For a while now, I have been eyeing so many gorgeous scrap quilts on Pinterest and Instagram, that it has fueled me into get back into sewing. Not just because I missed it, but because I missed the satisfaction I use to get from creating with my hands, things to accessorize my home with; something that you can curl up on your couch with on a cold day and know that you made it. You pieced every single part together, and it is yours. And just like that, it hit me like a wave of fabric fueled creativity, that was just the breath of fresh air I needed, but hadn’t had in a while. So, off to Fabric.com I went!
I love knitting, and I spend over 40 hours a week surrounded by yarn; but I wanted to make something bigger. Something utilitarian. Something the whole family could enjoy….a quilt. That was my new mission. To make something comparable to the gorgeous, chaotic, and haphazardly pieced fabric masterpieces I had seen on the interwebs.
I spent hours, scouring the internet for the perfect fabric. Would I go with florals? Would I take on solids? How about modern? Animal print? And then I found it! Cotton and Steel. A brand with a fabric print for everyone! They had it all! Contemporary, modern, solid, small print, large print, florals, animals,….a constant array of endless possibilities! And the colors! The color palette they have is phenomenal! Bright, bold, dark, rich, and everything in between. It sold me on the spot!
I ordered a bunch of fat quarters and half yards, because I had no idea what I wanted this scrap quilt to look like, and basically, I fell in love with everything they had. As it stands right now in my creative process, I am sewing, cutting, sewing again, cutting again, and my quilt pieces are beginning to take shape. I’m enjoying the process of just sitting down and sewing; letting the fabrics merge together with no formula that strives for perfection. Not having to measure, not having to cut out perfect pieces that will eventually evolve together to create a mathematically perfect cotton mosaic,….just sewing. It’s the creative balance I needed in my life, and is very much fueled by the instant gratification of watching the quilt develop with no direction or plan to hinder a fluid creative flow.
After many tears, profanities, and frustrations, I am down to the cuff ribbing on my Rose Cardigan…..*Deep breathe in*…..Here we go….
Now, some of you happened to catch my Live Instagram Video about my progress on my Rose Cardigan by Andrea Mowry. For those of you who didn’t, and would like to know the content of said video, I shall elaborate:
- I very rarely find that I must get on social media and share my opinion about a specific pattern, or what I experienced during my knitting that pattern, but this is a pattern that has been getting a lot of “behind closed doors” chatter, and I felt that since my Company was hosting a KAL for the cardigan, maybe it would be a good thing to open a dialogue for the knitters participating. A lot of knitters have been hesitant to Cast On this pattern because it looks scary. It’s really not, but there is no room for pattern interpretation or alteration by the one knitting it. You must follow the pattern as it’s written, or you may have the experience that I am about to describe.
- I. Am. Frustrated. Plain and simple. I am a pretty seasoned knitter, and have knit many top down sweaters, pieced and seamed sweaters, and bottom up….heck, last Fall I even undertook the scary task of steeking a sweater…..and you know what (*places hands firmly on hips*) even that project didn’t create as many curse words as this flipping sweater!
- I had no problem up to the collar section. I don’t scare easily when it comes to construction techniques. I actually invite challenging knitting most times. I wouldn’t say this pattern is scary at all, and for most, this is a pretty basic knit. But when I read the collar construction (I would like to insert the actual wording here, but I am sure that would be breaking several copy write laws which has a tendency to be frowned upon), it made no sense. The instructions tell you to begin seaming the one collar section to the body of the garment and then the other side of the collar, and meet them in the middle and unravel any extra, and then seam the two halves together……my thought was, why didn’t she just write it as an applied collar boarder to save knitters from having to unravel their work?
- In my Instagram video, I went on to compare designers, whose patterns I have knit in the past, that have used this applied collar boarder technique, that I have found to be absolutely brilliant! One of them being Michelle Wang. Michelle is famous for her heavily cabled patterns as well as her extremely clear and accurate writing style for intense and complicated designs…you can trust me when I say, the woman has mad pattern skills! I’ve knit a few.
- I also described my frustration with the fact that I ended up with full cakes of untouched, left over yarn. I do not even know how that is possible given that I went exactly by the pattern requirements when it came to the yardage needed for each color.
- Last but not least, I take full responsibility for not following the directions 100% to the letter when I reached the collar seaming. Had I followed the directions and unraveled from the top instead of the bottom, I may have saved myself a few expletives. But, the collar is on,….after 7 hours, and I’m on the cuff ribbing.
I would like to take a moment and state that I think Andrea can design some beautiful garments. I also think that had I not invested so much time up to this point, in the knitting of this pattern given the frustration I created for myself, I wouldn’t have continued and went on to knit something else….but I’m stubborn and I REALLY WANTED THIS IN MY WARDROBE! Do I regret knitting this? No. Would I knit it again, but follow the directions to a T? Maybe and definitely!
I also feel that it is important for knitters to begin speaking up about any experiences that they may have while knitting any pattern. It is not cruel or harsh to be honest about your experiences….IT’S HEALTHY, and may be helpful to people considering knitting the pattern you are working on. Criticism and honesty is a good thing, and doesn’t mean it is coming from a bad place.
Please feel free to head over to our Ravelry page, join the group and our discussion on this pattern and a bunch of other topics.