Saturday, March 28, 2009

It IS a jacket after all!

I had my doubts, many times in the course of this project, that this oddly shaped piece of knitting would ever metamorphose into a wearable garment. While I was always an A math student, plane geometry was a challenge, and involved brute memorization of formulas and proofs rather than any intuitive understanding. (Does anyone do proofs any more? My mathematician friends complain that even college math courses are light on proofs until the upper levels.) Visualization of three dimensional objects was totally beyond me, and even two dimensional objects could be problematic.

To backtrack a bit… In Italy in October 2007 I bought 12 skeins of Filatura di Crosa 127 Print. (Probably not enough, but all they had in the little shop in Tuscany where we stopped on our way back to Florence.) I searched for months for a pattern that would not result in horizontal stripes and eventually came across the Boku Mitered Jacket. After purchasing the pattern, I had my first doubts even before casting on. There was no schematic, and I wasn’t sure about whether I could fudge the size, length, or anything else to accommodate the amount of yarn I had. Eventually I ordered a few more balls of yarn from Webs, and while it wasn’t the same dye lot, it was close enough.

At various points I set it aside to work on other things, partly because I was so uncertain of where this was going. With most patterns, you start with the back, then the front(s), then the sleeves, and it is clear where you are at any time. This pattern, though, begins with the center back and works at an angle… okay while you are still on the back, but then it wanders over to the sides and the front, and you pick up stitches at various points along the way. (With any luck, you will pick up the CORRECT stitches, but it is hard to know for sure.)

Eventually it started coming into place, but I was almost ready to give up when nearing the end, since it didn’t seem to fit properly, but adding additional rows to the edging around the collar made a big difference. I had added some solid Elann Peruvian Highland Wool for the cuffs and the band around the bottom and collar, and I think that finished it off nicely. (In truth, I used the solid black because I was still afraid of running short of the 127 Print, but I might have done that anyway.) In the end I was happy, but it was probably the most stressful knit I have ever had… partly because I wasn’t sure all the effort was going to result an a wearable jacket, and partly because the yarn had such wonderful associations with the trip to Tuscany that I didn’t want it to go to waste.