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October 2, 2007

Okay, now on to the here & now, or what’s been occupying almost the entirety of my knitting time for the past few weeks.
It is no secret that I tend to be drawn to clever construction in knitting garments (which is, I’ve learned, sometimes to the detriment of the finished project). I am often disappointed when I see a pattern and find out that it is made with all of the obvious fiddly constructions that I myself would have used. Generally I want a pattern to be clever and challenge my ways of thinking about knitting (EZ, anyone??).

So when I realized that the Knit 2 Together doctor’s bag was of that sort of pattern–however cute the finished product may be–I wasn’t interested anymore. Usually I can figure that out before I get to far into the project but this time thanks to a timely gift card I’d already bought $45 worth of yarn. Guilt yarn, especially since my favorite Barb had to raid someone else’s hold bag to get my last 2 skeins (in my defense, they had been sitting there for about 5 months, but still, raiding the hold shelf + $45 + not knowing what to do with it = guilt yarn!!).

Backtrack a bit more: The first real knitting book I ever saw that made me think that there was more to it than I had ever imagined was Jean Frost’s Jackets. Here were knits that at the time challenged my ideas of texture, shape, and construction, and ever since that time I’ve been a bit obsessed with knitting a jacket. I’ve tried two or three times (including now, with this yarn) to do Teva Durham’s Diagonal Twist Princess-seam Jacket, and I’ve seriously considered a few others.

When Grumperina proposed the Alpaca Twill jacket from Knitter’s (Fall 2006) I thought I’d found a winner (which is odd–although I’m a fan of hers usually our tastes are quite different, and now we’re making the exact same bag!). And I still think I did, with just a few changes…

Modification #1: There were a few considerations, such as the fact that I was going to be using a loosely-spun 100% wool single whereas Norah Gaughan called for worsted weight 50/50 alpaca and wool held double. Gauge was not a problem, but drape might be. I decided that the jacket could benefit from the structure of wool without the weight of alpaca, and my yarn would benefit from the texture, knit a bit looser to create a little drape. The drape turned out wonderful! We’ll see about the pilling. (I briefly thought about making the whole thing with the herringbone pattern which I adore from the Doctor’s Bag, but the slipped stitches make it a very dense fabric, too thick for this project.)

Mod #2: I’m apparently out of fashion in this regard, but the sleeves rated just a bit too high on the puff-o-meter for my taste. Easy fix, knit smaller sleeve caps! I didn’t do a few of the sets of increases.

Mod #3: I also didn’t have a clue how much yarn it would take to do the whole long jacket, or hey let’s be honest, even if I wanted it to be that length. So I decided to knit the whole thing upside down, starting with the collar instead of the bottom edge. Thank goodness, as we’ll soon see.

Mod #4: The collar. Thought I liked it, turns out on me it looked like I was wearing dumbo ears on my shoulders. It only took my 3.5 reknittings to get the collar to a more demure state (I hope), but just for kicks, here’s the original, courtesy of our friends the safety pin and the computer cam.

ever been eaten alive by a collar?

Between the collar and the sleeves, I’m guessing that my version no longer qualifies for the “classic silhouette.” But mine is wearable!

Mod #5-?: There were other small mods, such as length and rate of increase, plus slipping the edge stitch for a more defined line, that were made on the fly. I reversed the direction of the ribbing on one side so that they mirrored each other, too. I also hope to find some kind of large brooch for closure in the front.

So with no further ado, I present my new fall look (pictures again courtesy of DH and Mom’s garden. We’re getting better!):

Pattern- Alpaca Twill by Norah Gaughan, Knitter’s Magazine fall 2006; Yarn-Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Blueberry Ice; Needles- size 9 K’picks Options






12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2007 11:59 pm

    OK, wow. That’s just lovely. I really admire your persistence and your eye on this one. I think you stopped at just the right length, too.

  2. October 3, 2007 4:39 am

    Gorgeous! I think all your mods made for a much sleeker, more classicly styled jacket. And the length is perfect! Good call on the collar/lapels, by the way…..

  3. October 3, 2007 5:28 am

    Beautiful! I think you were right about the collar — any bigger and it would look comical.

    Wow, I really, really like this.

    Did I mention that I like this coat? Great work!

  4. October 3, 2007 6:03 am

    *jaw on the floor, drooling profusely*

    can i be you when i grow up? seriously, that’s the kind of knitter i want to be some day. these last two knits you’ve blogged? simply breath-taking. 🙂

    thanks for the little chat on colorwork, last night. i’m going to really do some looking around to pick something out for after the holidays. 🙂

  5. October 3, 2007 8:04 am

    Sula, it’s perfect! You are not helping my knit-a-long-jacket compulsion. Especially in that pale blue.

  6. October 3, 2007 9:04 am

    Oh my, it’s lovely! Great mods

  7. October 3, 2007 9:10 am

    Oh my. That is just gorgey! I have been obsessed with knitting long jackets lately and there you go, having one already done. Always ahead of the game, aren’t ya?

    It looks AMAZING on you!

  8. October 3, 2007 7:09 pm

    my, we’ve been busy. that looks awesome and you obviously made some great choices for mods. a nice pin or brooch in the front and you’re all set for fall.

  9. Tamara permalink
    October 4, 2007 7:31 am

    Classy! You look awesome.

  10. October 18, 2007 10:14 pm

    Wow!! the jacket came out gorgeous!!! I love it!! It is so classic and yet you can wear it with jeans or to work. Excellent job!

  11. Bethany permalink
    December 5, 2008 9:40 am

    hello, I have been searching for the perfect coat to make….and here it is! I do not have the original pattern, do you suggest that i get the pattern and then follow your mods? it would be so great if you would help me achieve this look!!! p.s. I love the color you chose!


  1. Twillish jacket, revisited « Sulala

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