The Dress

My knitter friends who live in the internet, I’m pleased to report back with full real photos of The Knitted Dress. And that I am in fact still wearing it now and it is so comfortable that while I won’t be casting on another knitted dress right this second, it is a nice enough thing to be wearing that I definitely would do another one at a future date.

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This is the Ossel dress, pattern from Twist Collective by Allison Green. I bought the pattern a little over a year ago when we were coming through a serious Game of Thrones winter and the very idea of being covered in wool from shoulder to knee seemed like a really really really great idea. But buying a pattern is just so much easier and faster than actually knitting a pattern, so it took me several more months to actually get around to knitting it. I chose this for my Christmas Day cast on (I like starting a new project as a present to myself).

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The pattern is neatly written and has just enough challenge with the cables on the sleeves and front that the hardest part was the back – all moss stitch – and actually only took a couple more skeins than I would normally use to knit a sweater of similar fit. It turns out the epic endless grey moss stitch was, uh, a bit of hyberbole. That, you know, happens sometimes when you decide to knit a grey mostly moss stitch dress.

I would say the biggest challenges are very similar to the kinds of challenges a knitter has when making a sweater – deciding what kind of fit you want (negative ease, zero ease, or positive ease), knowing your measurements, choosing a pattern size, choosing what modifications you want to make. The main difference, besides the bare fact of having to knit more fabric, is knowing the length and being aware of your full hip measurement and how you want things to fit over your legs. If you’ve knitted a skirt before you’ve had to make all of those decisions already, but if you’ve only done sweaters, that’s new territory.

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In retrospect I wish I’d made it maybe an inch or two shorter, but otherwise I’m pretty pleased. I like the saddle shoulder construction and the i-cord bind off for the neckline, and it’s a simple enough style that modifying in order to add or subtract width, or combine sizes for upper body & lower body, would be pretty reasonable. My only gripe is that this pattern does not indicate length measurements in inches, but in pattern rows, nor does the pattern schematic indicate a length measurement for the skirt section. Somebody who is 5’2 is going to make a waaaayyyy different dress from me even if they have the same bust size, so information like that is super useful. (You can also dive into pattern details to find this out by taking the number of rows and dividing by row gauge, then getting inches as a result, this is also true and is what I did.)

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All in all though, this is a nice comfy dress and I’m glad I knitted the pattern. It’s the first time I’ve knitted something that was basically a fully formed outfit, and I even grabbed some accessories from the mall sale racks to dress it up a bit and treat it nice. Accessorizing knitted things just like regular grownups do with regular clothes! Amazing, I will do this more often.

I hope you’ve got some finished projects (or soon to be finished projects) to celebrate as well. Happy knitting!

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Thank you, Needlework, for letting me snap some photos while visiting your shop today! It was the perfect background.

Pattern: Ossel, by Allison Green for Twist Collective
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, #8401 Silver Grey

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68 comments

  1. Adriana van Breda · ·

    Beautiful! What an accomplishment!

  2. Nancy Kennedy · ·

    I’ve enjoyed watching your progress with this project! You’ve done a great job and it looks lovely on you! Congrats!

  3. Stunning! You do such beautiful work.

  4. Colleen · ·

    The dress is absolutely beautiful! Very flattering on you. You should be SO proud.

  5. Absolutely beautiful.

  6. Yes, it is lovely and I would like to knit one but sadly I cannot tolerate any wool content. What do you think of knitting this in something else? Alpaca?
    JoanLivestoKnit

  7. Frankie · ·

    Beautiful dress and it looks great on you!

  8. That came out fabulously!

  9. It looks perfect, so many kudos to you! As a person who *is* 5’2″, I completely understand your statement about length – I often have to make adjustments for not only my curves, but also my space efficiency (I prefer that term to ‘vertically challenged’ – I’m not challenged!).

    I hope you get a ton of wear out of this dress, it really is fantastic!

  10. Absolutely stunning!!

  11. Judy Shuttleworth · ·

    Looks stunning on you. Beautiful work !

  12. Claudia · ·

    Absolutely gorgeous.and inspiring! Well done.

  13. It looks fabulous on you! It really does. Apart from the excellent technical aspect the colour and fit are perfect! Jane

  14. Jamie J · ·

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  15. The finished project is just beautiful; it’s been fun watching you work on this, and the end result is stunning.

  16. Love the cables and the dress looks absolutely fantastic on you!

  17. You have done a fantastic job of fitting this gorgeous dress. It is rarely cold enough for a woollen dress here in sunny South Australia or I’d be casting one on…

  18. Cheryl regan · ·

    Glad we saw the entire dress and modeled too! Fits great.

  19. So elegant! The cables look wonderful in that yarn. I just finished a nice warn cowl-necked vest that was on the needles for almost a year, and I’m so happy I don’t mind that it’s already too warm to wear it!

  20. twistedsticks · ·

    Looks just great on you. i would be curious as to whether it stretches out in length after wearing for an extended period. Let us know please.

  21. dfuller55 · ·

    It is beautiful and you are beautiful in it!! The length is classic. Short will go out of style soon enough and you’ll be glad you made it the length you did! Great job!

  22. nice. 🙂 great job with the seaming, too, i hopped over to check the pattern listing to see if it was seamless. 😀

  23. You look stunning in it. congrats. that is on my knitting bucket list

  24. Susan Matson · ·

    Beautiful!!!!!

