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The Sourcery Coat

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A few weeks ago, a fellow Raveler told me about a beautiful coat she’d seen on Ravelry made with Berroco yarns. When we checked it out at the office, the whole team was blown away! The incredible patterning and color choices make this coat a masterpiece. Here it is, titled “Sourcery, A Pastiche” and knitted in Lustra with a hint of Lumina:

I contacted the coat’s creator (polarbears on Ravelry) to find out more about her project, and what inspired her:

The name:

“I’ve been a volunteer editor on Ravelry since May of 2007 and my specialty came to be the sources (books, magazines, websites, etc.). My fellow editors started calling me “The Sourcerer”. That’s the origin of the name for the coat and the idea that I would draw bits and pieces from as wide a range of patterns as I could.”

Check out the Ravelry project page for the complete list of her pattern sources.

The inspiration:

“I’m always cold in the winter and my ratty bathrobe over a sweater routine was as dreary and depressing as winter can be around here. Something warm but also pretty and outrageous to lift my spirits seemed like the way to go.

I’d been sketching a few ideas on and off for a while too but nothing specific and the finished coat didn’t end up looking much like any of them.

Finally, one dreary day last spring when I was between projects I decided the time had come to start. I had a vague idea what I wanted – floor length, roomy enough to wear over clothes, with pockets and brightly colored to lift my spirits on a winter day.”

The design process:

“As I went I decided I wanted to do as many different stranded patterns as I could and my color scheme became much more random than I had originally envisioned. My husband says there were knitting books strewn in every room of the house with slips of paper, strands of yarn, and spare needles sticking out all over as I marked my place for things that were interesting. Random bits from all sorts of things I’d admired. I picked the next motif only after I finished one. It got harder to try to find new ones from different places as I went along but that was part of the fun. My queue got a lot longer too as I kept coming across yet another pattern I’d love to knit….

I did confine myself to repeating the basic color scheme for each stripe on the skirt portion but there are different motifs and even different stripe widths on the two fronts and the back. Each sleeve is different and the bodice back is different from the front. On the snowflake stripes there are no two alike. The only two pieces that match are the bodice fronts. All that variety kept such a big project from getting boring, a great benefit for a long time sufferer from second sleeve syndrome.

I also decided I’d try my hand at embroidery, just to add to the excess. I was inspired by Kristin Nicholas here, especially her Color by Kristin book. Her exuberant color sense was also influential as was the work of Kaffe Fassett. I’m not much of an embroiderer but I decided that wonky stitch work would be just part of the charm. As the coat progressed it also became clear that for sheer outrageousness the only thing that would do for the embroidery would be to do it in gold metallic. I picked Lumina sight unseen.” 

What’s next?

“Several people have asked if I’d be interested in designing some patterns for smaller items like a tote or accessory with a similar aesthetic and I’ve been thinking about it but I don’t have anything quite ready to go yet. If I do go ahead I’ll design my own colorwork charts this time. Funny how even the kindest commenter doesn’t seem to want to tackle the whole coat!”

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. caityrosey #

    That’s an astounding coat. The level of detail… Blown away.

    July 31, 2012
  2. Thanks for sharing, very interesting reading!

    July 31, 2012
  3. Wow! It’s beautiful! Amazing!

    August 1, 2012
  4. Breathtakingly beautiful.

    August 1, 2012
  5. Eleanor #

    I always thought that the words “gobsmacked” was ridiculously overused….but when I saw this coat – it was the only word that came to mind…..it is WONDEROUS

    August 2, 2012
  6. Bernadette #

    AND. IT’S. LINED.

    August 2, 2012
  7. What an amazing coat! It reminds me a lot of the crochet / knit artwear coats of the late 1970s and early 1980s (the ones that Julie Schafler Dale was showing in her space in New York) but in a more contemporary design.

    August 3, 2012
  8. Her yarn ratings on her Rav page got me to thinking. Curious that this knitter completed this beautiful coat with yarns that she rated two of five stars. I think I would switch to a yarn I liked better for such an intricate project if I felt that way about Lustra and Lumina.
    :)

    August 19, 2012
    • What an amazing coat! I have printed out the details and will be sharing
      it with other knitters. I would be happy to knit only a portion of the coat and be thrilled by my success, then frame it for posterity.

      September 28, 2012

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