... and I say it's all right.
The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert.
Size: Hmm, I mucked around with this quite a bit. I wanted a fitted garment so I cast on for the 86cm size sleeve but increased to the 91cm size and knit that for the front plus six more rows because I wanted it to cover up more tummy when it crossed over. And then I knit some short rows but more about that later.
Yarn: Recycled J Crew 100 per cent 10 ply wool in dark aubergine and burgundy. I want to take the opportunity here to wax lyrical for a bit about recycled yarn. Even though that is mostly what I use, I do still get a thrill walking into a yarn store at all the colour and texture nuances available in commercial yarns. It's all there for you, immediately available and it's easy to forget that with patience and good foraging, that you can find great yarn by unravelling and recycling. Like this J Crew wool that I have been knitting with. The variety of shades in this yarn is really difficult to capture - there are all sorts of other colours hiding in there, sometimes just a single filament but it gives the finished fabric such depth and vibrancy.
I happened across the same sweater in two different colours so used the dark aubergine for the jacket and the burgundy for the hems as i was again concerned about running out of yarn. As it is I have a hge cake of the aubergine left over and heaps of burgundy too. Actually, the burgundy is what I used to knit the Columbia Beret.
Which actually brings me to my next point - the light has changed in Seattle and I am finding it very difficult to capture colours. The dark aubergine is much darker than the burgundy, although this is not particularly evident if you compare it with the photos of the Columbia Beret below. Oh well, take my word for it.
Needles: I used both straights and a circular on this project - 4.5mm bamboo and Addi Turbo.
Start to finish: 15 May 2009 to 15 October 2009. Wow, five months exactly. I'm surprised, it didn't seem to be that long. I started knitting it when I finished the knitting on Wallingford, which just goes to show just how long I delayed on the seaming up that project.
Comments: This is a great pattern. I made a few changes, namely making the fronts wider so that there would be more coverage when the garment is closed. I did this at the neckline by simply knitting six rows into the next size. To make the fronts longer I worked six short rows on the front, from the side seam to part way up the front, wrap and turn, back to the side seam; the next one not so far up and back; and again. I also followed the example of some other knitters and didn't cast off the hem stitches but instead kept them live to then sew down. I took this one step further and also did a provisional cast on for each of the pieces and then sewed down the live stitches. Both of these measures were to keep bulk out of the garment.
Fit-wise, I took a lot of care with making sure that the row count on both the front and back sides was identical; ditto for the depth of the raglan sleeves. Nevertheless, I ended up with four stitches extra in the width at the neck which I took up using the same decreases as for the darts in the back, a neat and tidy double decrease achieved by slipping two stitches as if to knit two together, knitting the next stitch and then passing the slip stitches over (s2kp2 in the pattern which was a bit confusing as it makes it seem as though there are purl stitches involved).
I also didn't include any fastenings on the garment, preferring to fasten it with a kilt pin (or a shawl pin) depending on the weather and how tightly I want to pull it around me.
Verdict: I really like this garment, particularly the construction and fit - the back darts are in just the right place for me. It's funny that this is knit in a heavier weight yarn than Wallingford but is nevertheless a sleeker garment. I think that it was a good idea to keep all of those hem stitches live but it made for a painstaking sewing-up process, or rather sewing down stitch by stitch.
So, what next? This garment knitting thing is really addictive. The end results so far have been super and I feel so great wearing a cardigan that I have made myself. Really, I would like to finish my other works-in-progress, if only for the sake of getting them done, but neither socks nor lace is appealing at all at the moment. I may also have knit up the pocket linings for Woolsthorpe last night while watching a dvd, you know, just to check gauge and whatever ...