Another instant gratification project, the Belarus Stitch Skirt, is a project that combines three things: using up stash, de-cluttering pattern queue and a super practical result.
As I have mentioned recently, this winter, between several work projects, I felt a strong desire for quick knits. At the same time, I also found an intriguing bulky yarn at a local craft store. The yarn is Four Seasons Gründl Milla, and while mostly acrylic, it is very soft, warm and with an excellent colorway! That neon orange is absolutely awesome, as well as the way it fades in and out of the white. In rows with only a few stitches, it produces a very nice gradient effect.
It took me a few days to decide what I would do with it; a sweater, a vest or a skirt? The coloring of the yarn discouraged me from using several textured patterns, until I revisited the Belarus Hood by Donna Druchunas. This is a pattern that has been in my collection for quite some time. I knew from the first time I saw it that I wanted to use the stitch pattern in a skirt. The pattern uses a beautiful lace texture stitch from Belarus and is provided in two different chart formats: US and Estonian. It was quite interesting and educational to work from the Estonian chart.
My original thoughts were to use Sport or DK weight, nothing heavier. With the aforementioned circumstances, I was willing to dare, and gamble. Obviously, bulky knitted fabric around the hips is not expected to turn out too flattering. That’s why I designed the skirt carefully; I used the stitch pattern only as panels in the front and the back and worked the sides in reverse stockinette stitch. That’s where I also placed all the shaping, in order to form a basic A-line. It doesn’t look it much, because the reverse stockinette ‘draws the skirt in’ at the sides, but it is wider at the bottom edge than in the hips.
The construction is basic top-down, seamless and in the round. Short rows are incorporated at the back to provide more fabric for the behind. I worked the bottom edge with a simple ribbing, continuing the knits and purls from the stitch pattern as they appeared. It flares up a bit at the moment, but that’s because I didn’t have the time to block the skirt extensively. I used the weight of the wet skirt to let it block itself, while drying, lengthwise.
Additionally, I created a simple cotton jersey lining as an underskirt, mainly because the stitch pattern features holes. I drafted a sewing pattern based on the finished skirt and then cut and sew up two pieces of fabric. I attempted to also sew in the elastic myself, but since I have zero experience with elastics, I gave the skirt to my seamstress. For that I was not willing to take any chances!
The result? the skirt is actually quite nice! It sits well on the hips, has a flattering shape, is warm and sooo comfortable! Sitting on it is like sitting on a pouf! 😀 I also especially like how the stitch was combined with the yarn’s coloring. It is busy, but not distracting.
A beautiful and practical garment. Sets a good record for more skirts to come! No?