Size doesn’t matter

A little Q&A from the comments yesterday, on the bigness of my shawl and the problems and joys of same.

(Since someone will forget to scroll down and then ask me… this is about the Peacock Feathers Shawl – which I will apparently be knitting for a while yet.)

Michelle asks:

Why not just figure out how long you do want it and stop there?

Excellent question – and I would do this, if it made sense for the particular pattern. I’ve been short for a while now, so I’m used to knocking length out of all manner of knits to make them work (although the oversize look of the 80’s did mean that I got a break for a while there. The sweater-dress phase was brilliant for those of us who are making sweater-dresses by accident all the time.) On this pattern however, the design is sort of a picture. A picture of a peacocks tail – so if I stop when I’m ready (which frankly, was sometime early yesterday afternoon) the peacocks tail will be oddly amputated. I suppose I could do a really shocking amount of work to take a whole bunch of stuff out of the middle and rejig the thing, but I’ve already knit the bulk of where I would do the work, and besides… this is art. The designer had a plan, and I somehow feel like whacking stuff out of it isn’t like whacking a couple of cm off a sleeve. Changes to this would be changes to her art… and it’s just so beautiful that I can’t imagine a stitch different. I love this shawl. (Remind me I said that in a few days when I start complaining about it again.)

Anne says:

“As far as I’m concerned, this is yet another reason for there to be a rule made that all designers have their garments photographed on a REAL LIVE PERSON rather than a dress form. I can’t tell how long the shawl is supposed to be from that photo; can anyone else? The tip could hit anywhere from below the hips to below the knees!”

Yeah, that was my initial response too, and then I remembered that the measurements are clearly printed on the front of the pattern in perfectly legible print in a language I read. (Allegedly.) My kneejerk reaction of HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL was immediately answered by the voice of reason in the back of my head (and boy do I ever resent the voice of reason when I’m trying to work up a proper froth of indignation) that said “Well, call me crazy but did you consider reading the measurements?” (Hate that voice.) I don’t think I can pin that one on the designer – and I’m not sure it would solve the problem totally either, unless we could get them to tell us how big the real live person they had it modelled on was. Here’s a line I would love to read on all knitting patterns (were I in charge of the world.) “This sweater is knit in the 38″ size, and is here being modelled by a human who is 5’4″ and has a 36″ chest.” Now that would be helpful.


And where are you going to block this behemoth?

Considering that there isn’t a room big enough in my house without moving furniture to other rooms… I was thinking about the park. Maybe a picnic would be nice.

Kathy says:

I guess you’re at that age where growing into it is probably out of the question, huh?

I live in hope.

Lizbon has more of a statement than a question.

“Give it to Juno. It should be just her size.”

Huh. You wouldn’t believe who else suggested that.