Remember the post I wrote a while ago about building a garment from a modular pattern? I explained how I was using Amanda Griffith’s book “One Thousand Sweaters” to build my Coconut Ice jumper and mentioned this being a great entry into the idea of pattern modification. With this in mind, I was very interested to see that Brooklyn Tweed are thinking along similar lines and have released two patterns in a workbook format which encourage knitters to personalise the different elements to suit their own tastes. They, too, have concluded that there is a merit in being able to knit several garments from one basic pattern, ringing the changes by choosing different options each time. They have started the ball rolling with a boxy sweater and an item they are calling the Modern Tabard, although I would describe it as more of a tunic. The last time tabards were modern was back in the 1970s, and it has to be hoped that they don’t date quite so badly this time around. I’m surprisingly keen on the tabard idea because the shape is similar to that of a tunic which I bought from Masai Clothing several years ago and have found to be a competent layering piece.
Returning to that Coconut Ice jumper, I am pleased to report that it is now a finished object in every respect other than needing a soak in warm water and detergent. I’m very pleased with the result, in particular the fit. It was certainly a good call to go down to the smallest size in the pattern when I reached the armhole shaping as it gives a lovely fit across my shoulders. That collar will be great come the chilly days and I can see this working well as an outer layer in the autumn and spring as well as a nice snuggly winter garment. I tried it underneath my blanket coat and I think it’s going to be useful when I want some additional warmth at the open neckline.
So far, I’ve only taken some quick snaps of the finished object and I intend to take some better shots as proper documentation after the jumper has been washed. I have two slight issues with the jumper at the moment, the first being that I don’t like the way the hem flaps up. If this doesn’t cure itself in the washing I will try adding a facing to stabilise it. I can’t deny that I prefer the finish a ribbed hem gives to a garment, but with my current body shape ribbed hems don’t look so good on hip-length garments and I don’t want everything I knit to be waist-length.
The other slight niggle is the rather visible open stitches where I’ve worked decreases. I’m not sure why these have turned out so noticeable on this particular garment, but I hope that the first soak will fluff up the wool fibres enough to make this problem disappear entirely.
Looking at the photos of the jumper and coat combination has got me pondering the idea of a hand-knitted “dickey” once again. It’s something I like to contemplate and reject several times a year, mainly being put off by the idea that it could prove to be somewhat flappy when worn. Just a minute, though. What about that tabard idea from Brooklyn Tweed? That would do away with the loose, flappy edges of the dickey whilst covering my chest, shoulders and neck for warmth. It could work.
For now, though, I’m turning my attention down to my feet and I’m going to finish the socks I’m knitting. Once that is done, I will have a completely clear plate and will be able to look forward to stirring my imagination with some completely new projects.
I hope you’ve all had a good weekend and indulged your passions, whatever you hobby may be.