This spring, I suffered a bad case of the knitting blues. You know, the horrible feeling when none of your wips inspire you and you don't even know what else to knit. I was feeling down: I was going to the movies the next day and none of my current projects was suitable for movie knitting. I had nothing appropriate in my Ravelry queue either. My go-to fix for the knitting blues is to go stash diving and pick up whatever feels most inspiring, no matter if I was saving the yarn for something special or if what I wanted to wasn't movie knitting appropriate either. The main thing was to get out of the knitting funk. And it worked.

What: Vieno / Own pattern
How: Circular needles 3.0 mm and 3.5 mm
From: Martin's Lab Tibetan Singles, 355 g

I went stash diving and picked up my precious merino/yak/silk skeins by Martin's Lab that I had bought at the Finnish Craft fair last fall. I'd had a vision for them that I wanted to design a dress with brioche on the yoke. Fine, so designing a new dress on the go didn't exactly sound like movie knitting either but I didn't care; I felt inspired!

I spent most of the movie winding the yarns. Finally, it was time to cast on. As I had done no prior calculations, I checked a few dresses I had knit before for appropriate stitch counts for the neckline and sleeves and started knitting with no thoughts of swatching or the width of the brioche pattern looming in the very near future.

Sometimes things just work out. My gauge was spot on, the stitch counts I chose semi-randomly were a perfect match for nice and even yoke increases. I made a brioche pattern that would work with my stitches and then something magical happened. Without planning it ahead, I had accidentally designed a brioche yoke that sits on the bust in the most flattering way ever. Finally, when working the hem, I managed to guess just how much the dress would grow length in the wash. Usually, I get to sorely regret not calculating and grading a design before starting my sample. But this time, this dress was just meant to be.

Vieno is worked top-down seamlessly - as all my designs. It has a round yoke with a show stopper brioche pattern.  The brioche pattern is graded to sit on the bust in the same flattering manner for all the sizes. The dress has long sleeves and a high rib at the cuffs.

The dress has waist shaping: you'll work decreases on the sides until you reach the waist. After that, you will work increases around the hem to make it round. Just before the hem rib, there is a gorgeous color work pattern. But it's not just any color work: the contrast color pattern is worked with purl stitches to make it stand out. It takes some concentrating but is well worth the trouble.

I designed the dress for this gorgeous single-ply merino/yak/silk blend and it is one of my favorites. In addition to silk, the yak gives a special shine to the yarn. And the yarn drapes beautifully, which is something to keep in mind when deciding on the length of the hem as a dress is quite heavy when washed. This was my first time trying out Martin's Lab yarns but not last. There's a man with an eye for colors.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry. It comes with 11 sizes, to fit bust circumferences from 30'' to 60.75''. I've been following the size inclusivity discussion on Instagram and I wanted to do better. With that in mind I added one more size to the pattern (60.75'') even though it hasn't been test knitted. I will look for test knitters for that size and update the pattern in case any errors are found but I'm confident all the sizes will work as mathematics doesn't lie. But, in case you run into any trouble, don't hesitate to contanct me and I'll figure it out!

To celebrate the release of the pattern, you can get 25% discount with the code MOTHER until Sunday June 30th.

Speaking of mothers, the dress got its name from my great grandmother. I've never met my grandfather's mother but I've heard stories from mom. Also, fittingly, some people on IG commented that these pictures have a 'mother of dragons' vibe to them and now, I can't unsee it.

Nothing is as elegant and comfortable as a knitted dress.

Anna Johanna

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