This has to be the hardest and longest knit I've ever done, though it does look stunning over a white shirt. Its called Daydream and is by Marie Wallin, I think it was published by Rowan but I got it from Knitting Magazine in February 2011. I started it last summer, but it was a tough knit and as the "summer" dragged on I realised I'd never wear it last year anyway, so I picked it up again a few months ago.
So what makes it hard? Well first it is a 70 row pattern, not kidding. Secondly it is in 4 ply cotton and I found this very hard on my hands. A couple of parts of the pattern drove me insane as it is hard to keep track of where you are, this is around row 60 I think. Every time I reached this point I had to check, backtrack, reknit, check.... Actually I got quite paranoid in the end, believing I had gone wrong where I hadn't
Was it.worth the effort? Most definitely. Would I do it again? Not on your life! It is slightly fitted around the waist, another thing that made it hard, though most of the decreases and increases are marked on the chart. The sleeves were more difficult as you have to manage the increases and decreases manually. Another issue with it was that as the cotton relaxed after being worked, it shrank slightly, so when you measured and knew you had reached the required length, it was slightly shorter a week later!
The hems are knitted sideways and then you knit on upwards from one edge. Easy to make mistakes on this knitting but it looks great.
The neck is done the same way and slip-stitched in place - here it is, standing up from the shoulders. I added a light spray of starch, not sure how upright it will stay in practice!
But here I had a problem. I rinsed it then blocked it, tugging out the points of the hem as I went. As it dried I spotted something very upsetting. It appears I had accidentally dropped a stitch somewhere and by tugging I had loosened it so it ran all down one side of a point. What to do?
I decided to get out a crochet hook, picked up the dropped stitch, then did a simple slip stitch along the edge, taking in the excess yarn as I went. You can just see these "stitches" on the right side of this photo, the edge is less firmly worked than the left edge
I worked to the point, fastened the stitch off and wove the ends in on the back. As I worked on the back of the hem, the repaired section is on the left in this picture. It's barely visible as different to the other sides, so I feel this was a big success and a major relief! No more 4 ply cotton lace knitting for me...