Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cabled Riding Jacket (AKA: "My Great Matter")

I'm wearing Teva Durham's Cabled Riding Jacket, that I've come to think of as "My Great Matter."



It occurred to me last Summer, while watching the miniseries The Tudors, that just like King Henry VIII, I too had a "Great Matter." For those of you haven't watched The Tudors, or are not anglophiles, King Henry VIII had a problem he referred to as his "Great Matter." It preoccupied his every waking moment. It was his desire to marry the beautiful Anne Boleyn. A feat impeded by his already being marriage to another woman, Catherine of Aragon. Only the Bishop of Rome had the power to grant him an annulment, which he was not willing to do. King Henry VIII's petitions for annulment fell on deaf ears. So annoying when you can't buy a legal ecclesiastic opinion, when you own an entire kingdom. Life is just not fair.


So how is it that my cabled riding is similar to King Henry VIII's "Great Matter"? Simple. The moment I saw the Cabled Riding Jacket I was captivated by its beauty. I. Wanted. It. But the pattern was all wrong for me. The design was ill suited to my petite body frame; the pattern was not easy to downsize; and all the different cables made reliance on gauge speculative. But I had to have it anyway. So I embarked upon a path fraught from the outset with problems. But my passion kept me motivated and, at long last, two years later, *sigh* consummation. After all that, I do believe I'm happier with my Cabled Riding Jacket than King Henry was with Anne Boleyn. There won't be any frogging in the town square.




The modifications that I made to the original pattern are too numerous to recount. To give you an idea of the extent of "downsizing" that I did to the pattern, I only used 8 out of the 13 skeins recommended for the small size. But I will share with you in broad strokes my knitting tips on how to downsize a pattern:

Knitting Tip: How to Downsize a Pattern

If you would like to make a knitting pattern smaller there are several ways to go about it. First, look at the design elements. If the design has a cable then you can reduce the number of stitches in each cable. For example, in this sweater the cables are written for 5 stitches. I reduced the cables to 4 stitches. You can also reduced the number of stitches in between each of the cable motifs. Or, you can also eliminate some of the cables entirely. In this sweater, I eliminated 2 columns of cables down the back. Another trick is to use a thinner yarn and smaller needles than the pattern calls for. If you study a pattern carefully, you can find lots of creative ways to reduce the overall size.





Particulars: Cabled Riding Jacket, Loop-d-Loop; Mostly Merino (77% Merino & Corriedale wool/ 23% mohair); Sumac colorway; US 8 needles; Modifications: too numerous to recount. I would not recommend this pattern except to a very experienced knitter.


Serendipity

Serendipity is finding a dog that looks good with my new sweater!


Until next time, be well, love well, and persevere on things that matter to you. It keeps life interesting and challenging. No guarantee that it will bring you happiness, though, so chose wisely. Do you have a "Great Matter"? Simcha and I would love to hear yours!

38 comments:

subliminalrabbit said...

stunning, as usual!

Teddy Rose said...

That jacket is beautiful, especially on you. Like it was made for you. LOL! That's one good thing about being rather large on top, a large will usually fit me comfortably. I don't like things too fitted.

I especially love the picture with your new baby and yourself. What a lovely "Madonna and Child" portrait.

christina said...

Your jacket is very beautiful and fits lovely. Your "great matter" is well done. Enjoy it and wear it with pride.

t does wool said...

what a perfectly beautiful jacket. great tips on downsizing. the fit looks perfect.
good to know someone is still knitting ;)...
and Simcha is getting so big!

Pam said...

The Cabled Riding Jacket came out beautifully, you did an awesome job resizing it.

Monika said...

Woohoo! Your riding jacket is done! And it's absolutely gorgeous!!! Love all the photos.
Boy, Simcha has grown a lot since the last photo I saw of him! What a handsome pup he is!

Tracy said...

You & Simcha model that sweater beautifully, Claudia! WOW... wow... I am amazed how you undertook this jacket and scaled it down. This is really inspiring because I see similar patterns that I LOVE, but that wouldn't suit me, as I'm not only petite in shape, but also short. Some things just look overwhelming on me...including many patterns with large/over-all cables & bold patterning. This gives me insight on how to rework a cable pattern to fit! The jacket looks fantastic on you--gorgeous color too! And after such a long time working on it, a real labor of love. Thanks for sharing. :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Renee said...

How lovely!! Claudia, it turned out beautifully and fits you so well. What an amazing knit.

Simcha is really growing, what a big, handsome boy he is already.

I'd have to ponder for a good while to narrow down one "Great Matter"... lol

betty said...

Your jacket looks fabulous, dahling! I'm impressed that you stuck with it for two years.

I wouldn't feel sorry for ol' Henry VIII though. He couldn't get his annulment, but didn't he start his own Church of England to take care of the problem? Being king does have certain advantages!

Channon said...

Simcha is lovely!!!!!!!

Oh. And the jacket... where to start? Love the color, and you always look like a million bucks in your handknits. In fact, I suspect no one will guess it is a handknit.

Rainey Day Knitter said...

your "great matter" turned out wonderfully. Your persistence truly matching Henry's without all of the mess and intrigue. Not to say that you didn't have a perilous journey with gauge and fit along the way. I had to laugh at thinking about you in the square 'beheading' your sweater if it didn't work out for you :D

Katherine said...

Your jacket is beautiful. I am amazed that you were able to do all of that downsizing AND such beautiful shaping in the body as well.

Simcha has grown so much and has a wonderful, intelligent face. He looks like you could have great conversations with him.

