Sunday, March 18, 2007

cabled alpaca skirt

I have been wanting to knit a cabled skirt for a long time. I was never able to find a pattern, so after months of searching I decided to order some yarn and make the pattern up myself. While I have altered many patterns, and even made up a few small things here and there, I have never tried to design a large piece.

(Non-knitters may want to skip this section) I decided I would make the skirt from the top down, starting with an eyelet row so that there would be a drawstring to keep the skirt up. I made a swatch and determined that using size 7 needles I would get 18 stitches over 4" in stockinette stitch. I then took my own measurements and sat down with some graph paper and did some math. What I came up with is to cast on 144 stitches and increase every 7 rows and cable every 6 rows. The increases were a bit complicated, but I decided to increase 6 stitches for rows 7,14, and 21. Since there are 18 repeats (I started with 6 rows of knit, 2 purl = 8 stitches per repeat), I had to make one stitch in between every third set of purl stitches, until I had 18 repeats of 9 stitches. After this I increased 12 stitches every 7 rows by making two stitches in every 3rd set of purl stitches, but not rotating around - I had placed 6 markers and increased at each of those. And that's where I am now, knitting, purling, cabling and increasing away.

I really don't know if it will turn out, but I really hope so. I can tell already that it is going to require some serious blocking. It should be the perfect Santa Fe garment. The alpaca and cables will keep me cozy on chilly winter days (especially with a silk slip!), but it's still light enough to wear in fall and spring. I am pretty excited to see how it looks in the end.

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