I mean this in the best way possible but this shrug project has shown me that I never want to be a knitwear designer, ever. There is so much self doubt involved that every stitch has been wondering if I'm doing the right thing.
So, an update with no pictures after the second wedding dress fitting over the weekend:
Yarn look ok with the wedding dress?
Absolutely. It looks fabulous. What looked bright white in my hands while knitting faded to a soft ivory when held next to the dress. Huge success and sigh of relief there.
Beads: too many? too little? just enough?
The overall verdict was just enough. They will catch the light here and there but not be the focal point of the outfit since the dress is lacy and ornate enough by itself.
Does the re-written pattern fit?
No. The back seems to be ok so that will not be ripped. Both the left and right fronts come too far over the dress so those will be ripped and scaled back (we thought that would be the case from the initial look at the pattern). The sleeve didn't even come close to fitting. My best guess is that since the pattern was written for chunky yarn the sleeve was intended to be knit loose and then tighten up a bit at the upper arm. With using DK weight yarn that is intended to be a tight fit all the way I am improvising and doing the opposite of what the pattern states. I'm starting out small and increasing instead of decreasing. So far all of my measurements and calculations are coming out correct. I should be able to finish the first sleeve tonight & get started on revising the fronts tomorrow. We have another fitting for the shrug only scheduled for this Friday so my hopes are to have the back pinned to one front and one sleeve for final fit approval.
I have so much respect for knitting designers. I did before but after working on this project I no longer have that daydream that I could design someday. This whole knit, rip and re-knit thing is not what I like to do. I like to sit down with a well written pattern and just knit without having to figure out if something is going to work out or not. That's why I don't mind paying for a pattern, they've done all that work for me and deserve the few dollars that I paid to just knit it up.
This shrug is for a wedding so I'm being a perfectionist. I understand that not every project is this way but this is special. I'm willing to work on it right up until the day of the wedding if I have to just to get it right. BUT if things go well I could be done by Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed for good knitting karma until then.