My next Great Matter is finding the perfect dress for GD's August wedding.

knittergal said...

It's just stunning! Bravo to you for figuring out how to adapt the pattern to fit you, and it does fit you like a glove! Well worth the time and effort you put into it!

And Simcha is just cuter and cuter. I love that floppy ear that he has...just adorable! He's proving to be quite the model!

Kristen said...

Beautiful jacket, and excellent tips on making a sweater fit well, that is so important. Your pictures are beautiful (as usual) as is your new little doggie. My, she is getting big fast!

jillian said...

Wow! It's perfect and stunning on you.

amanda said...

AMAZING! BEAUTIFUL! GORGEOUS!

Your best knit. Ever.

Rebekah said...

Its absolutely gorgeous, as is Simcha.

My great matter....hmmmm, I'll have to do some thinking on that one.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Absolutely stunning!! Looks gorgeous on you. Beautiful color, knit, and style.

Lisa said...

Okay, I am playing catch-up. (Catsup? Ketchup?)

First, cupcakes. Divine. And yummy. Yes, they rule.

Second, I am squeeing over Simcha. Did you hear that? That was me. And that shaking was not an earthquake, it was my happy dance.

Lastly, I do believe I may have to show up on your doorstep and take the gorgeous jacket from you. Even though today we were in the 80s, it would go very well with my hair. Then again, it would blend with my hair so I think you should keep it. You've got the shinypretty blonde hair. :-)

What fun it was catching up with you!

Allie said...

Oh Claudia well done! That is gorgeous and it fits you like a glove. I wish I could come visit and take knitting lessons from you!

Simcha looks great with it too!

Jules said...

Wow, that sweater is beautiful! It turned out perfectly. Thank you for documenting your "Great Matter" for us. I wouldn't have thought to change the size of the cable. Puppy is growing big!

Carol said...

Oh, my! It's so beautiful! Simcha is really growing! Such a handsome boy!

Hilary said...

That is a beautiful sweater, Claudia. Just stunning. I had admired this pattern in the past, but love what you've done with it even more. Your version is much less heavy/bulky and I LOVE how the bottom portion flares out in a really drapey and gentle way. Gorgeous! (I'm also glad to hear there will be no frogging in the town square...lol!)

Ann said...

Nice jacket.
Looks like it was worth the effort.

KnittySue said...

Well Yes, I have a Great Matter since you asked. I'm obsessed with the Central Park Hoodie...it'll be my first adult sweater. But I've been consumed with it and so I had to buy it and I'm about 1/4 into the back.
I love your finished jacket it looks and fits great on you.
and BTW I'm so enjoying the teapot and cozy... Thanks again
Oh and Simcha is growing up beautiful.

kim said...

Oh, wow. That cardi is a complete masterpiece. It is seriously beautiful. And that new baby is so sweet!

gaylen said...

that is an incredible piece of knitted wonder. And what a beauty Simcha is.

g

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Beautiful cardi - looks well-worth the effort. I am really impressed with all you did to make it work for you - I don't have the energy (or math skills) to make that work.

Simcha is growing like crazy! Wasn't he just a tiny puppy a few posts back?

Michelle (Northernstar28) said...

I just loved the tie-in to The Tudors! Great writing there! I just wish I had time to watch the new season but there is always on-demand. The jacket is simply stunning and it looks so beautiful on you and I admire your ability to amend knitting pattern to your specifications. The photos were all just so beautiful!!

Knitting Out Loud said...

You definitely had better results than did poor Henry! Sounds like you went through about as much agony as he did. The sweater is glorious, a triumph,congratulations!

amanda said...

Oh my word Claudia! You are a proper grown-up knitter! I would have passed the pattern to Lily and said "Fix this pretty please". It's a triumph and looks fantastic on you. Bravo!

raining sheep said...

Beautiful. Two years - Claudia I admire you. I know I would have probably given up. It looks really great on you and I can tell Simcha loves it. I know you have been busy and it is so nice to see that you are knitting amongst all the chaos. I really love that color - it looks great with your blonde hair. Hmmmm, I think that little riding sweater would look good on me too since I share your hair color ;) Hugs. and hugs to Simcha.

knittingdragonflies said...

Wow! Nice job! That is beautiful! It looks wonderful on you. And yes Simcha matches it well, he is so sweet!
Vicki

larissa said...

Your jacket if gorgeous! Love that you didn't give up in altering the pattern to achieve such a perfect fit.

My last knit is a bit too big but my problem was that i didn't figure it out until i was 3/4 of the way through - too much movie watching and too little attention to what was actually being knit.

Simcha is so photogenic - love the ears! Have a wonderful weekend!

Anita said...

The jacket is stunning! Well worth the effort you put into it. :)

Simcha is getting so big, adorable.

I don't think I have just one Great Matter... that's my problem, I have too many. LOL

Kathy said...

What an absolutely beautiful jacket. And it looks stunning with your coloring. Excellent choices, all around.

Bumpkin Bears said...

I found your blog through Tracy, WOW that jacket was worth all your effort, it fits you so well and the cabling is amazing! Well done you for persevering, you must feel proud, I know I would :) Catherine x

Michelle said...

I know I'm late to the party, but I'm preparing to embark upon making this jacket myself, so I've been exploring the internet for others who already have, and I wanted to say that you did a beautiful job! I liked your tips on downsizing, though I face the challenge of upsizing the pattern instead. With any luck using your advice in reverse will be handy :)