Butterfly Dress from Rowan Magazine #37 and Romantic Style: Knits and Crochet to Wear or Display. Yarn: Crytal Palace Kid Merino, # 4108, Vine Green and Rowan Kidsilk Night, #607, Starlight. Beads: silver lined clear, not sure what size as they were prestrung on the yarn for me.
This is going to be one of six bride's maid dresses at a wedding taking place a month from tomorrow. Two are being knit by the bride herself, one by her mother, one by the LYS owner, one by me, and one by another local woman. C worked for the father of the bride when we first moved here and I worked with the mother of the groom at a local nursery one spring and summer. Both the bride an groom were homeschooled for either all or part of their schooling. Both families are creative and talented musically as well as in so many other ways. It's going to be such a fun wedding.
This is probably the most difficult thing I've knit so far, in terms of figuring out the pattern, following the shaping, sliding and placing the beads, degree of concentration necessary to actually knit each and every row, and overall size of the project. For the border I had to write out each row onto an index card and flip through the cards as I knit each row. For the body, I made enough copies of the pattern repeat for the entire length of the garment up to the armhole shaping, taping them all together one above the other, highlighting each row as it was completed. The doubled border was knit in four separate pieces that were then grafted together in four places but they could have easily been knit in two long continuous pieces requiring only half the grafting. After knitting a few inches of the main body, I ripped back to the border and knit both front and back together in the round. Why patterns like this are written to be knitted flat baffles me to no end. Such a waste of time sewing the pieces together!
There is no way I would be done with this now or if ever, for that matter, if I hadn't committed to making this (still not sure if I'm crazy for having done so). If there hadn't been a deadline, I don't think the bottom borders would even be completed by now. It's been a push to get this done, but I didn't want to stress anyone out by not finishing it before at least two weeks to a month before the wedding date. I'm looking forward to seeing not only mine, but all six of these dresses being worn together on that day.
As for the photos, they're all taken around our place during the past week. Other white blooming flowers NOT pictured include Canada violets, chokecherries, hawthornes, mountain ash, and red-twig dogwood. In the bottom row is the last daffodil that just finished blooming a couple of days ago, giving us a full 30 days of blossoms this year. Just imagine if I plant both earlier and later bloomers next year. Look closely at the lily of the valley and you'll see a spider, and it's shadow, weaving its gossamer web in front of the flowers. After knitting this dress, I think I can relate!
All in all, I'm glad to have knit this. It's a beautiful design and challenged me in so many ways. The outcome is worth it.
Off to knit something easy and soothing now and to soak in all the surrounding green. I could go for a little lie down in the green grass....wait, it needs mowing first. Scratch that. Maybe the hammock instead.
p.s. This could be a much easier and faster knit minus the beads, shortened into a tank, or both.
Added: In response to Jen, the beads were strung on by hand by the bride-to-be, I believe. As for how long it took to make, I never quite know how to answer that question as people invariably do ask when they see something handmade. I don't really ever want to know. How about an emphatic "MANY" or better yet, "COUNTLESS"? And before anyone asks, I'm not sure what kind of underlayer will be worn with these. I'll let you know in a month, I guess.