I gave up on Calvert around about mid-November. It got to the point that I had so many misgivings that I wasn’t going to like the finished product that I just had to stop. And the yarn is really beautiful, and expensive, and deserves to be knit into something I will like and wear. I’m documenting the whole thing as I had made some modifications that someone else (probably via Ravelry) might find of use (or at least it makes a cautionary tale…).
I had finished both fronts (including a re-knit of the first one to nine repeats of the lace pattern in the front panel – modifications and pattern issues discussed here) and the back and joined them at the shoulder by three needle bind-off. I made some modifications to the back – it was meant to be knit in two pieces – the lower back was a very wide rectangle of stocking stitch with a ribbed hem. This was supposed to be sewn and gathered onto a back yoke. This particular feature of the pattern is not shown in the leaflet – the only photograph of it is in an audio slideshow on Berroco’s site that came out a short while after the pattern. A screencap for illustration:
Well, I didn’t like that, so I decided to try a few things, knitting the back as one piece and adding a few rows of reverse stocking stitch so as to visually divide the back into the gathered lower section and the yoke. First I tried simply doing K2tog across a row to reduce the width of the back by the desired number of stitches. That looked awful since it wasn’t actually enough of a reduction is stitches to look gathered. So I ripped back and did pleats instead. These looked better in my opinion, but I still wonder how they’d have appeared in the finished garment. Anyway, some photos of what it looked like:
My next issue was with the width between the neckline and armscye. It looked too narrow. If you look at the model wearing it, it may have been too big for her – it sits close to the edge of her shoulder.
Or maybe it was simply designed to have a wide neckline and I glossed over that feature when I decided I liked the pattern. I have the impression that had I pushed on and knit the sleeves, they would be pulled at the top by this narrow part as I would probably feel as if the cardigan was going to slip off my shoulders. But the last straw was the cuff on the sleeve. It’s a narrow band of stocking stitch (9 sts) with stitches picked up along one of the long sides and knitted at right angles. No folded edge or anything special about the other selvedge. Tell me how that isn’t going to curl up??? I even started knitting one just to be sure. Um, no. That’s it. The sum total of issues was beyond tipping point. I showed it to the knitting group at Gordon and they confirmed I was not insane to think it wasn’t working.
When I had started knitting Calvert, there was one other project on Ravelry with photos. By the time I reached the tipping point, there were several others finished with photos, and some, finally, of people wearing theirs. I don’t wish to cause any offence to them, I’m sure they love their finished garments. But this design is not going to look any good on me. Tent? – yes probably. Nice flattering cardigan? – no. It has been waiting for me to take photos ever since. Now that’s done, I hear the frogs calling….