  25. That is simply amazing! Truly a knitted work of art.

  26. eatcoastal · ·

    Glenna, love this! You inspire me.

  27. PamLarsen · ·

    Very nice! Although I have made a couple of knitted dresses. They were more like a-line tunics. Your fitting looks great.

  28. Susan713 · ·

    Fabulous!!

  29. You look so sophisticated. Love the accessorizing.

  30. lyndanewfangledtangle · ·

    Just lovely! Well done you. I’m totally in awe…

  31. Your dress is beautiful and you look great in it!
    Did you knit it with negative ease, zero ease or positive ease? And maybe a different ease for the bust and hip region? I am curious to know….

  32. That dress is just so, so pretty! What a great job you did! Beautiful!

  33. Wow! It’s gorgeous Glenna and you look stunning wearing it 🙂

  34. Marjolein · ·

    Had to come out of lurking to say the dress – and you – looks fantastic!

  35. Tricia H · ·

    Oh, you look *fantastic* in the dress and you did beautiful work on the dress! Well done! Thank you for giving me the courage and helpful tips to try a dress in the future. (I’ve done skirts and sweaters, but never a dress!) Enjoy it and stay warm!

  36. Marilee · ·

    Beautiful! You’ve inspired me to try my hand at dress knitting. But I need to get sweater fitting down first 🙂

  37. susancardoza · ·

    This is absolutely stunning!

  38. looks brilliant! well done it really suits you! jenny x

  39. The dress is gorgeous, and you look amazing in it!

  40. knittedblissjc · ·

    gorgeous!! I love how you styled it, too. If you wanted it a bit shorter, you could maybe turn the hem under and sew it down? It’s beautiful regardless!

  41. Lovely! Very grown up!

  42. slippedstitches · ·

    I find this knit you did amazing. An entire dress is quite an accomplishment. But you went well beyond just knitting a dress. The fit, the fabric that you created, are all perfect. You are a knitting goddess!

  43. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, Glenna.

  44. Gorgeous, Glenna. Really like the cables down the front and the whole dress has good structure. Imagine the moss stitch may help prevent “butt stretch” from sitting in it? Cascade 220 is a sturdy yarn and a good choice.
    So what was the ease you chose?
    Also like the necklace … I wonder what it would look like with plain black tights to pick up the black in the necklace? Black boots too? Hmm… trying to visualize.
    I agree … giving row count instead of inches is nutty. No help at all.
    Worth hanging in there with all that moss stitch. Beautiful result!

  45. Perfection! Looks great on you too!

  46. You look terrific in that dress! Really inspiring.

  47. It’s beautiful, and the simple cabling is so effective. I love knitted dresses and skirts, and they’re so cosy to wear.

  48. Very impressive – looks good on you! (if I did one I’d still just look like a sack of potatoes!)

  49. It’s beautiful x

  50. What a gorgeous dress! Very well done, indeed!

  51. 1marylou · ·

    Fantastic fit!

  52. That is BEAUTIFUL! I’d always wondered about knit dresses, but it looks great.

  53. Pretty dress, well done.

  54. That is stunning work! I am still too scared of knitting a jumper/sweater, but am already considering going straight to a knitted dress because I would wear it far more often nowadays. Risky, but if I figure out how to make things fit my body shape (I foresee lots of maths there, oh dear), it would be my greatest knitting achievement. Enjoy your dress!

  55. This is exceptionally beautiful, I only wish I had the patience to knit something as beautiful as this! Well done!

  56. It’s is fantastic, Glenna! And finally good weather it show it off!

    Do you have a leather jacket? I don’t know why, but it seems like it would be the perfect spring topper.

  57. This is gorgeous! Well done!

  58. caityrosey · ·

    I agree that an inch or two shorter would work well for you. I always get nervous about knit dresses and think they need to be as long as other dresses I wear. Until I remember that I wear knit dresses with thick leggings or pants, not over bare legs. It makes a difference in what I am comfortable with 🙂

  59. Louise Snitz · ·

    Looks beautiful. I’m so proud of you. I even like the ‘gift to myself.’ Kindness to self is sometimes the hard. I loved your pi-shawl pi-day post of late. You were the 1st to notify “me”, and the news kept coming from there. I attended a party where a 13-year old girl had memorized pi to the 100th digit! Wow! & she’s a knitter…..

  60. This is beautiful! I really want to make a dress like this, that I can wear with leggings and boots and this has spurred me on to save up for the wool for this pattern.

    The cable work is absolutely stunning!

  61. Beautiful pattern, beautiful finished project! I love your accessories – the tights are really cute along with the boots and necklace – that is an outfit I would wear all winter long! Alas, at my knitting pace, it would take me at least 4-5 winters to finish it – no doubt by then, my measurements would change some anyway. 😦

  62. LOVE IT. My prediction: You are going to wear that thing ALL the TIME.

  63. Wow, this is such a beautiful dress and it looks so lovely on you. I absolutely adore the cables. Stunning!

  64. Wow! It looks amazing!

  65. […] take you back to one of these mistake times, a little less than a month ago when I was finishing up my Ossel dress (which has by no means been retired for the season yet, true to form we have snow predicted for […]

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