23 January 2009

Dress Adventures

I have been working on the Red (I know, it's not red YET) Day Dress a lot and have finally reached the bust zone. It's exciting, as it means I'm nearly ready to work on the sleeves! But before I go further into this I must catch you up on the developments that led me here.

I have mentioned recently the trickiness of the gauge when it gets complex. And I have promised to say more about custom plying...

I'm working on 3.5mm needles and I'm custom plying the yarn. The skirt '5-ply' consists of 1 strand of organic alpaca yarn, 3 strands of tussah silk and 1 strand of shantung silk:

The body '6-ply' consists of 2 strands of recycled cashmere (which roughly is equivalent of alpaca strand used for the skirt), 3 strands of tussah silk and 1 strand of shantung silk:

Although the difference between alpaca strand and double cashmere strand is minimal it actually affects the gauge quite a bit. Custom made charts below show skirt gauge on the top right and body gauge on the bottom left:

1 stitch in skirt gauge measures 35mm x 47mm (H x W)
1 stitch in body gauge measures 32mm x 43mm (H x W)

These charts are quite easy to make and invaluable if you are designing something from scratch. Simply make a table in a word document with lots of columns and rows and then adjust the height and width according to your gauge measurements PER STITCH.

Below is a sample of body fabric gauge and it works out at 31 rnds and 23 sts to 10cm. You need to divide 10cm by 31 (= 32mm) to get the height, and by 23 (= 43mm) to get the width.

I have used this technique to design the hip curve on the skirt. Here is the chart:

It worked a treat (as it does in 99 cases out of 100).

And it is accentuated by the strategically positioned pleat.

Well, now that I'm on the bust level the subject of the next post is quite clear in my mind. It is going to be on charting the breasts :)


Sarah said...

Love those charts - so simple and yet so clever!

Nice new look here too :o)

I? said...

Thanks Sarah. How are you? Your blog looks very busy! Always good to hear from you :)