Friday, October 31, 2014

The Bressay Dilemma and a Winner!

For past giveaways I have literally used a hat to draw names. This time around there were so many names I decided it was going to be easier and faster to use a random number generator. There were 48 entries (45 on the blog and 3 from people who emailed me privately), and #3 came up the winner. The funny thing is the third comment on my blog was from Christina at A Colourful Life, and she was the winner of a giveaway I did last winter. So Christina, if you can please email me your mailing address I'll have the publisher pop a copy of The Moment in the post. Also, while I'm on the topic of my book, the side bar has now been fixed and has links to order from either Amazon or the publisher, Sono Nis.

Now, about Bressay. Bressay is an island in Sheltand, but it also happens to be the name of a knitted dress pattern in Mary Jane Mucklestone's book Fair Isle Style. My dilemma is about the dress, not the island. Here's the picture from the book, to give you an idea of what it is I'm talking about.


I love this dress. I don't really wear dresses, but if I was going to Bressay is exactly what I would want to pull out of my closet. Worn with some leggings and a long-sleeved shirt I think I could make it work. So in a totally unrealistic fit of optimism I ordered the yarn from J&S last fall and cast on.

The dress is knit from the top down, and it didn't take me long to get through most of the colourwork in the yoke. Then last year's Christmas knitting took over, and it got set aside. We all know this is the death knell for a project. I didn't touch the dress again until a few weeks ago. This isn't the best picture, but it will give you an idea of where I'm at right now.


When I took it back out to work on I realized there was more than looming Christmas knitting that had caused me to put it aside. While I was very happy with my colour choices for the Fair Isle pattern there was a problem, quite unforeseeable when I ordered the yarn. In this picture, taken in a brighter spot in our cottage, the problem becomes apparent.


If you look at the top of the yoke you will notice that you can see through the fabric. This wouldn't be a problem if it was going to be a sweater. I always wear a shirt underneath my wool sweaters. But it's a different story as a dress. And it just isn't the kind of thing one would wear a slip underneath. Yes, I would have leggings under it, but I'm not sure I want the see-through look even with leggings underneath.

I have been playing around with the idea of turning it into a sweater. I'm at the point where I have to make a decision. I either keep going and do the increases required to make it into a dress, or go with fewer increases and make it into a sweater. I have Ann Budd's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters, so I could easily use one of her templates to guide me.

So there you have it. My Bressay dilemma. What say you? Am I right in thinking it would be scandalous for a fifty-something grandmother to wear a dress that's see-through (even if it does have leggings on under it)? Should I convert it to a sweater, make the dress, or frog the whole thing and use the yarn to knit something in Yokes, the soon to be released book by Kate Davies?

49 comments:

  1. Hi Kristie,
    I really like the dress pattern. I think you could wear it much like in the picture with a long sleeve tshirt underneath and some leggings. The other choice could be the same long sleeve tshirt underneath and then some skinny jeans and a cute pair of boots. You have a nice trim figure so you could totally pull that off. I know skinny jeans tend to be thought of as "younger people" clothes but I have found that if my tunic is long enough they look just fine on my 50ish body. With a good base layer underneath the transperancy of the dress in some lights really isn't an issue anymore. I have a couple of tunics that have an eyelet pattern and a base layer worn underneath makes the pattern show up, but my modesty is preserved!

    Bestest,

    Mary Lynne

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    1. Thanks for this, MaryLynne. That's interesting to hear that a good base layer would make it acceptable even if it is a bit see-through. I really do like the dress, and sort of hate to abandon it. I'm not so sure about the skinny jeans though. I might have a trim figure, but I have the calves of an athlete. :-)

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  2. I agree with Mary Lynne - a shortish dress over leggings and maybe a long-sleeved turtleneck would be stunning on you. And the knitting will probably "full" a little bit when it's blocked, making the stitches closer together and the tiniest bit fuzzy, so the see-through effect will be mitigated. Shetland yarns are wonderful that way. But of course, it comes down to what you'll be comfortable with.

