Reindeer Coat

Pattern: Reindeer Coat in Patons Snow Country booklet.

Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky.

Ravelry project page here

Modified it to have a garter stitch shawl collar rather than a hood.

This project was begun completely on a whim over 4 years ago. Back in the summer of 2010 I was at the department store in the small town nearest my cottage, they sell yarn, I was checking it out and decided that I liked this sweater/coat and was going to make it. I bought the yarn (75% acrylic, yikes!) and I cast on. I knit the back and about 1/3 of one of the fronts in no time and then promptly tucked it all away for 4 years! Clearly I just wasn't super smitten with the project at the time. 

This fall, as the weather began to cool, something compelled me to pull this long languishing WIP out of the closet and just finish the darn thing. Oh yes, now I remember, I had recently started following Granted on Instagram and really liked all the chunky Canadiana style sweater coats I was seeing (this is the one that I really want!). It reminded me that I had something in a very similar style just waiting to be finished! 

So, finish it I did and it took no time at all. Chunky yarn on 6mm needles is fast my friends!

I'll be completely honest, both the pattern and the yarn leave the knitter a bit to be desired. Maybe I'm just spoiled, but these days I'm used to really beautiful, thoughtful and crystal clear patterns. Self publishing designers have really raised the bar as far as patterns are concerned. Booklets like the Patons one this pattern is from need to save space and money and knitting from this style of pattern was a bit less enjoyable for me. There is no personality and gives no sense of the designer (I just scoured the booklet as I was adding the pattern to Ravelry and there is no mention of a designer anywhere!) The actual design of the sweater could also use a bit of tweaking. It's knit in pieces and then seamed, but didn't take into consideration the two extra stitches required to result in a lovely invisible seam in the ribbing. I fudged it upon sewing up, but wish that I had the experience 4 years ago when I started this sweater to make a few mods that would have resulted in a cleaner overall look.

The yarn, well, it's not the beautiful merino I'm used to working with. It's soft, but you can definitely feel the acrylic content. However, seeing as how this is a big, outer layer coat, the lightness of the yarn and the durability of the acrylic are both real assets. Though not my favourite yarn to work with I think it's perfectly appropriate for this garment and can certainly live with it. 

I'm also a little "meh" about the colour palette I chose. On the one hand I am really happy to have a knit in a not-typically-me colour. But on the other hand there is a reason I'm not really into this olive/brown/beige mix, it's just not what I'm drawn to. Were I starting this project fresh today I would almost certainly have chosen different colours.

Sounds like I'm feeling pretty negative about the whole thing right? Here's where I throw you for a loop... despite all of those flaws: yarn, colour, pattern... I actually kind of love this sweater! It's not the sort of thing that I will wear everyday, but now and then, when the snow is falling and it's chilly but not that cold and I can get away with a few extra layers and this big cozy sweater instead of my black parka, I'll wear it with pride! It certainly fills a gap in my wardrobe that I didn't even really knew existed. It's not perfect, but it's warm and cozy and it has intarsia reindeer on it so really what more can I ask for!?