At Same Time (or, the Story of a Bad Knitting Pattern)

Almost 10 years ago, I knitted the cabled riding jacket from Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham.  She is very talented, though like most designers, she has had quite a few misses to go with some exceptional hits.  I bought the first Loop-d-Loop collection because of the gorgeous riding jacket; it was also one of the few projects in the book that made sense to me as knitwear.  Unfortunately, the directions for the jacket really sucked.

At the time I made the sweater, I had been knitting for 20 years, so I was not a novice;  I can only imagine the nightmare less experienced knitters must have had wading through the multiple “At Same Time” directives.  The written pattern was so bad that I ended up making the bodice cables “travel” by an  increase on one side of a cable followed by decrease on the other side, all because I didn’t understand Teva Durham’s actual directions.  This turned out just fine because it achieved the look of bias effect without actually biasing the bodice.  (And note to designers: if you have more than one At Same Time pattern direction, maybe it is time to include a chart.)  The difficult part of this particular pattern began AFTER row 72;  up to that point, the knitting was pretty straightforward, and while the chart was helpful, I don’t think it was actually necessary.  But, a chart for row 73 and on was absolutely needed, especially since the written directions turned out to be next to useless.  Anyway, I completed the jacket, but frogged it a few months later.  There were multiple problems with the finished product, including a neckline that fits only models with swan-like necks, and arm lengths and shoulder widths meant for aforementioned 6-foot tall models with orangutan arms and full-back shoulders.

A month ago, I started knitting this jacket again, using the same yarn I had frogged 9 years ago.  News flash: the pattern directions still stink!  But, having knitted this once and remembering how painful it was, hindsight has now become foresight 🙂  I am knitting the bodice on the bias, and hoping the “fanning” at the fronts will miraculously disappear once the jacket is put together and blocked.  I am futzing with the decreases at the armholes and sides so that the front and back cables actually match at the shoulder line (and no, I don’t understand why Teva Durham did not make them match to begin with), I am foregoing the bias cuffs on the arms because life, like my arms, is too short, and I am dropping the neckline so that I don’t look like I am being strangled.  Stay tuned.


  1. Love to know how you make out with this for the 2nd time around, it’s been on my to-knit list for years and I just started it yesterday. Glad I did an internet search before I got too deep into it, I’m not sure how far I’ll get before it scares me off!

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