Friday, February 25, 2011

The Old Kaffe Jug Coat

Buffy, you're fabulous. And so is that Romeo and Juliet coat!  But don't save it just for the opera -- wear it everywhere!  Why, I hear it might be snowing in Seattle. So try it in the snow, too!

It snowed another eight inches here today so like an angry bird, I am anxiously awaiting the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show. Just two months and three days until May.

I can count your ribbons now: Best knitted garment, best use of color, best in show! And you will surely win the prize for traveling the longest distance to attend (again!) But pleeze, don't buy me any more fleece. I've cleaned, combed and carded your gift from last year, and even bought a new-to-me Ladybug spinning wheel. And I've been spinning. But the coat knitting suffers.

Tonight I revisited my Kaffe Fassett Jug Coat. Another Raveler has left a comment on my Jug Coat project page saying she is encouraged by our blog to begin a Jug Coat, too. It's nice to have company.

I'm going to begin the Jug Coat anew. I'll still keep the coat "on a diet," with a few less patches than in the original.

I first started the jug coat in one piece, and then I abandoned that process for what I thought would be easier individual patches. Now it's back to one piece. But I would like to prevent a side seam from going through the centers of the patches that fall on the seams.  So I will recast onto the long circular needle and knit the fronts and the back together from the bottom to the sleeves with no side seams

Knitting the large back of the Long Leaf Coat has convinced me that it is far easier and neater to knit the Jug Coat in one large piece from the bottom up, front and back together ... if I can get all those stitches crammed onto the circular needle. Wrangling those extra ends will not be a problem now.

Compared with the freqent, constant yarn changes in the Long Leaf Coat, the jug coat should go lickety-split. I'll still swiss embroider the design onto the jugs. 

And the problem of looking like I am wearing a patchwork quilt? Not a problem if I have on those great Hunter Interlaken Boots  from Zappos.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Romeo & Juliet Coat Debuts at the Opera

At last, at last, Lulu, The Romeo & Juliet Coat had it's coming-out party!

I warned my friend (who has attended the opera with me for the past 20 years) that THIS would be the night. She's followed our blog--but I could tell she had mixed feelings about actually appearing in public with me wearing the coat. :) Still, she's a good sport, and loves an adventure.

I slipped the coat on as I left my office and walked down the street to the car, watching out of the corner of my eye for reaction. None.

Walking from the car-park to the Opera House, I watched out of the corner of my eye for reaction. None.

I asked my friend to take some photos near the reflecting pond in front of the Opera House.

We walked into the lobby and up the grand staircase. Not a head seemed to turn. Over to our favorite refreshment counter for a light supper. Nothing. I tried to maintain a pleasant, open expression: in the event someone thought about making a comment, I didn't want to seem off-putting. Nothing. Nada.

If we hadn't encountered two groups of friends (who said NOTHING until we brought it up), it would have felt like a complete bust. Oh--NOT the coat. The coat's marvelous. And "The Barber of Seville" was great fun, as always. No, just my excitement over the coming-out, and my fantasies of people ooh-ing and aah-ing. Silly me!

You'll chuckle over this: I'd even printed out, at the last minute, a little blurb to give to anyone who asked, explaining that Kaffe Fassett was the designer, that these were the original yarns for a design from the 90s, and that the full story could be seen on our blog.

I truly thought this would be the perfect venue, but maybe it wasn't. Perhaps the coat was just too over the top for the staid, traditional folks who attend opera. Maybe people were even a little embarrassed for me. This is ever-so-nice Seattle, after all.

THANK HEAVEN for one of the ushers who said, as I went by, "Your coat is FABULOUS!" That was the only unsolicited comment of the entire evening, in a full house that seats 3000. I could have hugged her!

Here's the good news: the coat was NOT swelteringly hot. In fact, it was very comfortable, and I never took it off. Because the neckline is open, and the coat fell open as I sat, it was never too warm. And my arms didn't seem to notice a bit all those pounds of wool and mohair surrounding them.

Anyway, I've made up my mind: this coat goes to the opera every January. But I also need to think of a better place to wear it--somewhere more artsy, where people will see the fun of it and not be embarrassed for me. Maybe our First Thursday Art-Walk. Maybe up on Broadway, or Fremont, or the University District.

Then again, maybe this just isn't the right town. Lulu, I hope you're making good progress on your Long Leaf Coat, because by next winter, I'll be ready to make our grand tour of Cities of the Frozen North: Montreal, Stockholm, Moscow (with detours to see all our wonderful friends who've been cheering us along).

So knit on! Buffy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow everywhere

Buffy, there's snow everywhere, and even more on the way today! I've traded the knitting needles in for a snow shovel.

And after seeing that psycho-thriller Black Swan, I almost traded in my scissors. I went to see all that fantastic knitting. The scarf and elbow warmer (only one arm had an elbow warmer on it, I guess to help you identify the main character easily in the dance troupe) flew by, but I was left wriggling in my seat each time a small pair of scissors made an appearance.

I came home and attached my knitting scissors to a small lanyard and hung them around my neck to make sure I knew where they were.  And guess what? I join and fuss with yarns all the time while knitting Kaffe's Long Leaf Coat, so I find that having the scissors always at hand makes the process faster. The psycho-thriller was worth it after all.