2.21.2007

embracing my inner capecho



dear nora gaughan,

first off, let me say: i still heart you. your capecho is the most innovative design i've ever had the pleasure to knit.

i thrilled to the completion of each puffy, sand-dollary pentagon, despite the alarmingly misshapen capechos-in-progress i began to notice floating around cyberspace..

"have you tried it on yet," became the question on every fellow capecho-maker's lips. "trust the process," became my mantra. meaning, no, i hadn't tried it on. meaning, yes, i was in complete and utter denial.

i finished the body and felt a sharp twinge of panic. i could tell without even trying it on: the thing was huge. but surely, the sleeves would shore everything up. just like the model on the cover of vogue knitting. i finished the sleeves and plunged blindly into the neckband. from there i went straight to blocking. i even threw it in the dryer for 10 minutes like someone i'd read about on craftster.

and then today, i finally tried it on.

and.

it's a capecho, alright.

i guess that annoying descriptor should have been my first clue. let's consider the etymology of the word "capecho." it contains the word "cape," as in that thing worn by florence nightingale or, say, the french lieutenant's woman and "poncho," as in mucho hango, or as the dictionary says, "a blanket-like cloak with a hole in the center to admit the head."

honestly, nora, i think you got a bum rap from the editors of VK. it's not your fault that they completely misrepresented your design on the cover of the magazine. here's my theory: the extremely narrow VK cover model has an extremely large metal clamp stuck to the back of HER capecho, thus creating the semblance of a tiny, fitted jacket (a "tinfijacket, if you will), with barely enough room to admit her tiny frame, let alone a head.

i will admit, i originally fell in love with that adorable little capecho as depicted by that adorable little model. but i am learning to embrace my own capecho, in all of its big, fat, capey, drapey glory.

i will, as the unflappable tim gunn tells us, make it work.

love always,
kate

addendum: thanks for all the nice comments about my capecho post. someone aske me about the size...i made mine a size smaller than my normal bust size. one of my commenters had a great solution to make it look just like the picture. personally, i don't have an issue with the size or fit. i just have an issue with misrepresenting it in the magazine. btw, i have shown my capecho to a bunch of friends who have no idea what a capecho is...and they all gushed over it. go figyah.

32 comments:

sugarpie said...

Kate, your capecho looks groovy cool, and I'm glad you hung in there. I'm working furiously on mine, I'm so excited to see it finished. I'm hoping mine will come out alrighty since I made a size small, even though I'm actually NOT small. I'll post it on craftster when I'm done. LOVE the letter to Norah. I'm hoping to finish mine in time to wear it to Stitches West, mini-show off that I am, but it's my first wearable something, and my first cables!

Five Flowers (Emily) said...

Like I said at flickr, I actually like this fit better- you make it look super hip and lovely. I didn't want to make one until I saw your FO-- now I got to check out craftster! Love!

jenna said...

Hm. At least you enjoyed the process. But if anyone can make it work, you can! It actually looks like you have kind of a cool thing going there, and I bet I would find it even more fabulous if I had never seen the picture.

On a similar note, if there IS a big fat metal clamp on the model's back, How can they DO that to us??!! It's unethical--no, it's IMMORAL.

Faith! said...

What a wonderful post! I just discovered your site today and couldn't stop laughing. And I too, have yet to make the clapotis.

Girl Kae said...

i have to admit that I too seem to still be in denial.. i am doing the neckband hoping that it will "draw it all in"... hahah i think we're all blinded by our love for the cover version! I should be done this weekend !

Rycrafty said...

I just started mine, and do you mind if I ask what size that is? Or maybe what the difference is between the measurements in the mag, and your own? I have started on one that is supposedly 1" smaller than my bust.
And by started, I mean I have 3 rows of pentagon 1 done. :)

Linda said...

I am finishing mine very soon, and have added a few touches that make it more suitable for me to wear. I made ribbing extending downward from the back 2 pentagons, and filled in the gap with partial pentagons. This does actually draw it in and make it fit, since it is more level on the bottem. I'm excited about it now-- I wasn't for awhile. I've also edged it with applied I-cord. If you would like a picture, write to me at livy1111@gmail.com and in a few days, I hope to have one for you.

Carson said...

Now Kate really...
you of all people should know...
There.Is.No.Truth.In. Advertising.
;)

Those perfectly fitting garments? On the front yes, but backstage it's a whole other story..nothing but a veritable forest of dog-clips back there! Tucking, shaping and cinching just so..
Sigh...but we want it to be the truth so badly.
So are you gonna give us a closer view so we can really see what's the deal there?

Superstitch said...

to the above commenter... click on the pictures! Thats how i discovered your perfect hair! Seriously, i wanted to look at the capecho but i was distracted by hair.

I think this looks like a lot of fun to knit and i'm tempted to knit it just for fun but i know i'd never wear it, oh the knitting dilemmas i face!

binet said...

kate, you are a better woman than i. i would have been extremely unhappy if i'd knit that based on the photo.

you however, can make anything look cute. wear it tonight if you make it- i'd love to see it.

Tiger Feet said...

I think you are right about the clips... it looks super drawn in on the cover. Darn!

Yours is great though, I think it would look super cute over an A-line black minidress.

Senora Fuerte said...

Anyone finding that making a smaller size is solving the problem? I'll be too bummed if mine doesn't fit in the cropped-cardigan way the photo shows it... Plus the smaller size involves fewer rows and fewer stitches, which means easier/quicker... Oh, I hope...

PS. My verification word is "Sewskam"-- how appropriate!

Olgajazzy said...

