26 September 2006

Nothing To Do With Knitting

Have you ever had a project that just couldn't make up its mind about what it wanted to be?

Sometimes you can force a project to be something in particular. You match the yarn and gauge to a pattern, follow the directions, and bingo, a FO that (hopefully) came out exactly the way it was supposed to.

Then there are the projects that need time to make up their minds about what they want to be. They start with an abstract concept, work their way through various permutations, almost arrive at a decision, then ask for a little more tweaking. If you're lucky, the project has decided what it wants to be before construction begins. But that's only if you're lucky.

I'm not lucky today.

This morning I had seven yards of blue linen, almost two yards of tan linen, and an idea. The idea was abstract: something to go over my brown faire kirtle to hide the fact that it's four inches too short. At first I thought I'd go with a sideless surcoat. It's a simple and easily-constructed design. Then I started looking through my historical costuming books.

I should have known better.

The sideless surcoat morphed into a sleeved surcoat with a v-neck and high waist. That would have been the end of it... if I'd been able to figure out how to put the bloody thing on. None of the pictures I found showed any sort of closures, and only one showed a belt with a buckle-type thing, which I lack the skills and equipment to replicate. That's okay, I can try something else.

A cotehardie! Perfect! I essentially have a pattern already, since it's pretty much the same as my kirtle. All I have to do is alter the sleeves and make the whole thing longer. No problem!

With all of the pieces cut out, I realized I still loved the sleeved surcoat, and had, in my absent-mindedness, cut a few pieces with that design in mind instead of the current one. This wasn't a problem, since I'd cut them bigger than they needed to be, but it still proved that the project wasn't finished making up its mind. It's having a time-out right now so I can work through the last issues before I start sewing.

I'm volunteering at the Faire on Friday ("School Day"), so I need either this or a new doublet (half-finished) to be ready by Thursday night. I work best under pressure, so this deadline is a good thing.

I apologize to the non-costumers who have no idea what this whole entry is about. Knitting content will return later in the week.

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