MY Picard version

It is finished, and I have to say it turned out better than I expected.
frontOpen
Here she is, my Odilon, at long last! Ok. I know it really hasn’t been all that long, a just short of 2 months that you have all been ‘listening’ to me whinge, but when you frog a project as much as I did this one it can last FOREVER mentally.  (Also I got the first bit done so quickly that if there hadn’t been so many annoying problems with the pattern I would have had it done in a month!)

I redid the body without the shaping and am much happier with the fit. It still looks like it comes in at the waist, but it is actually dead square!
front
This is the batch of Rowan Purelife Organic DK that I ‘tub’ dyed for this project and LOVE the yarn. A slight crunch and actually quite a bit more of a dense strand than I would have thought. The stitch definition is just divine for all those crossed stitches…
side
…and I love the way I ran the chevron right down into the ribbing on this attempt (if I do say so myself!). That said, I feel the yarn is actually better suited for stitch patterns that aren’t reverse stockinette, as it doesn’t bloom quite enough to give an even fabric in that stitch – see all the little stripes of unevenness in the shot above? (Especially on the sleeve right above the chevron). Likely just me and tension problems, but the stockinette side looks much better:
yarn
There are a few other little things that still bother me – the front neck is still a titch high. I should have taken it back a bit lower when I took the fecking high collar off.  And there is a little jog in the raglan where the increases turn to decreases from where I redid the neck. Neither of these things are noticeable unless you are really scrutinising, though.
jog
Final negative – and this is nothing new – the bloody buttonbands gave me the usual runaround.

I wasn’t able to get the holes stitched professionally in the end as I had already knit holes into the fabric, which sucked. Apparently you knit the bands without holes and then they machine stitch them in and cut them open. Will try it one day.

So to make a long story excruciatingly longer,  I had to do them by hand. Cursing most the way. They are ok, but my hand stitching truly leaves something to be desired. AND I balls-ed up the other side (too embarrassed to show you) so had to cut the ribbon between already stitched buttonholes and make them shorter. It was hateful. (I still want to open a can of whoop-ass on them.)
bands
Positives – Love the way it fits, those graphic CHEVRONS (heh), the i-cord edging I did on the buttonband…and…I finally got to use my favourite ceramic buttons, which I made months ago and have been hoarding for the right project:
button
Another positive – I think I am becoming slightly less stressed when things don’t work out, and a bit calmer about frogging. That is a huge plus…as I have to do it so much. Finally starting to accept it as a normal part of my process (!).

So there she is. Thanks for all the support and advice on this one girls!