FO: The Tunic Dress

Finally, over a year after I started it, the tunic dress is finished!

And it’s fits perfectly.  I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

Debbie Bliss Tunic Dress from Coastlines

I took it to knitting club this week to start seaming it, and everyone was full of compliments and they all loved the feel and drape of the yarn.  I used Debbie Bliss Pure Silk and it’s probably the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought.  I used 10 skeins for this dress size (32″).  Not sure I’d use the yarn again though.  I think it might be the characteristic of silk yarn, but it does fluff up a bit and the spinning isn’t terribly even – there was the odd thick lump in it.  It also twists as you use it, a bit like embroidery thread does, which was annoying and the stitches don’t look terribly even.

The pattern was from Debbie Bliss’s Coastlines book.  The pattern wasn’t wrong but I struggled with understanding what she meant in a few places, which is why I put it down at the bottom of my knitting bag for a year.  But actually once it had clicked what was going on with the lace panels, I did it quite quickly.

I just need to find a suitable occasion to wear it now for it’s first outing!

And it’s back to the Scandinavian blanket squares again for me now.

Picking up the tunic again!

Sat at the bottom of my knitting bag, the tunic dress has been lingering… hiding… from me… for probably about a year.  It’s one of those projects which I was really keen to get started.  It was the most expensive yarn I’d ever bought (Debbie Bliss Pure Silk) and I had plans to finish it to wear to a wedding last August.

That didn’t happen.

I got the whole of the back half finished, and did the skirt section of the front, but the lace panels on the front defeated me.  The pattern isn’t wrong, but it’s just not been very clearly written and I just gave up.  It took me ages to understand how I was meant to even pick up the first row, then incorporating a 16 row lace pattern, together with various armhole shapings, was just too much.  I was having to rewrite out the pattern, row by row.

tunic lace panel

But after all these months, yesterday morning picked it up again.

And almost put it down last night.

I was getting on quite well, but made a couple of silly mistakes which when I tried to fix, made it look worse and then had to rip back 22 rows.

Not happy.

This dress is going to take ages

I have been doing a fair amount of knitting, honest. But this dress is just not growing very quickly.

Knitting also cropped up in a popular BBC programme this week – Holby City (which is a hospital drama for those who don’t know it).  A patient was admitted with two knitting needles embedded in her tummy!  She’d been knitting on a bus, when it swerved off the road.  She was about to cast off an angora scarf but became impaled instead.  As she was taken down to theatre she asked if they could do their best to save the scarf because it was good angora!  And after the op, the scarf was returned to her, neatly cast off by someone or other and without a drop of blood on it.  Amusing storyline!!