Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ski Jacket

Pattern: Ski Jacket, from Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery

Yarn: Alafoss Lopi, Colors 0047 (Red), 0118 (Blue), 0867 (Brown), 0051 (White) & 9985 (Green).

Needles: 6mm (for the lower body), 7mm (for upper collar) and 6.5mm (for the rest of the jacket).

It’s a ski jacket for someone who seldom ski! What attracted me were the red color and the motif pattern on the yoke, so I went ahead and made one anyway.

Although I don’t like knitting with bulky yarns because holding and turning a heavy project really tiring me out (the jacket weights at least 750g), but anyway this is a super fast knit, so I could still tolerate the weight. I knitted most of the jacket during the Labor Day long weekend. The progress was quite amazing. Indeed, I could knit up something really fast if I am not interrupted (or maybe fascinated?) by something else. Once a project goes to a hibernating stage, likely it would stay in the yarn closet forever. Knitters! You know what I am talking about, eh?

The jacket is fabulous but the pattern is poorly written. The directions for the collar and front borders are confusing because they sound like instructions for a men’s outfit (i.e. the button holes are placed on the left border). It was only after I finished the jacket I suddenly realized the WS and RS indication for the collar and front borders is wrong.

Another issue with the jacket is that the yoke is way too deep! Although I have shortened the front by using short-rows immediately after joining the sleeves to the body, it stilled turn out to be a little bit too deep, especially for someone like me, who is just 5 feet tall.

The gauge given in the pattern is wrong. It should be 13 sts = 4 inches, not 14sts, otherwise the sizing wouldn’t be right.

Also, my fault – I omitted body shaping, and used a smaller needle for the lower body instead. I should have included the darts, or used the smaller needle for the entire sweater. I knitted the small size, but, yeah, the 39” bust is a little too big.

Last but not least, the finished Jacket is also a bit too long because I added an extra inch to the lower body! Thinking that there would be no better ways to improve the fit other than felting it (frogging is not an option!), I dumped the finished jacket into the washing machine, set to the hot-water/heavy-duty cycle, threw in also a worn out jean (to accelerate the felting process by rubbing against the woolen), and let the machine run for 10 minutes. Ulala, guess what! The jacket did shrink, and also, surprisingly, since the yarn had felt (slightly), the jacket became much softer, thicker, fuzzier, smoother, and the sheep’s long hairs popped out like angora! Honestly I didn’t expect this, not to mention that I used to believe Lopi would be a bad choice for any garment because of its roughness. I was so pleased with the result, and of course, proud of my fearlessness!

It would be a perfect jacket for a Canadian to wear in deep fall! Haha, thanks to its over-size, I can wear three layers underneath the jacket.

The yoke pattern looks much more complicated then the effort required to make it.

Ah! I should have also utilized short-rows around the back neck to raise the collar up an inch or so.
Too big! =(
I found the wooden buttons the perfect matches for a folk-style jacket.

The wrong side - again, thanks to the felting step, the yarn ends are now securely "locked".

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