Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Balfour Skirt

February 2017

I love this pattern! I've never knitted a skirt before, partly because I'd previously not been sure whether they would hang properly or stay up. With Balfour, I thought it was worth taking a risk and it totally paid off. I love the fit - it’s pretty snug, but I think it’s flattering that way and holds a good shape. It's great to find a new way to wear hand knitting. 

Balfour is knitted using rowan felted tweed dk. Although labelled a dk, in my opinion this yarn knits up more like a sport weight, and so in terms of yarn substitutions, a 4-ply would probably just about work (I've seen Drops Alpaca subbed for felted tweed a couple of times very successfully). The skirt is knitted bottom up, with a folded hem at the bottom and a section of ribbing and elastic to hold it up at the top. It's seamless and intended to be worn with a little positive ease. On ravelry it's described as "a-line" but I would say "pencil skirt" would be the more accurate way to describe its shape. It sits quite high - on the waist rather than the hips, which makes for a warm tummy, but I can live with that if it's the price I have to pay for it not falling down.

I did tweak the pattern to some extent. As written, it has you increase and decrease in such a way that the chart repeats don’t always line up at the two side seam stitches. This is liveable-with for some of the simpler chart but when it came to the with stripe with the double diamonds I thought it would look rubbish, and so I adjusted by stitch count so that there would be no partial repeats. I figured I could always block it aggressively if it ended up a funny shape - I've used felted tweed a lot before and it does grow a bit when you block it.

There's a matching cardigan in Rowan 60 which uses some of the same fairisle motifs. The skirt doubles as a snood in that you can pull it over your head and stick your face out of the waist opening but I while I love it as a skirt, I'm not sure I'm really a snood sort of person.

I came up with my own colour combination rather than following the pattern, because I already had a lot of felted tweed stashed, and thought it would be best to try to use that up. Also, I love turquoise.

I chopped a bit of length off too, as I’m not very tall (5’5”) and I wanted it to fall just above the knee.

Pattern: Balfour Skirt by Lisa Richardson
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed dk in Avocado (light green), Camel (beige), Watery (blue/green), Carbon (grey), Seafarer (navy) and Clay (white).
Size: smallest
On ravelry: here

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