Saturday, April 9, 2016

It Ain't Finished Till It's "Finished"

I've been absurdly creative of late. I know that it's because I'm thinking about everything, all the time these days, like a machine. I'm so grateful that, in my 40s, instead of being overwhelmed by my brain state (and pace), I can apply it to the creation of beautiful things.

For starters, remember that vintage sweater I've had to finish (for 3 years)?? It's out of hibernation, peeps, and it's unexpectedly promising:

Mid-way through finishing - Fitted Vintage Jacket - Note how it's exactly the same colour as my just-completed Basic Pullover 2
The fact that this languished for so long has taken the edge off. I mean, if it's been sitting around for 3 years, what's another month as I work methodically to make it excellent? And, making it excellent is my mandate. Do you know how long it takes to mattress seam on a fingering-weight cardigan? Add some pockets and a collar and cut-on cuffs and it's a production. (This doesn't even move into the territory of finishing the front and hem with petersham ribbon and then machine-stitching in the buttonholes / sewing on a zillion buttons.) But who cares?

Moreover, given my current dimensions, I feel that a bit more length in the body would give this a firmer "tailored jacket" vibe. So, I'm going to use up my credit (on returned yarn to Quince) and buy yet another skein of Finch in Peacock. Then I'm going to pick up and knit from the cast on edge (the cuffs weren't knit on, but seamed, so I think the look will be consistent) and rib myself a couple of inches at the bottom. This will also take care of my concern that stabilizing the current stockinette hem would not skim my midsection in the way I'd prefer. Because it's easier for me to knit length, than extra width, at this point, I don't want to constrict the horizontal ease unnecessarily. And, you know, petersham is ribbon and it doesn't stretch.

Mercifully, I think the sweater's going to close alright over the full bust (this was my biggest fear given boobs and a cardigan and shape change) especially given the stabilization of that area with ribbon and the machine-stitched buttonholes, placed strategically.

You may know (or read my endless posts on the topic which you can access easily via my Ravelry index) that I messed with every element of fit on this project. I basically made up the pattern, design features notwithstanding. I have sheets of calculus to substantiate the altered sleeve curve. No wonder I put the blocked flat pieces in a bag for 3 years. And hilariously (ironically?), I think the shoulders came out a bit wide. What can I say, calculus isn't my core skill.

Don't panic. It's not a big issue because I have options. That's what happens when you realize that you've been doing something old-school style for quite a while and you have skills! I can either mattress seam the top of the shoulder curve a bit more closely (I'd likely not even need to unseam what's done already) OR - and this is a crazy idea - I might insert very compact shoulder pads. It would be totally in keeping with the era and it would provide more of a tailored jacket look while picking up a bit of the slack in the current fit.

So, next up, I have to order my yarn (and a new shade card from Quince) and, while I'm waiting for delivery, I'll keep on with the slow pace of finishing and other knitting projects. On that topic, tomorrow's post will talk about some new yarn I've bought in the spirit of my non-stash lifestyle. It took me 2 hours at the store to figure out how to purchase so that I could use up every yard. That's over and above the hours I've spent considering my next projects. The key is to think of multiple projects using the same batch of yarn, rather than little projects that odd lots of remnants.

At any rate, I'm vaguely amazed that I'm back to the Fitted Vintage Jacket (formerly named the Fitted Boucle Jacket). Are you??


  1. I would love if you post a pic of the finished sweater being worn. I have a 1/2 finished vaguely similar version (ribbing about twice that height) which was meant to be my first attempt at using ribbing at the waist to gain better shaping. However, I had a bought of wrist tendinitis that sucked all joy from knitting for an entire winter...& I just never returned to it. But now I'm tempted.

  2. O.M.G. That is GORGEOUS!!!! Of course, it's in my favorite color, so... ;-) If it were me, I'd opt for the shoulderpads, but then I'm lazy. Can't wait to see the modeled shots!