    BTW, I've recently switched to Chrome as my browser, which is making your sidebar vibrate in a most unsettling fashion! I've noticed this on other blogs as well. It's very odd...I wonder if this has happened to anyone else? -- Ruth

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    1. I hadn't thought about the fact the yarn will full. Thanks for pointing that out, Ruth! I have no idea what's up with the Chrome browser. That's strange that it makes my sidebar move. I wonder if it is a Chrome/Blogger problem. Have you noticed if it is just Blogspot hosted blogs that do it?

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    2. I just ran through all the blogs that I read and you're right, it's just the Blogspot ones that have vibrating sidebars. I'll try to ignore it! Otherwise I'm really liking Chrome. -- Ruth

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  3. I don't think you have to worry about it if you have leggins on, It is a stunning dress.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. The votes for knitting the dress seem to be stacking up! :-)

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  4. It is a lovely dress, knit it and see you could add a long sleeved t shirt and leggings if you weren't comfortable. Have a great weekend.

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    1. So far everyone agrees with you, Mamasmercantile. To tell the truth, I'm kind of surprised. I thought everyone would say to knit the sweater instead. :-)

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  5. I am so happy to be the winner of your book! I feel a bit guilty to have won twice and if you want to do another draw, I would understand. I just got the mittens out and have been wearing them for cycling.
    I think your dress will be fine once it is washed and blocked. This particular yarn does felt a tiny little bit, which might be just enough for you to make you comfortable. I did a Fair Isle course where we were recommended to wash our work using this yarn with Fairy Liquid, a commonly available dishwash detergent. This gave a good finish for the small project I made (a phone sock). The dress will look great on you. x

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    1. Don't feel guilty, Christina! You won the book fair and square. Plus you have boys that are just about the perfect age for it. Congratulations on the win!

      As for the dress, Elginknitter (Ruth) commenting above also pointed out that the yarn will felt a tiny bit. Thank you for the reminder. I hadn't thought of that, in spite of the fact I have knit several things with J&S yarn and know it has that tendency. So far the dress votes are unanimous. :-)

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  6. I think it might well benefit from a slip, in that the knitting would cling to the leggings. If you don't have access to a store that sells slips (and they are getting difficult to find), try Vermont Country Store on-line.

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    1. You're right about it clinging to leggings. In the picture from the book you can see it doing exactly that. I've not heard of Vermont Country Store. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the tip!

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    2. The Vermont Country Store has an awesome collection of stuff!

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  7. Oh,yes, do finish the dress Kristie, it will look amazing on you. If you don't like the see-through over leggings, I am with meezermeowmy on this: a slip will prevent clinging, even a little half-slip might help. I have a few mini slips to go under some of my summer clothing which tends to be quite light and loose-weave. I buy them from Target.

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    1. Thank you for this, Patricia. Your comment, along with a few others, has me reconsidering my statement that I wouldn't want to wear a slip underneath the dress. Maybe it would work. :-)

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  8. I agree with everyone here. You will rock that dress. Us fifty somethings have to stick together. My favourite go-to outfit these days is a recycled sweater made into a short skirt over leggings.....You will rock the dress (oops, I already said that, but I meant it).

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    1. I like your idea that we fifty somethings need to stick together! :-)

      I would love to know how you went about converting a sweater into a short skirt!

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  9. Continue knitting the dress. I think it will look great on you, and with leggings, no worries about immodesty. Can't wait to see the finished product!

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    1. It is looking like I will stick with the dress, but don't count on seeing the finished product any time soon. The yarn is fingering weight, so it is going to be a case of slow and steady wins the race. Or, in this case, finishes the sweater. :-)

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  10. Definitely a dress. Just wear it over a tee shirt (and of course leggings) - three-quarter sleeves would look really cute, I think. Long sleeves would work too. And for cooler weather a turtleneck, leggings, and boots. Very trendy!

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    1. I'm convinced. I will keep knitting it as the dress it was originally meant to be. I'm not sure I would ever be able to pull off a look that would be trendy though. I'm just aiming to have a look that doesn't disgrace myself. :-)

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  11. See through? Clinging? Those are not problems. lol, sorry Kristie...the devil made me do it. :)

    I'm the guy who, as a teenager, wouldn't take his GF out because her shorts were too short. So I've been on the modesty train for a long time...and I agree with the other commenters, the dress will work and look great.

