Finally! After much blood, sweat and tears, the Isabel Cable and Little Branch Dress is done!
Ok, so there wasn't any actual blood spilt whilst making this dress, but there was a lot of sweat, and I could have cried tears of pure frustration at certain points. I'll admit - this was a challenging project for somebody who had never done cables before, and I frogged the back 3 times before I got it right.
The first time was totally and utterly my fault - I made the classic mistake of crossing my cables the wrong way. I didn't discover this error until I'd done another two pattern repeats. Then, when I finally did clue on, I decided to ignore it, and did another couple of pattern repeats, hoping that it would all just disappear. But that mistake just wouldn't evaporate into thin air, no matter how hard I wished it would. It keep catching my eye, and that annoying school marmish voice in my head keep warning me that I would regret it FOREVER if I didn't fix it. So with a great big sigh, I frogged.
As I frogged, I reflected that it was probably a good thing, as I seemed to keep making another mistake during the first row of my pattern repeat. Where there should have been seamless cables there was instead a big lumpy mass of purl stitches. Putting it down to my cable inexperience, I carefully did my pattern repeats, but that pesky error kept resurfacing. So I frogged again.
And again. Geez - was I turning out to be bad at this cable business!
However, after the third frog I decided that surely it couldn't be all me. I jumped on the internets, and found - to my mingled horror and relief - that the pattern was written wrong. GAH! I knew I couldn't suck that badly!
So if you ever make this dress, do the following for the back: Knit the first pattern repeat as written (rows 9 - 32), but then start your pattern repeat from row 21 through to 32. Repeat until done.
My other worry was that the dress wouldn't fit. There had been some chatter online about how small the sizings of the garments in this book were, so I was fretting a bit about it fitting Tyger. Thankfully it does fit her, but I will admit I steam blocked like heck, stretching it out as much as I could without distorting it.
Apart from those niggles, I am super super super happy and proud of this dress. The yarn (Amy Butler Belle Organic) knitted up like a dream, and is warm without being too weighty. Quite a few people who have made this dress up on Ravelry have only knitted the back pattern, but I'm glad I took the plunge and did the branch pattern for the front. The joy of doing those bobbles alone made it worth it (cue cringing from readers over my admission of bobble fondness).
Would I knit it again? Sure - but only if it came in a grown up size. How awesome would that be?!?
Pattern: Isabel Cable and Little Branch Dress from Labour of Love by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard
Yarn: 7 balls of Amy Butler Belle Organic DK (50% organic wool/ 50% organic cotton) in shade #032 (Ash)
Needles: 3mm, 4mm and 2 cable needles