Two weeks short of three months, I’ve finished the Rose Quartz Coat. I finished just in time for Thanksgiving and I wore it to my family dinner with only a few little ends unwoven. Let me say, it was a hit. It is probably the nicest thing I’ve ever made. It looks magnificent, and the finished fabric does EXACTLY what I thought it would. I couldn’t be happier.
I started the project because I wanted something that would kick my ass a little, and that’s what I got. The pattern isn’t overly complicated, but the black snowflake design does take a bit of concentration. Mostly, the ass kicking comes from the mental fortitude required to accomplish such a feat. The Big Red Coat had enough details and cables to keep me busy but it was made from worsted yarn and required no color changes. This beauty ensured I’d be paying extra special attention to the entire garment, with all the color changes and fair isle design. By the last sleeve, I was starting to wonder if I’d ever finish. Once I had only the sewing to do, I thought there’d be no way I was going to get all those little strings bundled up in the seam, but I did.
I conquered the coat and it has become my new favorite garment. However, I noticed one misplaced stitch on the front, and one float around the arm pit that didn’t quite get sewn into the seam where it should’ve, but other than that it looks fab.
I ran into just a few problems with the pattern. As written, it seems like the coat would be better served as a belted sweater with a flounce. The waist shaping is written so incredibly low, it hits somewhere around the hips if you were to wear it hanging. That’s why I think it might be better belted and billowed. So, I adjusted the waist shaping decrease to start 15.5″ from the bottom, and the increases start at 20″. This is entirely based upon my own personal measurements. The waist now hits at the right place for me, though I’m pretty sure it could have been omitted entirely without much notice, save for yardage. It got a bit messy since the shaping occurred at the more intricate fair isle pattern but it was manageable. Another change I made came after the snowflake design when I adjusted the point of the zig-zag design over two stitches which would let the points sit correctly, lining up with the previously established zig-zag pattern. I had another small issue in Chart A towards the end of the color changes where one segment of single-colored knitting is 5 rows long and the next single-colored segment is 7 rows but the established pattern dictated 6 rows per solid color. I made everything 6 rows and called it a day.
The Rose Quartz Coat was made using the Opulence base from The Woolen Rabbit, which is a fingering weight yarn made from 50/50 merino wool and silk. The colors I used were picked out from a gradient kit I found on the website called Rose Quartz. The colors were inspired by the natural look of rose quartz. I couldn’t match all the colors I saw in the kit with those that were available in the custom-dyed section so I sent an e-mail inquiry about the colors. I got an immediate response and was instructed to request those colors in the custom-dyed order, despite the fact that some were unlisted. Those colors were Raven, Chimney Sweep, Daddy Steelbucks, Silver Fox, and Rose Quartz. The order came very quickly, especially for a custom order. I, however, was not as fast.
It took a year from yarn purchase to ball-winding to finally get this coat cast on. I’ll admit there was a bit of fear since it was a large project and the possibility of messing up was very great. I also had no desire to get in there and weave in about a thousand ends (not real numbers). The possibility of crying over ugly seam joins was also in my mind. But, despite my reservations, despite any jitters I felt or apprehension I was feeding, it came out just as I had imagined it. Every time I look at it, I can’t help but think it was a great use of my time. It was the confidence booster I needed. I have no regrets.