Several years ago a friend said to me, in an off-hand way, “well, you’re not a skirt person.”

My reaction was swift and indignant. How dare she say such a thing! But then I thought about it. And, yeah, it’s true, I never wore skirts at the time. I was a jeans-and-a-T-shirt gal, and my skirts required just too much work. More thoughtful shoe choices, potential need for tights (depending on the season), and attention to seated positioning were all necessary when wearing skirts.

I’m not sure if it’s because of her comment or some growth and maturity, but, though my wardrobe remains dominated by slacks, I do enjoy skirting it up from time to time. And my recent foray into the knitted skirt had such resounding success, I was eager to give it another whirl. “Not a skirt person,” pshaw.

hexagons (by mintyfreshflavor)

hexagons (by mintyfreshflavor)

Enter Knitting Nature and its cover skirt. The Snapping Turtle Skirt caught my eye immediately–and when I saw Patti‘s yarn choice for her version, I knew I wanted to use a yarn that variegated. The individual hexagons would nip any pooling in the bud–or it would at least look artful, I told myself.

At Stitches I had a short list of yarn to buy for specific projects, and the Tess booth came through for the skirt. It’s their Superwash Merino in a colorway that features the darkest chocolate brown, black, gray, and even tan. The photos are a bit washed out–the color is intense.

So intense that it comes off all over your fingers, and you look like you spent time in a newspaper printing plant. (Not that I know if you’re ever likely to get ink on your fingers at a newspaper printing plant–maybe it’s all automated these days.) My flight to Singapore was a night flight, so all the cabin lights were off, and my spot light was a tiny, bright white halogen-quality light–not actually helpful for the seeing. I knit merrily away for a few hours–it’s pretty mindless knitting–and when I saw my blackened fingers later, I was horrified at the sight. I spent the entire time in Singapore with dirty fingers, despite washing my hands all the time. Let’s hope a good washing plus the soak in water and vinegar will nip the skirt’s bleeding in the bud.

365.362 • down time (by mintyfreshflavor)

Because, I’m happy to report, I finished knitting all the hexagons on my flight back! That was the goal, actually–cast on on the way there, cast off on the way back, 2 weeks later. I would have finished much sooner, but I, uh, didn’t read the directions very closely. See, the third and fourth rows of hexagons are actually increasingly larger than the two rows that preceded them. (I had to take out a row and a half.)

oops (by mintyfreshflavor)

The actual finishing is going to take some time (note all the ends in the shot of me knitting, above). Also, the pattern calls for a zipper, and I left a space for it (though I joined all the other hexagons in the round as I knit), but I’m just going to sew the opening up and re-knit the hem in order to make an elastic casing. How do I know that a zipper won’t work? Because when I arrived home at 2:45 in the morning from my grueling, 30+-hour journey to New York from Singapore, I was unable to sleep–so I blocked the skirt. It was dry by the end of the next day, and I tried it on. I love it–but a zipper is going to do no good. Needs elastic. Needs time to be fixed. Soon, soon.

26 Responses to hexagonical

  1. Valerie says:

    Hi there! Ellen (Friend of Yours) sent me to check out your blog. You are a very talent knitter!! I can’t wait to see pictures of that skirt. I bet it’s going to be beautiful!!

  2. carolyn says:

    dude. i think ALL tess yarn bleeds. i am on my second pair of tess socks and they are bleeding just as much as the first pair did. all over my fingers, dyeing my wooden brittanies a new color, etc. good news is that the red socks that bled all over my fingers during the knitting do not seem to bleed during the wearing. at least not that i’ve noticed.

  3. mel says:

    I’ve been in love with this skirt since getting the book, but it’s a rarity that I wear skirts (my co-workers always comment when I do wear one – “all your pants at the cleaners?!”), maybe like you, they’ll grow on me over time!

    Very much looking forward to seeing how this comes out and how you like it; the colorway is gorgeous!

  4. turtlegirl76 says:

    They actually named a skirt the “Snapping Turtle Skirt”? Ha! The last time I heard someone call a skirt a turtle skirt the punchline was that it fell 2 inches below the snapper. Ba-dump-dum.

  5. courtney says:

    Oh, so beautiful…I can’t wait to see the finished skirt!
    For the fingers you can always use a mixture of sugar, olive oil and lemon peel (grated on a microplane) it will clear the ink off your hands and leave them nice and happy. :)

  6. stacey says:

    my blue Tess yarn made my fingers look like I had just picked blueberries…I may try to wash any of her yarn in the future first! can’t wait to see the skirt all done!

  7. Elinor says:

    Oh, I can’t wait to see this FO! I hope you got all the excess dye out. I love skirts more than anything but I rarely wear them for the reasons you outline. I also think it’s a bit harder for me to wear skirts because I’m so short that my feet rarely touch the floor when I sit in a regular chair. Requires lots of leg crossing or end-of-seat perching. *sigh*

  8. nova says:

    I have been told that I am not a skirt person too. It made me go out and get a bunch of skirts the next day. Most of those skirts still have tags on them (from 5 years ago!!), but I will wear one if nothing else in my wardrobe is clean. I do like the idea of wearing skirts, though…

  9. k says:

    That skirt fascinated me when I looked through the book – well many Norah constructions do – so I’m excited to see your FO. The colour looks great!

  10. Vanessa says:

    I’ve been described as “not much of a skirt person” either, and I guess this is relatively true (esp. in the winter, but also partially because of my job) but I LOVE this skirt you are making!!!!

    So my question to you is, how do you wear a hand-knitted skirt? With a sweater? A blouse? Or doesn’t it matter so much? I love the other one you knit too. Almost makes me want to venture into skirt knitting. But I *just* got the whole knitted sweater thing down, so I think I’ll revel in that for a bit before venturing onto anything new! LOL!

  11. msknit says:

    So happy to find that I am not alone in having Tess’ yarn bleed. I too had brown hands and needles. When I called the owner of Tess’ yarn after having washed it to remove the heavy perfume smell of fabric softener and noticed the dye came out of the superwash merino. She said I could wash it in very hot water which I did 3 times. I thought all the excess dye was removed and started knitting with it also at night. My hands were brown and it was just not acceptable to me. In speaking to the owner again she said I could have a chemical in my skin that caused it to happen and then HUNG UP on me. Unbelieveable! I’ve sworn off this yarn even though the
    yarn feels great and the colors are beautiful. They should let people know that their yarns are not colorfast. Nice to know I’m not alone

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