I mean, if time, cost, and availability of yarns needed were no object (I’m not including personal knitting ability as a factor, as I’m a firm believer that if you love something enough, you can learn the skills needed to knit it. Period.)…
What would you knit? What is your dream project that, once you wove all the ends in, you’d put it on and wear it just about everywhere you could possible think to wear it, fielding complements as you went along?
I don’t even have to pause to think of what I’d choose from my huge Raverly queue. For the last 22 years, I’ve dreamed of knitting Kaffe Fassett’s “Long Leaf Coat.”
It is my personal knitting magnum opus. Everything about it is a challenge, finding the pattern, tracking down the manymanymany different yarns needed, and because the entire coat is intarsia, weaving the ends in might take a week on their own.
Nonetheless, I decided 10 or so years ago, that I’d pull everything together and finally do it. So first, I had to get my hands on the pattern. Again.
The original Rowan magazine I’d purchased when it first was published in ’92 was destroyed by an overzealous vaporizer a few years after I purchased it. Even back then, I couldn’t track down a replacement copy. Then the internet was born. (Angelic chorus here) In ’02 I went on a mad eBay search to find another copy; after being outbid multiple times, I finally secured not just 1, but 2 copies at a cost of about $80. Yah, I know. It was an accident. But at least I relisted that extra copy and got $60 bucks back when it was all over. I find now that that Rowan has reprinted the pattern in a new book. 😐 Right.
Next came assembling the something like (this is a guestimate, mind you), 6000 yards of assorted (like 33 different yarns) DK and fingering weight yarns. And being Rowan, since they only name some of their yarns (huh?), even within a yarn line–most have numbers only so you have no clue what color you’re after. Let’s add an additional difficulty. All the yarns needed have been discontinued.
Back to eBay. I managed to pull together about 70% of the yarns needed, as well as a wonderfully helpful color card. And now with Ravelry, I think I might be able to fill in the blanks, or at least get a good idea of yarns I could substitute. 🙂 What did we do before Ravelry? (Angelic chorus again.)
And then there’s that chart and all that intarsia. Hoo boy. With all due respect, what was Mr Fassett smoking when he designed this glorious sweater? Every row of each leaf is created by holding 2 strands of 2 different color yarns at a time. and the leaf veins are done with duplicate stitches/embroidery. Oh the headaches. Oh the yarn bobbins. Oh the ends to weave in. Oh what a work of art.
I think the only way around the endless ends issue is to weave some ends in each time you pick up the piece before you continue knitting. And I’m planning on bringing the charts to be enlarged so I’ll have a clue what I’m knitting. At least that’s what I’ll do when I finally start this someday. I have about 15 projects I’d really like to finish before I actually pick this up, and it might take me years to finish, however, I will make this sweater.
What I want to know is, who knitted the sample for the pattern? That person(s) should be canonized. Seriously.
So, what would you knit? I’d really love to know!