Needless to say, this takes a leap of faith and some fortitude. But since I'm gonna do it anyway, I might as well write about aspects of it which may be helpful to others. Of course, I'm not speaking as a subject-matter expert, but as a free-styling crafter who would very much welcome feedback as I go.
Today's topic, a follow on from this post, will discuss my next step in the process of finding pattern to finished product.
So, I reviewed my pattern to determine what yarn was recommended lo those many years ago. It's a brand called Minerva Mellosheen (I love that name) which was mercerized cotton. I did a bit of Googling and discovered that the 2 ounce skein (what this pattern recommends) contained 190 yards. (BTW, the shade it was made in was Baby Blue with silver. How positively Grace Kelley.)
I have been carefully pondering a couple of things:
- What size to make
- What yarn to use
First, let's talk yarn...
You should know that I do not like cotton. I don't like how it feels. I don't like how it looks. I don't like how it grows. I don't like how it drapes (though I do love the drape of the Late Day Jacket that was, apparently, constructed in cotton).
Despite this, I've done a lot of developing on the textile-appreciation front lately. Not to dwell right now, but soon I will discuss in detail my confusing appreciation for Brooklyn Tweed Loft, a scratchy, hay-filled thing of rusticity. Alas, I don't think I'm ready for cotton. Its texture creeps me out.
At first, I considered using Quince Finch, a 100 per cent wool fingering weight. It's made by one of those small US artisanal vendors. It comes in lovely colours. It's highly recommended and apparently, as a workhorse of sorts, is very good for many vintage designs.
By contrast to the Mellosheen, the Finch yarn gets 221 yards to 1.75 oz (or 50g).
That's a MUCH lighter weight yarn than the vintage cotton.
I don't know how I can expect the same sort of drape from a modern yarn, if it doesn't have (sort of) the same weight but I know nothing about standard weights, by fibre, of fingering yarn.
My next step will be to search Ravelry for fingering yarn with a particular weight - here's hoping that's not too challenging.
I'd love to know if y'all support this plan, or please do provide some additional info that might help.
What Size To Make?
Moving along, let's talk about standardized (not pattern-specific) sizing:
Size 16 - 34" bust, 28" waist, 37" hip
Size 18 - 36" bust, 30" waist, 39" hip
I'm no expert on whether vintage fits "small" but the last time I tried to make a true size, my end result was huge. I'm inclined to go for slightly smaller (size 14), though not insanely so, cuz I can review actual pattern gauge against stitch-number to determine the exact dimensions of this pattern. Then, if it's only the bust where I need more room, I can add some stitches (provided the kimono sleeve construction doesn't fuck me up as it did the last time) at the bust. If I have to size up or down, I'm probably going to go down. In my experience, it's the only thing that works.
BTW, while the process of looking at the pattern to determine sizing takes a little while, it is NOT HARD. I know some people are wary of it, especially the math-scared. I am no mathie and I can totally handle it. It's completely intuitive, I promise.
OK, getting back to what the pattern says, to make the size 16 I'm going to need 10 skeins of that 2 ounce Mellosheen aka 1900 yards?!?!
Seriously, that's a lot of yards.
I don't think the pattern calls for double knitting, as I mentioned before. Do you see any way that this might require 1900 yards of heavy fingering yarn??:
I would SO appreciate your feedback on this because the most yarn I've ever used on a jacket-like sweater was 1250 yards and I swam in that.
I suppose that I might have found incorrect info on the yardage of the Mellosheen, but I don't think so. In which case, unless the pattern is actually double knit - though it doesn't clearly state that - I'm working with a shit load of yarn.
Thoughts or feelings anyone? Please do chime in!