Friday, January 16, 2009

A picture tells a thousand words

And all of them are lies.

I could post this picture and tell you the Ivel coat is coming along like a dream.

Look at it - sleeves and skirt and everything all joined up, raglan decreases looking good - and only the top part to go.

The truth is - it isn't really looking that great in the fit department.

In some parts of the beautifully presented pattern the detail is painstakingly outlined. But for the parts that I need help with, it is strangely silent. The designer did kindly offer on ravelry to help me with any problems I might have, and hinted at there being some errata in the works - but I really can't be bothered with the dialogue.

All the increases are placed in the centre of the pieces (ie: the sleeves, the fronts and the back). It is the coat's best feature - these faux darts are the very element that gives the coat a bespoke Victorian frock coat look. But it is this feature that also has also presented the greatest design challenges too, because the rate of increase in width compared to length is quite slow.

The truth is that the sleeves are extremely narrow (intended to be so, but presumably one would want to wear something under it, unless ou were intending to be a very well dressed flasher).

And the number of increases for the bust and back darts don't match the number clearly shown in the photographed piece. The pattern says do 3 sets of increases, the picture clearly shows at least 6.

I worked on it till two in the morning last night, I sewed up a sleeve and tried it on - but I'm going to bite the bullet now before I go any further. Here's what I'm going to do:

Unravel it back to the part where the sleeves join into the body.

Continue to knit the body with the full 6 sets of increases like the picture shows.

Re-knit the sleeves completely, with more increases so they will fit comfortably around my upper arms.

Join it all together again and continue the pattern as though nothing happened.

Estimated time to get back to the point I'm at now: about five nights knitting time - completely worth it I think.

I daren't put it down and work on anything else for fear I won't ever pick it up again.

(I could just ignore the shaping and knit a raglan cardigan like one person on ravelry appears to have done, but it wouldn't be very special then would it?)


Rose Red said...

I (the person who NEVER frogs anything unless I absolutely have to) think it is totally worth undoing and redoing to have a coat you are happy with - it's too much of an investment (both in lovely yarn and your time) not to. And if it was the details that made you love the pattern in the first place, then you don't want to end up with a finished product without them.

Bells said...

I'm with RoseRed. It's worth it.

Good plan of attack really. I'm sure the work will pay off.

jae said...

Ouch! Nothing worse than a pattern you fall in love with only to discover it isn't living up to your expectations. Well, maybe learning the 100% cashmere yarn one just splurged on is really cleverly disguised acrylic would be worse. It sounds like you have a good plan to get back on track. Good luck!

Corrie said...

oh my Lord I definitely think its worth it especially with the cost of the yarn you're using!!!!

I hate when my knitting is getting longer and I know its not looking big enough width wise...when you're 5ft I need width not height!

good luck......may the knitting force be with you (or lots of chocolate and coffee)


Katewillknit said...

After years of frogging denial I agree with your plan of fixing it now, rather than living to regret it. It does look lovely now, and will look even lovelier when done properly.

donnac368 said...

I really appreciate your honest assesment of this "journey" you are on. So many times we hear "loved this project!" or "pattern was a dream!" It is good for us knitters who fall in love with patternsthat we are not alone (and it isn't always our fault) when a pattern doesn't work for us.

Nellie said...

What a shame after all that work. But I think Rose Red and Bells are quite right in their advice. It is a beautiful piece, and the bespoke job you are doing will make it all the more special.

Barb said...

I've gotten much better at recognising when a major rip-back is necessary but

> I daren't put it down and work on anything else for fear I won't ever pick it up again.

I completely understand this.