Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunshine Skirt, revisited

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I’ve gone back into battle with the Sunshine Skirt, this time in fingering weight yarn—a sock yarn blend of wool, nylon, and alpaca.  It’s the color of burlap, which has been giving me some pause (“Will I wear this?  Do I like it?  Does it look as much like garden twine as I think it does?”) but the bigger problem so far has been the shaping decreases.  You make two identical panels and then crochet them together up the sides, and the panels are supposed to gently taper toward the waistband—see the schematic there?—but that isn’t what happens.  Mine is a mess, and I am forced to conclude that either this pattern is full of problems or else I am a total fail at shaping in crochet.  (I’m betting it’s me.)  Also, I’m not sure that in the end it will wrap around my entire self.  Measure the piece, measure me.  Measure again.  Triple check.  Hope for a blocking miracle.  Working on this thing did entertain me so well yesterday that I lost myself in the hooking and sat in the sun too long and now look like a boiled lobster (I know, Mom.  I know.)  My daughter said, “You got sunburned already?  It’s only April.  Settle down!”  I will put aloe on it.  I will wear sunblock.  I will persevere.  This skirt will not defeat me twice. 

I made a bunch more squares, and a bunch more squares.  I painted a painting.  I cleaned up the yard, mopped stuff, washed clothes.  I went to two parties and successfully resisted dessert at both, which feels impossibly virtuous.  I am gobbling up Ann Patchett’s new collection of essays.  Did you know Ann is a knitter?  It always comes back to the yarn. 

16 comments:

  1. I wish I had some tips for getting the skirt to shape properly, but I don't. I know that sometimes when I look at a thing too long, I can't make it out at all. Maybe it's just not the time to make the skirt. It is going to be lovely and I don't think it looks like garden string! Hope you had a nice Easter. Stay out of the sun!
    Deb

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  2. Sorry can't help with the sunshine skirt. But I find the patterns by Garnstudio quite easy to follow and they're free. And you can choose American English or UK English. And if all else fails the pattern you're using would look lovely as a summer wrap. I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks.

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  3. I'm just a crochet learner myself....I still struggle to get the sides of dishcloths straight! So I think you are doing amazingly well :-)...and no, it does not look like garden twine....gorgeous colour.
    Tracey xx

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  4. Have you tried using progressively smaller crochet hooks as you move towards the waist? I did a grannysquare skirt that way. The bottom 2 rows of squares was done with the largest hook, the next two rows with the next size smaller and the last 2 rows with the smallest of three hooks. It was all the shaping the skirt had and it really worked. Helen

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  5. Looks fab to me, gorgeous colour and pattern

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  6. Thanks for the link to the Ann Patchett book... I am a big fan of her writing so will have to get this to add to the collection.

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  7. It's sooooo frustrating when patterns don't go well. It probably is the pattern and not you. Persevere and it will work and look fab.

    Jean x

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  8. You are a woman of skill and extraordinary talent, can't you make it the shape you want it to be? Stuff the pattern just go off piste.... (says she is who is not making it!!) Jo x

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  9. PS. That number recognition thingy is a pest.... Jo x

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  10. LOL! How do you fit all those activities into a single day and still be in the sun long enough to get sunburned? Forget the skirt. Where can we wear skirts now, anyway!
    Aunt Barbara

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  11. I'll be interested to see how this Sunshine Skirt turns out. I fell in love with a crocheted skirt in a catalog the other day. And I found myself wondering if I could make one, rather than buying one. Seems like an awful lot of hooking!

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  12. Pretty pattern on that skirt. I'd say it was worth the sunburn.
    All I can focus on is when you wrote "....resisted dessert at both", while I sit here reaching into a bag of salted caramel popcorn. Sigh.

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  13. I looked the pattern up on Ravelry. It should tell you something when only 2 people made it successfully. The original pattern calls for cotton yarn, which is going to hang significantly different than the wool blend that you chose -- not to mention that it will have a lot more stretch than cotton. Have you contacted the designer? The pattern says to change hook sizes to get gauge. I think you should probably use a smaller hook for the waist end than you did for the bottom end to get your shaping.

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    1. It's an old pattern (2004, maybe?) which came along early on in the life of Ravelry if not before it. I figure one successful completion of the pattern as written equals a pattern without error, and I did contact the successful maker-er, who confirmed she had worked it as written. My first attempt was in cotton yarn, too, so the trouble isn't that, and anyway more stretch would be welcome at this point--I think the probs are all with my inability to suss decreases in crochet. Powering forward, though! Will not be deterred! I know this skirt is out there waiting for me. :)

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  14. I like the color of yarn, it looks like linen to me. I think knitted/crocheted skirts look best a little loose, unless you are a size 2. I suggest just crocheting it to fit, and do it however you choose! It's a pretty pattern, but crocheted vertically would also be cool, then perhaps knit a fitted "yoke" for the the waist band, or use single crochet. Don't quit! Good luck.

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