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Marguerite Cardigan

May 26th, 2021
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This was a serious fail. This was an early project, too, and you know, learning stuff is tough. I found the pattern in a Japanese Saori book. It was very simple — really just a sewn rectangle — so neither weaving nor sewing seemed to present a challenge.

(English version)

The book is great, clever and inspirational. My poor project was none of these things!

This was one of those projects which began without a plan. I actually think that’s fine — and I know a lot of weavers just weave, and figure out what to do with the fabric later, but this time my unplan, combined with my inexperience, presented some insurmountable challenges.

First of all, I hadn’t mastered selvedges. Naturally, that was the purpose of weaving — lots of practice! — so I forgave myself, but still . . .. Secondly, I ended up with two lengths of fabric when the pattern called for only one long one. One plus two made for some very messy joins. Nonetheless, I forged ahead. Once the panels were joined, sides were sewn, leaving armholes.

Sad selvedges. Messy joins.
Also, just not the right proportions.

At this point, I discovered, much to my shock, that the dimensions used were huge for me. Since I am a small American woman, I generally find that, in Japanese patterns, I’m actually a large, if not the largest, size. Soooo, I failed to double check the size, and had to remove significant length from my panels.

My alterations meant there was an unintended seam across the back, too.

This should have been a cozy wrap, but it was, frankly, just a big mess once I’d finished “fixing” it. And oddly, even at the “right” size, it was very difficult to keep the garment on my shoulders, due to the very low arm openings.

For the record, here’s how it looks in the book. (Well, not exactly, since my photo skills are dreadful — trust me, the images in the book are a lot clearer.)

I only (tried to!) use the pattern; the book version is,
true to the title, Saori-style, with mixed yarns and textures

I still love the idea, but this iteration is a goner. I’ve chopped it up and am trying another, completely different, experiment. It’s not going terribly well, either, but that’s what learning is about, isn’t it?

My warp was Harrisville Highland in Hemlock; the weft was a Noro silk/mohair/wool from a heavily discounted basket at a local yarn store a long time ago. Nothing wrong with these yarns at all; this was just operator error.

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