(I'm giving you the gift of a free pattern, the blog is really just an explanation of how I came to it so click here for a link to it if you don't want to hear my ramblings...).
Anyway, once I'd finished the bathroom:
I did some odd jobs around the shop and then settled down to listen to the remaining parts of the Neverwhere programme on the radio (which has been bloody brill! Makes me want to actually listen to the radio, something I've never felt like before. That's another symptom I'm going to take to the doc's. I'm not really...) and I finished off a project. What kind of project might one choose to finish whilst freezing their bum off in our glass-fronted shop surrounded by snow? A summer dress of course!
SUMMER IS COMING!
I say that like I'm excited. I'm not really but even I'm a little bit bored of the snow now (yet another symptom...). Now, let me tell you this story - what, in the Guardian, they might term the 'creative process'.
It all begins with jealousy. I was jealous of two things.
Number 1: I sold some King Cole Cottonsoft to a lovely lady called Lisa because she fancied making a shawl. She chose the Jade colourway and produced this. Beauts right?
Number 2: Lovely Lynsey started a shawl in the Regia Laceweight for her CRUISE! She chose the Elise shawl because of this blog post by yours truly. And it is beautiful! Seriously stunning.
So naturally, I shoved everything that I needed to do aside to start my very own Elise Shawl with the Cottonsoft and finished it the very next day. Obsessive much?
That's genuinely the best photo that I can (be bothered to) take. Maybe one day I'll show it off.
Around about five metres from the end of the project though I ran out of yarn! Yes I did! I did a little swear and then remembered that no yarn is ever wasted, so I bought a new ball, finished it off and at 8.30 on Wednesday night I began a dress.
Let me tell you a little bit about how my crafting (and therefore mind) works. I'm L.A.Z.Y! Lazy lazy lazy. Which is why I ended up doing this dress on a 5.5mm hook instead of something like a 4mm. A 5.5mm was all I had to hand and I couldn't be bothered to get up and get another one and being much bigger than what it should have been the whole thing would go a lot quicker. Boom! Decision made! I also couldn't be bothered to measure anything or do a gauge swatch so it had to begin with a straight chain across the top. This is also the reason that I chose to crochet it rather than knit it, with crochet once you've made the chain you pretty much know how long or wide or whatever the thing is going to be, with knitting you need to work out how long you want it to be, work out how many stitches in the inch and do some maths to get the cast on number. Ballache if you ask me...
Anyway, I began the dress and got... obsessive... again. And lo, it was finished on the snowiest day of the year! Boom!!! Let me present to you, my summer dress:
It's bloody brill ain't it!?!?
As I was crocheting it, lots of people asked if I was going to be writing a pattern. The question always makes me squirm because it's so not my style to go back to things. It's why I can't really call myself a professional knitter/crocheter - I get so excited whilst doing one thing that I find it really difficult to keep my mind on the first thing. Having said that, I've written out a sort of recipe for the pattern with lots of spots for you to make alterations. I suspect that the dress as written will fit lots of people because, like I say in the preamble, it looks good on me (roughly a size 22) and good on the model (roughly a size 12). Really, I've got no idea how that happened. I do like tight clothes (size 22 and a fahhhhhbulous waist, thank you very much) and the big hook means that it stretches a long way but I don't suppose it has to which is why it looks good unstretched on the model. It's the sort of pattern that you can hold up to yourself as you're working it though (no measuring tape remember, that's how roll), so please adjust to your liking.
I also want to add that if you're struggling with how to do the ripple pattern then click here for a tutorial by Lucy at Attic24. It's how I learned to do a ripple and I truly believe it's the best version out there. Bear in mind that as we increase on the skirt you'll be doing more stitches in between the increases and decreases but by that point you'll hopefully have got into a rhythm.
That's it then. Without further ado - here's the pattern!
As with all of my patterns - I haven't tested it so do let me know if there are any problems.
Love Eleanor. :)