Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Summer Series: Reflection

You know that I'm not the most patient person. I come up with an idea and then my entire being is propelled in the direction of its completion. Sure, I think a lot about it. I try to resolve issues. I read and ask questions. But in my house we have a saying (as we wake in the mornings): What are you still doing in bed?? That crafting isn't going to do itself.

Whenever I'm forced by circumstances to wait, I'm ALWAYS amazed by how useful it is. Had I cut my bra fabric yesterday, when first I wrote my post, I would have missed out on two additional paper alterations that may really improve the fit, the absence of which might have had negative fit repercussions. (See yesterday's post for the updates - they're marked as such.)

This doesn't mean I'm likely to change my ways. I'm bullish by nature, when you get right down to it. Though I do like to flirt with consideration on occasion.

The truth is that I've been working for the last couple of weeks in a very focused fashion on the Fitted Boucle Jacket (remember this?). Clarification: When my head has allowed for it, I've worked on this. There was a period of a few days where it wasn't possible to do much more than get myself from A to B.  Furthermore, I have been working on the project, in one capacity or another, since the beginning of April if you include all of the fitting math I had to sort out - and I most definitely DO.

Here's a rather meh shot of the back piece blocking:

It actually blocked to proportions perfectly and became super soft, but not loose. I highly recommend Finch yarn (by Quince). I think it will provide this jacket with optimal structure and the right amount of give.

I think you'll agree, unflattering shot aside that, after washing, you cannot see where I changed needle size. (Note that the fabric looks a bit mottled because it's still wet in this pic.)

I actually blocked this over a week ago. Since then I've made 2 pockets, the left front and (hopefully today - the most miserable, wet day yet again) I'll finish the right front. I'm going to machine the buttonholes so I haven't been working those into the fabric, fyi.

You may think: Hey Kristin, you're doing really well. It's almost done!

I urge you to consider what remains:
  • The sleeves
  • The collar
  • The cuffs
  • Seaming the entire thing together - peeps, on fingering yarn, mattress stitch is a production
  • Hand sewing petersham to the hem (wonder how this is going to work, in truth)
  • Hand sewing petersham to the button band areas
  • Practicing hand sewing petersham onto the gauge swatch and then practicing making the buttonholes using my new machine.
  • Actually inserting the buttonholes
  • Sewing on the buttons
Fuck. This thing is really endless. If I don't complete it before I go on hols at the beginning of July (and finishing the pieces is the only part I can take with me on vacation - much of the work that remains is actually sewing), then I'm not likely to finish it before the end of July.

Peeps, that'll be 4 months of regular activity (albeit done in waves) on the same garment. We know I'm not a procrastinator when it comes to knitting. My point is, this project is huge.

So, today's questions are: What's the most complex knitting or sewing project you've undertaken? How long did it last and are you happy with the results? Are you a reflective person when it comes to your crafts? Do you wait and think after making alterations, before you cut your fabric? Let's chat!

PS: I'm likely to be MIA again for some of next week. Without getting into it, I'm in the midst of performing a civic obligation and it requires all of my attention.


  1. Why petersham on the bottom? It shouldn't need stabilization the way the button bands would and I find handknits sort of warm and settle when you wear them - with them hem bound it's not going to move with the rest of the garment.

    1. The bottom of the sweater isn't ribbed - it's actually in stockinette - so it would curl without the stabilization of the petersham. I might have created a hem fold (and actually turned up a hem) but the pattern didn't call for it and I'm trying to make this in the way it was originally devised.

      Also, if you look at the pic on Ravelry, the bottom of the jacket is open (not buttoned below the waist). I suspect this will obviate the problem of the hem not moving with the rest of the garment.

      We shall see, though...

    2. Interesting. I will look forward to the reveal

  2. Interesting, that detail. I am interested to see that hem.

    I don't think I could do 4 months full on. I don't know. I get bored too easily and think that length of time would kill the project for me!

    We are well matched in temperament, I think. A lot of what you say regarding impatience and jumping in is true for me as well. I often have to chant that good ol' mantra 'measure twice, cut once'...

  3. that is a long time to spend with one project! my longest was outfitting a wedding party last year--wedding dress, three bridesmaid dresses, and flower girl dress. the actual sewing and fitting took place over about three months, but i had to think about it for almost nine months before getting down to business! it was almost all long-distance, adding to my incessant worrying about it. needless to say, i'm not eager to do that again any time soon! everything turned out great, but it was such a brain drain that it completely exhausted me!

    1. I cannot believe you undertook that and you're not in a mental institution right now!

  4. Oh. So it's more like "Hey Kristin, you're done with the easy part." That bites. :-(

    Well, you know my most recent truly complicated project was my leather jacket. I just checked my blog - 7 months start to finish, although I had complications (ie: back injury). Anyway, I'm truly over the moon about it, and so I'm a big fan of the School of Sticktoit, with a minor in fingers crossed that it comes out really well!

    1. That jacket really was worth the wait. So I'm going to take a page from your book - and also take a break.

  5. I'm not a particularly patient person, but I take a while on knitting projects. Most of my knitting occurs on the bus so it is in small sessions and takes a while. I haven't really done any large projects that took my continual attention over such a long period of time other than making a quilt years ago for a wedding present. (It made me realize I don't like quilting projects!)
    Despite the length of time, the sweater is looking good. Stick with it!

  6. I feel ya on the lack of patience. I tend to just jump in and do it, consequences be damned. Even though it has a rather poor record of really working well for me. ;-) I have no idea what a reasonable timetable for finishing this knitting project would be, but here's hoping you get it done in time! :-)

    1. I don't think there is a reasonable timetable. It's freakin' insane in the best of scenarios :-)!