I've finally finished my swatches for the Lacy Dress and they are drying, pinned to a towel on the floor. In the end, I did a separate swatch using some yarn I had lying around (KnitPicks Shine) to get a better idea of how the lace pattern was formed, which was a good thing. I kept losing inches of yarn when I had to rip my attempt at the lace. It's very light.
As long as the lace pattern on the bottom blocks to gauge (it measures about 6 inches now, which is the size I need but I want to make sure it doesn't change much when washed), I can start the dress. The lace pattern isn't hard, but it is much more difficult to see what you are doing with such thin yarn. I think I've managed to forget that since my last lace shawl.
It would be great if the top swatch blocks out to the right gauge. It's a little off now (I believe if I recall correctly it is off in row gauge, my eternal nemesis).
I'm pretty sure that I'm going to want to do the lace portion in whole repeats (14 rows at a time) just to make it easier to keep track of where I am. It's going to be at least an evenings work to do one repeat, because each side is a fair number of stitches. To keep track when I was working on the pattern I used a post it note above the pattern row. The odd-numbered rows are worked left-right on the chart and the even rows are worked in reverse (right-left). The post it note helped me keep track of what direction I was going.
After doing the lace pattern in cotton, it was much easier to follow the pattern in the lace weight. The pattern is a simple 1-1 rib in between yarnover sections, so after a while it just flows naturally from the needles. The pattern curves a fair amount allowing this interesting scallop at the bottom of the dress.
I am going to Woolcott today to pick up knitting needles. I am working on Tangled Yoke and am slightly off on my row gauge (but only in the stockinette section), so I am going to pick up a size 3 needle so I can knit in one size needle and purl in the other. I am pretty sure that if I do that, I will equalize the size of my rows and come a lot closer to row gauge as I'm only off by a tiny amount. Until I get them, I'll go back to working on scarves or something else more portable.
The lace dress makes the 9th thing I've got on my Ravelry WIP list. It's kind of scary how much the projects add up. It's definitely one of the things keeping me from casting on for a pair of socks (even though I have a pair of socks on the list - I appear to have misplaced the first sock done except for the afterthought heel).