I was a late arrival to Mason Dixon Knits. (It’s probably my adversion to following the crowd.) I bought the book earlier this spring as a reward for finishing a frustrating work project. I was inspired by its philosophy of using knitting to create everyday items. Most alluring for me were the nightie and robe. (Also, my interest was picqued by Julia Trice’s posts about knitting the After Dark Nightie on her blog “Mind of Winter”.
Therefore, it should come as no surprised that my first project was the Mason Dixon After Dark Nightie. For many knitters, I’m sure that this project seems like a major undertaking. Given the yardage required (810 yards), I figured that it was similar to a sweater where instead of knitting sleeves you just knit more of the body. Some of my fellow knitters (as well as my mother) can’t believe that I would put all of this work into something that I couldn’t show off to a lot of people!
The pattern calls for 3 balls of Euroflax Originals which can be expensive for an experiment in lingerie knitting that might not get worn too much.
As I do with a lot of my knitting projects, I’m making some changes. I’m substituting Egyptian cotton for linen since it is much easier on the hands for knitting. I am using Lang Yarns’ Fiorina, an Egyptian cotton that has 115 meters or 126 yards per ball. I snagged 10 balls in periwinkle blue at the Joan Vass sample sale last year for a mere $10.00!
The nightie has been my major project this summer. Its grapevine lace border has allowed me to expand my lace knitting experience. The first few rows drove me crazy since I invariably had the wrong number of stitches at the end of the row and had to undo the entire row to find my error. Eventually, I got the hang of it. Here’s a close up of the detail.
Since one side of the nightie seemed like an over whelming task, I’m knitting the front and back in tandem to ensure that the sizing is similar. Also, once I finish half of it, I don’t feel like there is a major undertaking facing me. (It’s the logic many folks use for knitting two socks at the same time. So far it seems to be working.)
Here’s a shot of the nightie to the hips. I marked the beginning of the decreases so I can match the front and back more carefully. (Note: Both the back and front are at about the same point.)
While I’m knitting the nightie as tight as I can, it is still rolling on the sides. So far, I’m pleased with my results.
The Mason Dixon pattern calls for the use of bra straps which adds the lingerie feel of the nightie. Instead, I’ve decided to modify the pattern to make the top portion more like a tank top. Hopefully, this will leave me the option to wear it as a dress if I so choose later.