Do not mistake my angst as described below with my love of this project.  I love the rich color of the French Red Egyptian cotton and the quality of the fabric that was created with this unique diagonal cable stitch.  It was indeed this wonderful feel, drape, and body of the fabric that singlehandedly motivated me to continue on when I began stumbling with the directions.


I have nicknamed this project RED aka. R.E.D.  This stands for Redo Every Direction.  Yes.  This was a perfect project if ever I contemplate design work.  You shall soon see.  Whether it was my misinterpretation or the directions were incorrect, it was as if the directions had been thrown up into the air and one had to figure out where to use which step.

I mean LOOK at this schematic!! (Good thing there was one!)

So, where to begin… The first thing to realize is that this design is meant to be asymmetrical.   I mean look at that crazy schematic!  Then, I had to orient myself as to where the slit was (on the left side).  Of course,  I could see it plainly in the photograph below (from the magazine), but it was much more difficult to ‘see’ in the schematic, oddly enough.  Then, you need to remind yourself about increases and decreases.  Really.

~ as seen in VK Spring/Summer 2000.

And, that is why and when the confusion began.  When the directions said to increase, the schematic displayed otherwise.  Same with the decreases.  After I realized the written directions were not matching the schematic, I had to decide which was correct.  So I made a life size paper pattern that I could actually hold  up to me.  By doing that I could see that the schematic was correct in that it would give me the shape of the piece I needed to get the final product, so I went ahead and knitted the fabric to match wondering how in the world the written directions came to be.

figuring out the angles
figuring out the angles
ok, so the back pattern can be used for the front...
ok, so the back pattern can be used for the front…
Well, let’s give her a go.

These are the directions I wrote and followed:


As written until:
Right edge shaping ~
Bind off (at beg of RS rows), 5 sts once, 4 sts once, and increase 1 st at same edge every 6th row 9 times and when armhole measures 8 1/2“, bind off from this edge 4 sts 25 times, 1 st once.
NOTE: I totally ignored the direction of bind off from this edge 2 st 7 times and 1 st 20 times and chose the bind off as written for the left edge. Also, changed decrease to increase.
Left edge shaping ~
When piece measures 8” from marker, work left edge shaping by binding off (at beg of WS rows) 3 sts 3 times then decrease 1 st 27 times at beg of every WS row (left edge, still) until no stitches are remaining.
NOTE: So, basically I changed increase to decrease and followed all other directions in this section.

As written until:
Right Side Shaping ~
Followed directions including v-neck shaping.
Left Side Shaping ~
From neck edge, bind off from this edge 2 st 7 times and 1 st 20 times. (I utilized the direction that I ignored, above.)
NOTE: This time, I ignored the dec 1 st every 6th row until no sts rem at neck edge and from armhole edge bind off 4 sts until no sts rem at armhole edge.

Aside from all of that, here are some other notes I took.

  1. The pattern is one size.
  2. The fabric is quite elastic so keep that in mind with your gauge and size.
  3. I did all the increase and decrease shaping by casting on and binding off to keep the diagonal cable pattern all the way to the edge of the knitted pieces.
  4. I used a double pointed needle rather than a cable needle when working the cables.  It is what I am used to as I have never used a cable needle.
  5. The diagonal effect is made via cables.
  6. I did not block as it wasn’t needed.


Another mishap I had was assuming the yardage in the skein of yarn I purchased was THE SAME as the yardage in the skein that the designer used some years, ago.  Well, no!  And, well into the knitting did I realize this!  Frantically, I searched the internet and by a very lucky chance, made contact with someone on Ravelry who was kind enough to sell me a skein.  Not the same dye lot, (yikes) so I knitted with the mismatch here and there to make it blend in.

A MINOR DESIGN CHANGE:  The pattern is from Vogue Knitting 2000.  To modernize the look, I did a lovely picot crochet edge around the neck and sleeves and eliminated the edging around the bottom.  When you add edging to a stretchy fabric, the fabric immediately becomes stiff and board-like.  I just love the way this hangs naturally around my shape and did not want to hamper that flow with an edging just because it was in the pattern.

So, here is my take on Jacqueline van Dillen‘s Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting 2000 pattern seen in today’s photo shoot in a local Japanese garden as well as for my retirement reception back in late June.







OH!  RED… for a red letter day!  Thanks, Beth for that idea!

lessons learned:

  • Check the yardage on YOUR label against the yardage in the pattern even if it is the same yarn!
  • Don’t give up when directions become confusing.  There are many ways to skin a cat!

12 responses to “R.E.D.”

  1. I retired after 38 years as a teacher and school principal and have read your newly discovered blog with fond memories of those early days. A friend told me I would need three things in retirement: a sense of purpose; a structure to each day and a social connection to people. After 9 years of directing my days, I have found all three retirement essentials. It is interesting that knitting has given me a less known part of my personality as I create and work with texture and design. Best wishes as you enjoy directing your own agenda.


    • Welcome, and nice to make your acquaintance. I do suspect I will feel different through the years of retirement. I love the phrase “directing my days” and may need to borrow it for a blog post title, with your permission, of course. I am now crafting my 100th post which will include some of your other thoughts here, as well. I am intrigued by your work with texture and design. In knitting? Are you on Ravelry to share your work?


    • thank you! I don’t think I will eve knit another pattern (again) without a schematic or if I ever head into design work, I will make sure to include one! What a lesson!


  2. It looks beautiful on you. I can’t imagine the trouble it was to sort out the pattern and directions. Not sure I would have bothered! I do hope you wrote to Vogue and the designer so that they could make the edits. :-)


      • lol – I understand – you wanted that beautiful red tunic, and so you did what oyu had to to get it. I hope that you aren’t the first person to pnt out their errors to them, but I bet you are the first who worked so hard to figure out the puzzle. Have you looked on Ravelry to see if anyone else has finished the project? :-)


        • I have lots to say in response to your comment regarding the “figure out the puzzle part”. I do sometimes wonder about people’s efforts. Regarding errors, there is a spot on the Vogue Knitting site that lists errors that have been caught from previous issues, so it leads me to believe it is acceptable in sending them my thoughts. I would imagine, however they would want an editor to check out my recommendations as, truly, it got to a point of confusion that I wondered if it was all my misinterpretation. Regarding Ravelry…. not only has no one taken this on, I am the one that posted the pattern. (Wished I had waited to have posted my project rather than snapped a picture of the magazine.) Are you on Ravelry? I’ve just subscribed to your blog and would friend you there if I knew. oh…. isn’t there always so much to say?

          Liked by 1 person

          • There always IS so much to say! Thanks so much for the follow, I appreciate it. I am salpal1 on ravelry, and would love to be friends there as well.

            I do believe Vogue wants to know where there is a problem with their patterns, and SHOULD know when it is this egregious. If nothing else, they should make sure the patterns are tech edited and test knit! Maybe they will hire you to do that work for them. lol. Now that you are retired and wondering what comes next, that is. :-)


          • Happens that I am working on a project here on WordPress so it is a perfect time for chatting. Then, I need to catch up on your blog! I will friend you over on Rav. when I get there. I am newly retired, as you know, and have a category (retirement) collecting all kinds of notes there as I work through this transition. The good news is I have ideas as opposed to those stuck in “neutral”. On the other hand, those folks are much more easy going than me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I look forward to chatting and getting to know you. Maybe in retirement you will learn to be more easy-going? I hope taking time to smell the roses is on your to-do list. :-)


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