Kate , I love it! You nailed it girl, you know you had your faith in Norah! And i love the yarn you worked it with! Thank you for such an inspiration and flawless execution!

yuvee said...

I think you look way cooler than me in it ;)
Anyway, love your blog, just subscribed!

Linda said...

It's me again. I just finished the capecho, and am pleased with the result. As mentioned above, I made modifications to it which I feel make it a better fit for me. Notice on the pattern that the first row is one pentagon bigger than the second. If you extend it by half a pentagon, it draws in, and filling in the back with ribbing helps too. Attached I-cord has a drawing, stabilizing effect -- so much so that one has to be careful not to make it too tight and cause a different problem.
Mine is wet with the last blocking right now. The pentagons really flatten out with the magic of blocking.

LeArtistE said...

I too discovered it was huge and trudged on. I did then neck band before i did sleeves in hopes that would pull it all together. Alas, I actually attached #8 and #9 to 10 and 11, creating a sleeve hole that is only 3 sides big. That seems to pulling it smaller, and a bit more like the model pic.

Your looks great though!

jdquilt@aol.com said...

That bolerocho is seriously gorgeous. I am using malbrigo in a beige/sand colourway. I have heard people making it a sweater by elongating and adding another round of pentagons. I am going to have to do some serious customization to mine. thaks for the pictures.

Freddy said...

Your capecho looks good! And I'm joining with Your complaints to Norah Gaughan. I think it's criminal to make a joke like this even in Vogue. I have knitted this thing and have made serious changes to make it wearable. If you wish, take a look:
http://www.isetegija.net/index.php?ind=blog&op=home&idu=2796&singlepost=11441
It's in Estonian, but there is a translation into English in the end

Rosmy said...

It looks great even if it's bigger than the capecho on the cover. I don't understand why they are so different.

And by the way, I've never knitted any clapotis either. I think that there are other more beautiful things to knit in this world.

Amy said...

I agree with five flowers; this fit is better. It's a lot more interesting thank your typical little cardigan.

Nora said...

Oh Kate, I just saw this over at Flickr (don't know how I missed it). You look gorgeous. I love the draped cape effect. Although I totally understand your qualms about mis-representation, the result is stunning.

Linda said...

My finished capecho pictures are at
www.njivy.org. It is different from
the picture, but I always intended to make it longer anyway. So at this point, I'm happy with it -- I like it unbottoned as another option.

kelp! said...

Ooh, it totally sucks that the finished sweater/poncho/cape is so misrepresented. It does look pretty cool on you, though!

Elizabeth said...

I'm psyched to see that you're rockin' the capecho despite the problems with the pattern. I loved the post, too. But for me, I think this is the last time I buy Vogue Knitting magazine. Ever.

Rachel said...

I haven't started mine yet, but I'm glad to know that everyone is having sizing issues, not just those of us in the Rochester knit-along. I think you look fabulous in it! I'm very disappointed that Vogue would pull that with Nora's design. Clearly, we know that this happens in fashion shots to get the "perfect" fit, but this is ridiculous and VERY unfair to Nora and all of the Vogue knitters. I'm looking forward to seeing if they address this issue in their next edition since they've been nothing but silent so far. It certainly doesn't make us want to trust the designs they include!

shopgirl said...

omg! I was thinking the same thing in regards to the origin of the word "capecho" and all that it entails. You took the words out of my brain! I totally agree that Vogue misrepresented the design and I think it was intended to be sort of fluttery, drapey, and, er, bunchy? (My capecho tends to bunch in a rather unfortunate manner under my armpits, but oh well.)

Yours is fantastic, by the way! I especially love how you pair it with your boots and brooch. Loverly.

Jess said...

Oh crap. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with this...though i did make it a size a bit smaller than it called for. Damn misrepresentation!

Jess said...

Ok it's me again...after trying on my partially finished capecho. it's so sad it looks nothing like the picture...but i'm planning to do some frankenstein action and see what i can do.

And while it looks nothing like the picture, which is maddening, I am even more steamed by the description that was written to go along with the directions:

"Close-fitting bolero made from several connecting pentagons, with cable and ribbed elbow-length sleeves and collar."

Close fitting my ass!

Katey said...

Hi, I just discovered this blog, as I was searching for help on this "capecho". I knit all the pentagrams and one sleave and then finally tried to try it on and eeek. It is gigantic. It is comforting to find some others with the same issues. Now to determine what to do. Yours looks great on I think though.

Tante J said...

Oh I wish I'd found your blog first! I dream of that waif on the VK cover homping that mine will look even half as good. I am on my second sleeve and like you did, I have been convincing myself that the collar would pull it all together. And of course the only way to go smaller now is to START OVER. If only I had known what capecho stood for. It makes so much sense when you break it down. And would you believe I made the think BIGGER than the pattern. I guess it's time to start over. BTW, in response to Jess, in the errata for VK online, they admit that description was inaccurate. Only the sleeves are tight fitting. Still doesn't excuse their use of terms like bolero. If only they had stuck with capecho and explained as you did...

Christine Clemmensen said...

*haha* I too have been living - and knitting - in total denial. I am on the collar (having set the thing aside for months now, deep down knowing the collar wouldn't save this carpet-like starfish beauty). A shame, the picture of the skinny model with the slim-fit dream of a project bewitched me too. But a carpet will do. The process has been great, it was great fun. So thanks anyhoo, Nora. And thank you, maybe even more, Kate, for saving me from feeling a failure. I HADN*T done it wrong, afterall:)

Adinanic said...

Hi, you!

I actually knit his capecho after just looking at the photo posted on the VK site :) And the result was quite similar to the cover.
Maybe you used to bigger size :)
But, i must admit the result is lovely!

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