Well, earlier this year I got an email from the San Francisco Opera telling me that one of the hats I had done for Cosi fan Tutte had made its way into their June production of Don Giovanni so they need another one. The pattern is from a 1947 knitting book and had been faxed to me.
A friend said she was going to the San Diego performance of Cosi fan Tutte and she sent me some photos…it seems the wardrobe for the SFO production was used in San Diego….that’s why they need new red hats for Don Giovanni.
One was called a Calot and was crocheted…(stripes and a little ‘handle’ on top), the other called Topper, which was knit flat and seamed up the back. The crocheted one was a bit of a slog…I was always counting how many stitches I had in each row, the knit was a lot easier.
The Calot pattern was hard to read in it’s old and faxed form so I Googled it and found that exact pattern for $4! I was able to download it onto my iPad where I could mark the progress of each one as I made it, writing notes to help the process…then erase and start anew with each Calot.
After sending the garments and hats to the Opera for fittings the pink cardigans and navy men’s sweaters were returned full of pins, photographs and notes about alterations. The blue sweaters’ collars needed to be quite a bit wider, the bodies a bit wider, the cuffs needed stripes (I had actually forgotten that) and I needed to work the buttonholes. With the pink cardigans… the collars were to be changed for Peter Pan, not lace, the sleeves needed to be shorter and puffier and the buttonholes needed to be worked in.
This work meant taking all four knits apart, removing the collars, sleeves, button bands, side seams etc, and reworking them. Fortunately, I’m well acquainted with pulling my work apart and reassembling it…so I knew what I was doing…a lot of work!
You can see my original collars and the pins to where the reworked ones needed to sit…I had similar pins on the pink sweaters for the necklines (make them closer so undo the shoulder seams and sort out the lace patterning).
Lots of work but quite an exercise to stretch my skills so, looking back, I was happy for the challenges.
The vest I made for the female who comes in as a male character was the only one that was just right first try…though I did knit the front a couple of times before I was happy with it.