Monday, June 27, 2011

Fantasy . . . . not entirely

Confession time.  Not every moment of the Fantasy Jacket is a fantasy of yarn-ness.  Even when working 100% cashmere.  Once I figured out the look of the pattern repeats, the making of the back  and fronts was easy.  Not easy peasy.  Only easy.  That is because the pattern lines up in a very repetitive manner - it does not increase or decrease oddly.  Nice rows horizontally and vertically with a predictable offset that results in the peaks and valleys.

Then came the sewing.  Easy turned to advanced.  The past was prologue and somehow decades of experience coalesced into memory.  Seaming loopy crochet into matchy matchy seams take time.  And patience.   And thought.  And a clear head.  And, in this case, a calculator.

A major hurdle was crossed when the fronts and back were seamed prior to creating the edging.  That (along with a private conversation on Ravelry) refreshed my slip stitch skills when the vertical stitches from the front needed to exactly match the vertical stitches from the back and in between was the Solomon's Knot.  Well, except when that center back section required, according to the pattern, to be eased to fit between markers.    Memory was refreshed and I was reminded that patience is a virtue.

The front of the Rowan Fantasy is a couture  detail for sure.   The uniquely pleated and folded front panels  add to the endearing casualness of what otherwise would be a very formal swath of cashmere.  But.  And it is a huge BUT.  Getting the two sides to match drained me to the core.  All told it was about three hours of measuring, calculating, figuring percentages, readjusting markers, pinning, unpinning, trying on two different bodies, and then starting over from the beginning before I was comfortable putting yarn to seam and taking the deep breath of trust. 

The trick that finally worked - caution:  math follows - was to return to the pattern and put the calculator to the row/stitch gauge as written and discover that the front was to fold over to the side and meet at a point approximately one-third up from the lower edge.  Owing either to my stitch gauge or blocking being off, a simple adjustment in the size of the pleat was required.  Voila!  That one-third point was finally made.  Well, give or take a bit of hang stretch.  But the point is that the drape no longer appeared to be a pocket for the female anatomy!   Yeah for math. 

And yes, it pains me to say that.  Math is not my friend, I prefer to go with the flow and strive for the look. 

Here it is.  Two sides that match and drape visually the same.  Even the front-to-back pattern is all lined up.  Beauty.  Sheer beauty.  Now that it is all finished (photo with model to come) I am pleased to report that the fretting was worth it.  You may turn this one inside out and look at my seams.  Go ahead.  It's OK.  Sheer beauty, I tell you.

Rowan has done good.  Just don't go thinking that Fantasy is an easy pattern.  It is advanced - at minimum. 

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