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    1. Another vote for the dress. It's starting to look like a landslide! :-)

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  12. I'm glad you're going to keep it as a dress. It's stunning. I can almost picture you in it with leggings and a top underneath just like the picture it will really suit you and your colouring. And congrats Christina! x

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    1. You are very kind, Mel. I doubt I will resemble the model in the picture, but it was nice of you to say it. :-)

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  13. You will look fabulous in a dress . You are so slim and anyway age is just a number. Go girl !
    The see through part will close up when it is blocked so don't worry.
    I have noticed that some commercially made knit dresses are lined. Would this work for you ?

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    1. Ha! Yes, age is just a number. It's just that my number might be a bit higher than what should be worn with this. :-)

      Lining is a possibility. But it might make the weight of it too much. I'm hoping that it will felt a tiny bit like some have suggested. That would take care of the problem.

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  14. Go with the dress. If you still think it's a little see through then just add a long sleeved T with your leggings. Can't wait to see it finished. Now if only I could make something other than squares I would add this dress to my makes list.

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    1. I think it is going to be the dress, Sally. It would be hard to do anything else after seeing so many here encouraging me to keep going with it. Keep at the squares and you'll soon be able to do this pattern. It isn't a difficult one. :-)

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  15. Another vote here for the dress, and skinny jeans if you are not comfortable wearing leggings with it.

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    1. So far the voting is unanimous for the dress, so that's what I'm going to make. I'm not so sure about skinny jeans though. I don't have skinny jean kind of legs. :-)

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  16. Have you considered going down a needle size? Why not make a swatch and wash it and see how it fulls

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    1. I did think about going down a needle size, but I'm already using a 2.25mm needle, and the thought of knitting so much on a 2.00mm needle sort of makes me feel faint. Also, I'm getting gauge with the 2.25. I think the fulling will do the trick. Good suggestion to wash it and see what it looks like. :-)

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  17. I'm no help on the knitting but I think it would be fine to wear it with a shirt and leggings underneath. It looks really nice so far, I think. Congratulations to Christina.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - after so many comments encouraging me to press on with the dress that's what I've decided to do. :-)

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  18. I think the dress will look fine with leggings and long sleeved top. Or even with jeans. It looks gorgeous.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thank you, Leanne. I've decided to keep on with the dress, and I think it it fulls ever so slightly it will be fine with leggings and a shirt underneath. :-)

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  19. I'd do a sweater but that's because I rarely wear a dress! I love the way it is turning out and if you cannot decide then I guess you will be very happy with either :)

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    1. You're my first sweater vote, Karen! I don't wear dresses very often either, but that was the attraction of this Bressay dress. It doesn't seem too "dressy", and actually looked like something I might wear. Thanks for your courageous dissenting vote. :-)

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  20. I have no knitting advice, but I do know that you will figure it out! Congratulations to your winners, I am sure they will love your book! xx

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    1. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Amy. I think my readers ahem figured it out for me! :-)

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  21. congratulations to Christina!
    your dress is going to be gorgeous - I would keep going with the dress pattern ♥

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    1. Thanks Deb! After the overwhelming support for sticking with the dress, that's what I've decided to do. :-)

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  22. I'm glad you've decided to go with making the dress - it will be really impressive when it's finished.

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  23. Congratulations to Christina. I still remember the thrill I got when i won the draw for Ting Ting. :) I'm too late to influence the Bressay decision, so I look forward instead to seeing the finished garment.

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  24. I doubt it will be see-through. J&S yarns bloom wonderfully when washed!

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  25. Hello
    This is my first visit to your blog! Glad your sticking with it! (maybe you have finished it by now?)
    I'm planning on making one this year - made some fingerless mitts and booties from the same book to practice my color work and now I think I'm ready for the dress!

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Emma! I'm not even close to finishing the dress - too much gift knitting interfered, and now I've become distracted by a sweater I just cast on. :-)

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