Jacob’s Delight

The one and only, Jacob’s Delight is done. What a fish tale it was!  There were some ups and downs and Jacob’s Delight sometimes seemed like a soap opera, but it’s done and I can no longer refer to it as the fish that got away, and no longer is it relegated to that sector in my mind where it once inhabited, the What Could Have Been sector.  I am really happy that this pattern, that which I first saw in the first ever knitting book I bought in 1984, the very same book from which I made my very first knitted item, has become a dream realized.  Not only that, but something I can actually wear, knowing it turned-out quite well, unlike that other ill-fated sweater I made from the same book which turned-out pretty poorly.

I managed to work around the pattern error indicating the wrong amount of purple yarn (too little), and all visible areas requiring purple are purple, and in the end I was able to make the picot edging for the pockets in purple without shortening the edging afterall, even though I’d done that in my previous post. The only place where I had to do something different to make up for the shortage of purple was the insides of the pockets, which I made in brown, instead, using a bit of purple for the insides where it would be visible from the opening. By the way, I can’t let it go and just have to say that there’s some kind of irony in the fact that purple was the color I ran low on, since isn’t the only place in the bible that my name (Lydia) occurs is where it says she was a merchant of purple fabric? I don’t know why that seems ironic to me, but it does. I mean what are the chances in a biblically-titled pattern involving 8 colors that purple would be the one I’d have to scramble for? I’m just sayin’….

Picot Pockets

Details
Pattern: Jacob’s Delight by Pip Hues from The Sweater Book by Amy Carroll (Copyright 1983)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needles: US 10/6.0 mm, US 9/5.5 mm, US 7/4.5 mm

While shooting pictures of the coat, the first bee of the season stopped by and tapped on my window. I was so happy to see her I had to take a picture of her, as well.

Close Shave

Jacob’s Delight is close to completion and it should be done this week. I had a close shave with Project Disaster Syndrome* when I faced the reality of not having enough purple. About halfway through the coat I started to get the funny feeling this might happen, but I kept telling myself all would be fine.  When I’d completed 80% of the coat things started looking really bleak on the purple supply and I began digging around all of the places where my yarn lives in hopes of finding a swatch or two of it.  After days of frantic searches and digging around the clutter at the bottom of two closets I miraculously came up with a swatch of purple weighing 1.2 ounces/34 grams (57 yards/52 meters) from a previous uncompleted project (the felted diaper bag I never made (6 years ago).  With the additional purple yarn, I was able to finish almost all of the areas of the coat needing purple, with the exception of the pocket edging and seaming; for the pockets, I had to make the picot edging more narrow and for the seaming I’ve found some other wool yarn in my stash with a purple hue.

The catastrophe I’ve managed to avert is the result of an error in the pattern, one of many, I’ve been discovering.  Although many of the errors have been rather small, this one, as any knitter would agree, is a big deal.  The pattern calls for 3 ounces (85 grams) of purple, and I had about 6 ounces (170 grams) on hand in my stash when I started the project, with one of the skeins weighing-in at its purchased weight of 4 ounces (113 grams), and therefore I thought I had more than a sufficient amount of that colorway.  As a I worked through the first half of the coat, taking-in just how much purple the garment is comprised of, I began to think 3 ounces sounded rather optimistic.  The odd thing is, in contrast the pattern calls for 8 ounces of the main color (gray), yet anyone looking at the coat can see the amount of gray is very little, whereas it can also be seen that purple is by far the dominant or main color of the coat, something that I kind of noticed but chose to follow the pattern as written in faith.  I guess I won’t know for sure how much gray is actually required until I finish the gray collar and gray hem.

*Project Disaster Syndrome (PDS) – A severe case of panic brought on by the situation of working on a project and progressing so far (having completed at least 50% of it) that there’s no going back, no ripping it all out, accompanied by thoughts of “I’m in too deep” and “I’ve spent too much time and/or money” racing through one’s head, but realizing that you’ve really, truly messed-up to either through one’s own idiocy or inaccuracies in the pattern, and that one may have to trash the whole project, at which point one big UGH! is uttered from one’s mouth, along with the requisite profanity of one’s choosing.

The sun came out today…

And suddenly, everything seemed more doable.  I feel like I’ve been living in a cave for the past few weeks.  Normally, January doesn’t hit me like that since the days start getting longer; rather it’s December that affects me that way.  Even Zephyr was happier and today seemed a good day to post.

Feeling good, despite the beginnings of what may be the flu, it just seemed like a good time to throw my knitting down on the floor and take a picture.

I dropped a teaser in my last post, way back on December 25th (sorry!), saying that I’d begun work on something that isn’t another My So-Called Scarf (which I personally find borders on addictive) and is from the first knitting book I bought in 1984. I have long categorized it as one of my dream projects, you know “the one that got away”, or almost got away. When I first saw it in the pages of Amy Carroll’s The Sweater Book (Copyright 1983), I said, “Wow! That would be nice to make. If only…” But being new to knitting and living on a college student budget at the time, it was not the time to delve into such a project. Happily, now is the time.

Photo Copyright Amy Carroll (1983)

The kick-off was not without its set-backs. There were four re-dos of the first cuff (it’s knit vertically from cuff to cuff) alone because I couldn’t decide if I liked close-fitting cuffs for a coat (decided to leave the pattern alone), especially since the edging for the rest of the coat isn’t fitted, and then I totally messed-up on the original yarn selection and was way, way off on the gauge.  So I ended-up with good ole’ Lamb’s Pride.

I present the team for my dream coat:

Lamb's Pride Worsted by Brown Sheep

Then I discovered a typo, in which the pattern calls for no more than two colors per row in the Fair Isle tradition, and suddenly there was the odd appearance of a third color at the seam ends of the row.  Caught that before I was too far along.

And then there is the inconsistency (or is it another typo?) of one of the striping sequences that doesn’t match-up with the photo in the book.  Both striping sequences call for white/natural but in the photo one of the sequences shows brown where white is indicated, so I caught that one too.

Despite these little speed bumps, the project is now under way and I hope to see it done before it gets too warm to wear it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing, knit wise.  In between waiting for yarn orders (I tried to buy locally, but the yarn selection wasn’t good for a project like this), picked-up Birds Eye Shawl and finally made it to the end of the first skein.  Almost 4 years after I started it.

Anatomy of a Well-Made Sweater Coat

One day I visited my friend Pamela at work and stopped short when I saw her wearing this sweater. She bought this hand-knitted marvel at a consignment store for $5.00! At first, I couldn’t decide if it was the price tag that bowled me over or the quality of it. Either way, what a find! We think it’s 100% wool. I should be so lucky to make or buy such a beautiful sweater. And for $5.00! I have been admiring it for two years, so she handed it over to me for analysis. I present to you, Pamela’s Sweater Coat:

It has well-planned shaping.

Just enough herringbone stitch for visual interest.

Sewn-in tape for strengthening across shoulders.

Hand-stitched buttonholes.

Picot edging throughout (notice a different shade of yellow here).

Hand-stitched buttons (made around plastic rings).

I would like to make a copy of this well-designed knitting marvel, but I don’t have the time to sit there and measure it out and write it all down, so instead I admire it and wonder who made it and how it ended-up in a consignment store for $5.00.