Construction Site

No hard hats required!

This is the relaxing, colourful project I started after the Ravellenics ( you didn’t think I’d been sewing up all this time, did you? Life’s too short!). This is “Cropped Jacket, no. 26″ from the recent first issue- I beg your pardon,” Premiere Issue”, no less- of Noro Magazine. All garter stitch, with plenty of short rows for me to practise that new-to-me technique of German short rows (see thread on subject under Techniques Discussion Board on Ravelry, v.v.gd) . Stop press: I am a convert! Not only do they look good, they’re easier and therefore quicker than the wrap-n-turn method I’ve been using up to now. And, let’s face it, a top-heavy girl like myself really needs her short rows if she wants to avoid looking like a sack of potatoes…

Now this pattern has one aspect that I consider a major flaw: it’s written in the dressmaking style, with all pieces knit separately then connected in a bo-o-o-oring sewing session long enough to give anyone grey hair. I can’t be having with that, so I constructed the jacket by knitting or grafting all the pieces together (this also made the colours flow more smoothly around the body). And before you quibble, no, I don’t count grafting as boring sewing, because I still get the same thrill out of it as I did as a nine-year-old finishing the toe of my first ever sock (pistachio green). A mysterious, undetectable join not even the grownups could find, whee! So I knit the first sleeve directly onto the top of the first side, leaving half the stitches on a provisional crochet chain (see above). By the way, note the three wide wedges before the shoulder indent above, demolition and reconstruction will be shown here soon! Next step, the back was knit on, first to the sleeve (below right), then the shoulder, then the collar- no sewing required!

The pattern requires that the left side be knit from the top down, in order that the short rows will still be worked from the right side of the piece, so I started the second sleeve at the cuff and knit straight through to the waist. By this stage I’d realised that the ease in this pattern is minimal, so I was going to need space around the bust. I added in a fourth wide wedge while knitting, then went back to the right front and constructed one there too, using the same basic approach as EZ’s Afterthought Pocket. I cut into the selected row about 5cm from the edge, so that rows above and below wouldn’t be affected.

I wouldn’t like to have to do this in a silky slippery yarn, and I hate cutting into my knitting for any reason, but now I feel like a nine-year-old again: spot the join! Once I’ve darned those ends away, it’ll be grand…

Finishing the back involved grafting the collar join, knitting on at the shoulder and grafting to the sleeve, all the while juggling the colours so that the transitions would be smooth. It was fun!

P.S. FYI, I used Kureyon Sock from my stash (the “Atlantic” muted colours, see ball at bottom right of 1st photo) and Drops Delight (warmer colours), and a 3.75mm cicular needle. Beware, the sleeves are positively slender, check measurements! I plan to try this out again in fine Donegal Soft Tweed,  I think it would be very cosy and I love the shape…

There’s a good reason I haven’t done the side/sleeve seams yet, one any knitter will understand; on Tuesday I was given a present of Jane Sowerby’s book on Victorian Lace! Three cheers for Julian, patron of the fibre arts! So of course I had better things to be doing than sewing seams, such as….

This frivolous foamy froth is a circular cape, utterly decadent and irresistible. I just need a boudoir to go with it!

It’s cast on provisionally at the neck and worked in a variation of Old Shale which widens downwards and is very addictive, really.

A couple more rows and then a wide lace edging is to be added all around. Are there any limits to what I’ll do to avoid sewing seams? I’ll let you know if I ever find out!

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One thought on “Construction Site

  1. You just sent me off on a mission. I now know about German short rows, Japanese short rows and various wrap and turns, or not wrap but still turns… YAY for learning new stuff!

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