Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Fully Clothed Troubador

Scheherazaad, thank you for providing the title for this post! Scheherazaad, my friend on Ravelry, commented on this vest as follows: "Congratulations. You will eventually fully clothe this troubador." In my lively imagination, I am the troubador of course, and I get to wear all this stuff.

The point is, after what - 2 years? The Secret Project is no longer a Secret. This is it.
It's published in Inside Crochet, the new British crochet magazine, Issue 3, which came out yesterday. So now I can release my long-endured complaints about how bloody difficult it is to design crocheted garments! Granted that it was my first, but the task of calculating this in 5 sizes was worth a doctorate degree. It has a lot, a lot, of shaping. It's supposed to be a perfect fit. Which it is, on me: it remains to be seen how good my math was for sizes XS, M, L and XL. It took me 3 months non-stop work, and the grievous neglect of my other duties to pull it off. It required me to disturb my very beloved friend Annette Pétavy 4 or 5 times a day with a barrage of whining questions and pleas for advice. Pages and pages of charts graphs etc. I felt a bit like Charlie Eppes in Numb3rs. I should have had a government research grant for this project. But pay scale for crochet design being what it is in this world, I get about a week's worth of groceries for it. So while I feel immensely the richer for having conquered the garment challenge, I don't think I'll ever design another one!

The good thing is, I get the vest back! And I get to wear it this winter! It really is the warmest, softest thing imaginable. Here's what it's like: it's made of Malabrigo Merino Worsted and worked tight on a 4mm hook. So it has no drape, but it has a very definite shape, like a leather jerkin. If I did the math right, one's body will not cause this to bulge in the wrong places. It just sits there and holds its shape. It's Top-Down which means you can keep trying it on. The shaping is done on either side of 6 columns of mini-bobbles. Then you get to do jacquard all over the place, using Silky Merino and Colinette Cadenza. Its official title is "Troubador Vest: Guillaume Dufay".
So that's my Once-Secret Project. And now I have to share this picture with you so you'll all be jealous:
Who is that gorgeous, brilliant, funny and inspiring blonde in the picture with Laracroft? It's Annette Pétavy! In my house! We had the best idea of 2009: she came to Barcelona for 3 days, then we returned to Lyon together where I spent 3 days in her house. Now that, my friends, is a Stash Expedition. With cooking, clothes shopping (yay!!) wandering on mountains and sitting around crocheting. The Extended Version of the Stash Expedition.

So that you will know how brilliant this girl is, I will share with you her theory on Stash Acquisition. Which states, and demonstrates, that it is cheaper to buy cashmere and silk than cheap acrylic. As follows: given that buying a mass-produced acrylic sweater is probably cheaper than buying and making an acrylic sweater oneself. Given that a buying a silk or cashmere garment will cost a small fortune, far more than the cost of buying the yarn. Therefore, it is more economical to buy silk and cashmere, Q.E.D. Did I score in the friend department, or what?

And she took me here: La Droguerie. That stuff I'm fondling is 100% linen. Needless to say I came away considerably poorer than when I entered!