I’m sorry. I finished Willow, and I meant to get pictures, but we ended up being very busy this weekend, and now it’s dark and I have no pictures. Until I can get some, you’ll have to be content with the pictures from my last entry. Mea culpa.
Thoughts on Willow: I think the Soft Tweed was a good substitution, but if I knew then what I know now I would have made the smaller size and I would have shortened everything a wee bit. The Soft Tweed, you see, is s t r e t c h y and it lengthens when you wear it. As a result, this coat is huge. Absolutely enormous. When I wear it, I look like a mattress. I’m not complaining, per se. I didn’t make this coat to look svelte and sleek, and it’s a good thing I didn’t because I’d be endlessly disappointed right now. Still, I may have to attempt a slight shrinkage of the whole deal. I just might look like a little kid dressed up in her dad’s overcoat when I wear it now. Maybe. The weird part is that it’s so stretchy that when I put it on at first it’s enormous and too long and my hands don’t show, but when I adjust it a bit everything springs back into place and it looks…well, it still looks huge, but not unreasonably huge. I spit spliced the yarn throughout with great success, so it clearly felts, and it should shrink if I toss it in the washer, but I’m afraid to do so. When I get the pictures up you can judge for yourself whether it needs to be smallified.
The original pattern for Willow called for a belt, which I dutifully made, but as I mentioned, the coat is huge and makes me look like a mattress, and the belt makes matters worse, looking like I’m trying to add a nipped waist to a mattress. Mattresses, it turns out, do not look good with a feminine figure.
Despite the huge and the stretch, members of my immediate family (you people know who you are) have been hinting that they too would like to have a Willow. Perhaps in their own size. Perhaps without cables. Maybe they could just borrow mine. I figure when people are trying to borrow your giant mostly wool coat when it’s hot out, it can’t be a total disaster of knitting.
The other thing to mention if you happen to be someone who likes Willow and wants to make your own, perhaps in Soft Tweed, is that you should buy one more skein of yarn than I did if you want to make the 34 inch chest size. I used 13 skeins of Soft Tweed for my main color and one of Misti Alpaca for the contrast color. I had about 2 yards of Soft Tweed left after I cast off the collar, and there were still the pocket edgings and the pocket seams and a belt to go. I made the pocket edges and the belt in my contrast yarn (and I still have quite a bit of that left) and then I performed the most heroic act of spit splicing in my entire knitting career, sewing in the ends of the Soft Tweed and then splicing every single leftover piece into a tiny skein of very delicate yarn, which I used to seam the pockets. If the belt had worked out and I’d wanted belt loops, I would have had to buy an extra skein of yarn for that purpose. So buy more than I did. Soft Tweed is on sale pretty much everywhere, too, so if you happen to like it, I’d snap it up now.
I’ll be returning to previously scheduled projects now, such as the Rowanspun stripey sweater, which will be slow and ongoing and dull and likely take me a year, and the Cotton Glace top and a new beginning for Gabriel’s sweater. There’s also a secret project in the works. The Cotton Glace top is a pretty quick project, but not quick enough. I have this one shirt I love, a tee shirt that is clearly based on a kimono, so I decided to base my shaping on that top. Suddenly, however, I’m seeing knit kimono tops all over the place. There’s a new book of knit kimonos coming out soon, and one of the patterns was in the latest issue of Craft magazine. The latest Magknits has a top, Stargazer, that has almost the same shaping I was planning on for my own, unnamed top. Anyway, I may be late on the bandwagon, but I am still going to finish up my own kimono inspired knit top and hopefully it will have its own merits.
Mr. Kninja, seeing how fast a project goes when you use thick yarn, has changed his stance on thick yarn versus thin, so I may change course in turn and let the Rowanspun raglan marinate for a while. He gave me that lovely bag of Scottish Tweed Chunky for our anniversary and I haven’t come up with a project for it, so mayhaps he’ll get it back in sweater form. We shall see.
Until there is photographic evidence of my endeavors – adieu!