Monday, February 05, 2007

The VK Cabled Bolero/Shrug experience

When I took my first home ec class in 7th grade (or was it 8th?), we were given a test that began "1. Read all instructions." I "failed" the test because the last instruction was "Don't so anything." Perhaps, if I'd done that with this pattern, I might have waited, emailed VK, and waited for full instructions, which, IMHO are not included in the magazine.

The key is the end of the pattern. Making the pentagons was pretty easy, and they went very quickly. The hardest part was making sure each succeeding pentagon was attached to the correct side. I say that because after attaching (and completing) the first sleeve, I realized, I had whatever is one side less than a pentagon (quadrilagon or tetragon, according to info.please.) But that was not-so-quickly corrected and off I went to finish sleeve number two.

In Tacoma, I finished that second sleeve and thought, "I'm on the home stretch only the collar to complete." But the instructions provide the pattern for the collar and say to make it and attach it to the neck of the bolero. Therein lies the issue. There is no schematic with the size for the collar piece or any information on how to attach it. The finished neckline is 35" for XS. Proportionlly how big should the collar be knit?

I started by thinking I'd be clever and picked up stitches along the neckline knitting and attaching as I went along. Then I realized, looking at the photo, my collar and how much more I had to go that it was much, much too large. Next, I picked up stitches, but a third fewer—still too big. Finally, I decided to just knit the collar till it fit around my neck and sew it on. For every selvedge stitch, I attached 4 or 5 neckline stitches. In other words, I had to gather the neckline for it to fit the collar.

One more thing I did that I think should probably be included in the instructions: The first three stitches of the right side row are picked up; on the wrong side they are purled. It creates an attached I-cord. I tighted up the I-cord by picking up as if to knit.

And now it's done
On the whole, it was an interesting experience, that I'm glad I undertook, but I didn't take into consideration the inability to adjust for length and I really should have gone with the smallest size (will I ever learn?). The collar is on correctly and to my eye is a good size, but it clearly is for someone taller than I am. I tried attaching a band like on My Knitting Island but when there's too much fabric, there's just too much fabric.

Time to move on.