The Great Red Coat

I started The Great Red Coat back in April as a distraction project from the Highlander’s Wife shawl. Upon starting the third week’s MKAL clue, it became very clear that I would not be working on the coat any more. After finishing the shawl, my dear, darling second son delicately reminded me that I’d promised him a new blanket…last year. By the time I had finished the blanket, two months had passed since I started the Great Red Coat. It was time to finish.

Picking it up again, I saw I had done quite a bit, actually. I picked up at the halfway point on the smocking so, maybe, five more inches of smocking and shoulder work had to be done. Several early mornings with Netflix helped me finish the back, then the front pieces. After that, of course, were the sleeves. Now, I’m not a really big fan of sleeves, despite my love of sweaters. Long sleeves are the worst. I always kid myself into believing that sleeves won’t take any time at all, then I start making them and I remember: they grow. I’ve tried making sleeves without much shaping and I hate them even more than traditionally tapered sleeves. I have a very love/hate relationship with sleeves, though one day I hope I’ll be able to find my happy place in the matter. I’m almost there. Making sleeves in the round helps, as do short sleeves.

It took a little over a month to finish the rest of the coat. Everything was coming along well until I had to do the collar. I don’t know what my problem was but I couldn’t get the collar to do what it was supposed to do in the last five-ish rows. The stitches and w&t didn’t quite match up the way they had been before, which left me with extra stitches on one side and a deficit on the other side. I wasn’t cool with any of it, and after having done it three times, I was over it. I omitted one stitch in the instructions on Inc. Row 31 and went about my merry way. I’m technically one stitch down on my collar but you can’t tell the difference. It’s one stitch. It looks good, and I’m happy I don’t have to do it a fourth time.

This is the first coat I’ve made and I’m pretty stoked. I’ve been lusting over this pattern for over a year, and I had to buy yarn special for the project since I didn’t have enough of one color to create the coat. The pattern suggested I’d need slightly under 2500 yds of  worsted yarn but I ended up using around 1860 yds of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Robin Red Breast. I have 3 full hanks left, with two partial balls equaling roughly 70% of a hank. At least I didn’t have to worry about running out of yarn.

And, by some force of magic, I got the buttons on before Christmas! It’s a fluke, I swear. All I have to do now is wait until that small winter window opens up and I’ll be able to wear it out in public! All other times, I’ll probably lounge in it at home or use it as my Community Hopper coat. Don’t ask what that is, I just made it up. I think of it as my around-town coat. It’ll accompany me on pharmacy runs and other small errands. I can’t wait.



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