|(c) Lisa Gentry on Ravelry|
It shows as a free pattern from Coats and Clark although you can grab it on Ravelry for free (here).
This is one of those very difficult reviews because I did not have a good experience but based on the reviews from others who have made the wrap, it seems like its a 50-50 ... either people loved it or they just thought it was so-so.
Of course, these things are all very subjective - but then again, a review is pretty much just that, right? An opinion?
But my goal is not to tear down a pattern that someone out there may enjoy. I want to be as objective as I possibly can before writing off the pattern completely. I want to claim fault to all the contributing factors I created and point out the issues with the actual pattern. That is about as analytical and fair as I can be.
So, things that I think are my fault in having a bad experience are the yarn choice, the hook choice, and my intended recipient.
First up - the yarn. The yarn is a pretty bulky yarn which is a step away from the suggested yarn which is an 8 ply. I know when you deviate from a yarn that is the same or similar, you should expect different results. This is to be said for EVERY pattern you decide to work up. Second - the hook. Because the yarn is bulky and I crochet tightly, I really should have gone with an L hook. I stuck with the J which is totally my fault. I accept that as my own. If I had gone with the L I would have easily accommodated for my generally tight gauge and the yarn.
Fault 2 feeds into fault 3 - I didn't want to make it so big that it wouldn't fit my youngest daughter. She is the size of a small woman so I didn't want to get too crazy with the bulky yarn and a larger hook - I was being lazy in that I didn't want to calculate out the multiples (which really isn't that hard) and adjust. I didn't want to swatch. DOH!
Those three reasons alone helped feed the majority of my bad experience.
Not to mention i wasn't a fan of staring at a swirl of purple and pinks for hours on end.
What did I like about the pattern? I would say I liked the "collar" which really was more of an edging turned into the semblance of a collar based on how you wear it. I really liked the flow of that and how it gently expanded into a lacy flare. I did like that.
So... the pattern - removing these major factors from my experience - what is left?
I believe the biggest issue with the pattern was the instructions on joining the rectangle/oval to create the armholes. It was very unclear for me. I consider myself a rather experienced crocheter and I had to seek help by messaging people on Ravelry to find out how they did it. One of the people that responded gave an answer completely unlike any of the others, so I know in the end, their wrap was joined wrong. Another individual responded and supported the notion that the instructions were not clear - apparently when she did the wrap it was during a crochet-a-long and many folks had the same question I did.
Now, while the instructions for the rest of the piece were relatively clear, the pattern was marked as "easy" and I would have expected the instructions to be written even clearer than I thought they already were. Obviously, it had to be somewhat unclear because while I was searching for someone to answer my question about joining, I saw several pictures where the "pre-join" shape was VERY off-base. Perhaps the difficulty rating of the pattern should be pushed up one notch?
In the end, I was left with an item that was stiffer than a board, had very little flow, and was way too big for my youngest daughter. While the wrap technically fits me, the shape of the garment is not meant for any woman with a little (or a lot of) extra weight - especially if they are tall.... like me.
It just wasn't something that ended well on my end. But like I said, many of the factors were of my own doing, not the pattern.
Now - before I share my rating, I think if I ever wanted to make this again, I would adjust to a much thinner yarn (perhaps sport weight), increase the foundation chain, and work with a hook 2 sizes bigger than the recommended hook for the yarn weight. This would force the garment to flow more than it does when working from the pattern.
If you are wanting to make this garment and are trying to adjust to whatever yarn you have selected, just know the foundation chain is basically the width from armhole to armhole - hold it across the back of the intended wearer and go from there.
While there was a lot for this pattern that didn't work for me, I can't let all of that fog my judgement of the pattern. Some people are smaller and like a shapeless wrap. Some people would actually pay attention to their gauge and the yarn..... BUT in the end, the clincher for my rating was that the last part of the pattern was not written clearly. If you are going to mark a pattern as easy, then you have to ensure that all instructions on that pattern are clear enough for any beginner. I do not feel the entire pattern was written with the beginner in mind.
Based on that alone, I would have to rate this pattern as a 2.5 balls of yarn.