Sometimes, things don't always work out the way you think they will. You start down one path, and as you proceed with trepidation, you wonder what will await you at the other end. Often you might think along the way it would be easier to stop, turn back, and find a different path. But something makes you keep going. And in the end it's worth every step.
I'm not sure what it was with this path. Perhaps it was a stoic resolve to not give in to the beast that says Stop, Make Your Life Easy. Perhaps it was lack of any other project to move on to. I know it was in large part because I wanted to see this particular garment made. I've been planning to make it for about a year, bought the wool in the middle of last year, and spent a great deal of time getting frustrated with this wool on other projects I thought it might be better suited to. All those projects ripped out....were all with this wool, all because I re, really didn't enjoy knitting with it, the knit result.
It's a harsh, scratchy, thick, stiff wool. It's quite natural, not completely overprocessed. Which wouldn't ordinarily appeal to me. But there's something about the idea of an outer piece in a thick fibre, something to confront the cold winer temperatures, something to keep at bay the wind, and to act as shelter to the lining clothes underneath it. I love the idea of harshness against something softer and more delicate, a brushed wool skirt or scarf, or a cotton liberty skirt. I think Pia is at an age now where dichotomy and contradiction in texture is ok. It's been washed and blocked, and it has softened a little, and with the addition of 2 vintage buttons, the whole thing looks a little less stiff. The stiffness gives it a great structure though, without it being rigid, and it looks really lovely on her - incredibly stylish and elegant, despite its utilitarian feel. The pattern was easy, and my only grumble has been unrealistic sizings which meant I knit this half up before undoing it and starting again in a larger size - and I still don't think Pia will get the full winter out of it.
Now though, I'm ready for a new project, on a previously well worn path.
[for those unable to view the Ravelry link above, it's Gilet #466-T6-503 by Phildar, from Phildar No.466 Pitchoun Spring/Summer 2007]