Enter in my knitting mentor and friend, Valda. She took one look at the picture and said, "I can show you how to do this!" Just alittle excitement on my end.
I was at the edge of my seat waiting while she read over the pattern in her native Latvian language...she was struggling to translate it into English. She crinkles her forehead and is silent. I start to squirm a bit? Can she do it? Is something wrong? Oh no, this can't be good.
She tells me to go to her closet and pull out the white cape. HUH? But I obey. And quickly get up and open her sacred closet of handknits.
Now, when I say 'sacred' I mean SACRED. This woman has knit for 77 of her 88 years. She has
She says, I can tell you the pattern directions, but there is a much easier way. I chose to knit it how she did hers.
I am all ears.
Knit as a corrugated long rectangle and you drop those lovely stitches upon bind off/cast off. This cape is knit sideways. "The Latvian directions," she says, "Are too difficult and will result differently if I am reading it right...you don't want that."
Can't be that simple. "Oh yes," she tells me, and "The best part, you can adjust this cape up or down with how many sections knit." I can make it smaller, larger, just by knitting and then measuring.
So I eagerly cast on and she showed me the dropped stitch bind off secret. I went home and perused my knitting stash.
I chose 2 pink colors from Abuelita Yarns, their Merino Worsted Weight is SO extra soft and the drape is to be more flowing I think...random light pink at first, but then I get a rhythm going...and space them equally apart. I blissfully knit my sections, measuring and just knit mindlessly. I thought it was a wonderful take-along-anywhere project. I did take notes though...cause I do that. :WINK:
Time to cast off and drop those lovely stitches.
Isn't that pretty?
I carefully pick down each "dropped stitch" as I do the special bind off...and the effect is rather putzy and tedious...but I enjoy the look that is emerging.
a pencil drawing in Weldon's Practical Needlework, book 12! Now this helped me decide on the finishing the collar and the edging. I was going to vary from Valda's version a bit and I didn't have the translation from the magazine on detailing...no pictures of the front. This helped greatly so I did use some of Weldon's, but also improvised on my own. No pom pom's on my version. I found 2 big buttons to use for the clasp.
Here I laid it out on my blocking squares after soaking carefully in wool wash. I had to lay it out on extra towels in the end because the circumference was so wide! After many towels and rearranging I left it to dry for 2 days.
And the finished look...
The crocheted neckline from the back--I split the colors in the back and did light on one 1/2 and dark yarn on the other 1/2.
the button is actually two buttons on top of each other and button is pulled through the side edging hole on top.Back view of varied color scheme...just to be different!
Easy crochet edging all around the front two edges, one side dark, the other light. I followed through with this because of the neckline and how I liked the contrast.
Here's Valda's version with a different neckline and fastened edge, I like hers too.
So, I learned I can take an "old" pattern and spruce it up a bit...make it my own. I like the outcome of this drapey cape I am calling Pretty in Pleats, and I the yarn is definitely a keeper.
While this weather up in the Land of Ice and Snow is anything but cold--I am turning to smaller projects now for the warmer temps. Mini Mitts are on the needles now with many more to knit up with in the week.
My own design with Latvian yarns and size 000 Inox Steel Needles [LOVE]: