twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

What would you knit? February 7, 2014

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?

My Magnum Opus

My Magnum Opus

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.

And if I could look like this whilst wearing it, all the better. LOL.

And if I could look like this whilst wearing it, all the better. LOL.

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.ย I find now that that Rowan has reprinted the pattern in a new book. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ What did we do before Ravelry? (Angelic chorus again.)


Crazytown. That’s just the top half of the pattern

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.

I think I'll lightly color in the leaves after enlarging the chart.

I think I’ll lightly color in the leaves after enlarging the chart.

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!


7 Responses to “What would you knit?”

  1. Harping Hawke Says:

    I don’t knit, but I would love to crochet the ever so lovely Spiral Waves Shawl, which is here:


  2. Debbie Q Says:

    Spelled it wrong on FB. Nonna’s Garden Shawl. I saw it in the Knit Picks catalog a number of years ago, just about the time they discontinued it. I actually googled the pattern, found someone who had the shawl knit FOR HER, asked her if I could at least buy the pattern book off of her and she graciously sent it to me free of charge. I have purchased the yarn from Knit Picks, having to figure several substitutes for discontinued colorways….and that is as far as I have gotten. I got the whole thing out at the beginning of 2013, intending to start it and just didn’t have the “garden shawl” mojo. One of these days though…….


  3. Karen Says:

    That coat is EPIC! I look forward to following along as you knit it. You are going to knit it right?
    I’m not really sure what I’d knit exactly but I do know I long for a flattering sweater that fits perfectly.


  4. kiwiyarns Says:

    I’ve not seen that Kaffe Fasset pattern before. It looks astounding, and will truly be a Magnum Opus! I look forward to following your adventure with this one!


  5. Mandy Gibb Says:

    Such a beautiful coat! Have you finished? I’ve been looking for this pattern everything and hear that the book you linked (Rowan Greatest Knits) doesn’t have the pattern in it. I’ll be purchasing to find out for myself but are you willing/able to share this pattern as well?


    • kathy Says:

      I wish I could share the pattern, but aside from the fact that I’d feel funny about giving away the pattern without Rowan getting payment, I honestly don’t think it would be possible. The pattern is 95% chart, and the squares are so tiny that I am contemplating trying to copy it larger and tile it together so that I can use it (this has prevented me from starting), which I’m not even sure is possible since the chart runs through the center of the spread.


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