I changed the yarn weight from worsted to sport, which also meant that I had to knit a different size, size 38” instead of 34” as per instructions. The conversion was almost spot on. The size was ok, but it did not provide the ease I was hoping for: there was zero to negative instead of positive. The worst part of this was that, by having the skirt stretch sideways, the overall length was lessened – and instead of having just the perfect length on the cloth hanger, when worn it became a mini skirt. I had also included short rows at the back of the skirt for a roomier behind, which of course was helpful, but unfortunately not enough for the skirt to be worn without thick tights or leggings.
Although this situation was a bit ‘problematic’, I did not refrain from wearing the skirt – I wore it extensively during the autumn and winter, paired with colorful tights and knitted sweaters. 🙂 I have gained a bit of weight and that does not make the situation easier, but I hope that after I have lost that weight, the skirt will sit a lot more comfortably on my hips. I really dread frogging it, especially since the result is overall great (except the ease).
Another idea is to add more fabric at the bottom – a solution I hesitate to perform, as it would change the style of the skirt considerably and I like it as it is.
I changed the yarn weight, solely because of the yarn I wanted to use. This skirt was made with just 4 50g skeins of a weird cotton-linen blend, which I had purchased several years ago at one of our local yarn shops. Even back then, it was already left over dead-stock with only 3 colors left. This was almost like a thrift store purchase. Old yarn (but quite cool!) in discounted price. I have enough skeins left for a different project – not sure yet what that one will be.
Other modifications include the insertion of a wide elastic band at the waist instead of just knitting ribbing, the intentional shortening of the design (by knitting less ribbing at the top) and the braid bind off, which utilized an improvised horizontal 4 stitch braid.
The cables used in this design are very very pretty, but also allow for mods. One can easily make the skirt wider by adding more cable panels. It was a bit fiddly to work cables with this yarn, but the drape of the result is very beautiful!
Maybe I should try the design again with completely different yarn? 😀
I really like the nature of Norah Gaughan designs and her work with cables. She combines different elements i very elegant ways. There is a good chance I will be knitting more of her patterns in the future.
What about you? Have you ever knitted a Norah Gaughan design?