Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All Folded Up and Ready to Go*

That's the skirt designed by Kat Coyle up there. It looks better folded something you might see on a Victoria's Secret shelf. You know how they've got all the panties creased just so? That's this skirt for you. Sometimes I'd just as soon stare at the lacy edge, pet it (it's that oh-so-soft and expensive Margrite Karabella yarn). I'm really trying to remember where I was in my life when I made it. I hadn't done anything in a lace pattern at this point. That was about a year and half ago. I was living where I am, my hair was a little on the darker side, and I weighed about the same. I didn't have bangs at that point, I know that much. It's been a long while since I've experimented with fringe benefits on my forehead. I like it. (It's a perfect way to dodge the forehead shine that seems to nearly always surface when family and friends take my photograph. The Shine seems to just go somewhere else - perhaps it takes to the street and bothers passerby? I don't know. )

I'd show you how the skirt looks on me but I'm a little embarrassed. This skirt really clings to me. I'm not used to that kind of fit. I'm a yoga pants, stretched-out pair of jeans kind of girl. Nothing that's too tight. My curvaceous figure doesn't need that kind of attention. I was thinking that the book Big Girl Knits might be suitable for me given my pear shape. Even at my widest point (the hips), I'm not a candidate for this book. (I looked last night at an edition on sale at this shop, and I'm definitely not up their alley and down their lane. Hip measurements for their type starts at 47 inches. But I better watch it. I ate a package of Girl Scouts Thin Mints this morning for a snack. Keep it up and I'll be modeling for the book's sequel.)

In fact, I started making this skirt in the small size with only three lacy panels. (You're supposed to have more if you're not a size 0). So...we had to adjust the pattern and make it more of an hourglass silhouette just so that I could wear the thing and it wouldn't end up as a pretty "look what I made but I don't wear!" I finished it with some trepidation...could I really wear this without ripping it?

It turns out my fears were well-founded. I can only take miniscule steps wearing this skirt. Jumping jacks or even leaping over a sidewalk puddle is out of the question. Only dainty, geisha-like steps are possible. I swear I'm walking like my high-school principal Mrs. Keenley in her plaid-wool pencil skirts. At least she had some wiggle room with a slit in the back.

There's no slit for me. I'd could easily make one though with one false move. So that's in a nutshell, why I 'm afraid to wear this skirt...although I have, a couple of times. I constantly picture the knit unraveling and unraveling until I'm down to my skivvies and all my office mates are laughing just like in my bad dreams (which I refuse to call nightmares. Why give them that power?).

I wore this skirt to a meeting in New York last year, and then one day a couple of months ago to show my masterpiece to a fellow knitter. But I just felt so self-conscious all I had a lightbulb on the bottom half of my body. I know in the Big Apple I wore Kat's design for a couple of hours and took it off the first chance I had. I didn't have that same opportunity the last time....I was in the office all day. I had nothing to change into.

However, this wasn't the last time I made this skirt! I did it again, knitting it up in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. This time I made more panels. The skirt is much more comfortable, but now I think the style's a bit dowdy. It's more of an A-line, and it doesn't have that same "let's stick together when it's cold" quality that the Karabella yarn had. It too sits on the shelf next to its plush pink cousin.

But wait there's more. I want to try this skirt again. I figure the third time will be a charm. I know the lace pattern by heart. I will tweak, tweak and tweak the fit so it's somewhere between sexy secretary and dumpy frumpy. I think I'd give a summer version a shot too. Seems somewhat appropriate given that spring is on its way (I know there's snow in the forecast, but so what!). I firmly believe with all my heart (and tears are beginning to form in my eyes now) that I can make a skirt that I will love, cherish for forever and a day. If it can happen for other knitters, I know I too can have a Cinderella least with my clothes, forget about the guys, at least for the moment. It's all about what I can control, and I can definitely master the contents of my wardrobe.

* I've folded up the skirt for display for a yarn crawl to take place during this conference. If you want to see how it looks in 3-D, you're going to have to find it. Hah.

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