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July 19

Knitted Cropped Jacket

Back in May, I wrote a post titled “Learning through Classes” which was about how I’m going to be taking my first knitting class in August at Stitches Midwest with Jean Frost.  Well, it’s technically not a knitting class, but it’s a class for knitters on how to line a knitted jacket, Chanel style.  I’m excited because its going to be my first time combining two of my favorite crafts: sewing and knitting.

I was going to knit up this chic little houndstooth cardigan/jacket, but decided against it (for now at least).

I was knitting up a gauge swatch and felt really pressed for time, seeing how slow I was going.  I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to finish the whole thing in one month’s time and I was starting to get stressed out.  This is one project I don’t want to stress about, it should be fun.  I really do love this jacket and dearly want to make it, but it’s going to have to go on the back burner for now.

After making this tough decision,  I took to my stash of Stitchcraft Magazines to find something that I would be happy making for the class.  I wanted something cute and vintage, something I knew I could knit up in time without a ton of pressure.

And this little number is what turned up in the January 1952 Stitchcraft Magazine:

I don’t think it’s as cute as my original pick, but I think it’s a pretty good runner-up.

While I like the styling in this photo, I’ve decided to knit my version up more fitted, instead of boxy.  The shoulder seams on the model look like they’re pretty far down on her shoulders, which adds to the boxy look.  I don’t think that would work for me so I decided to adjust these seams so that they fall more on my true shoulder.

I’m planning on omitting the pleat at the neckline, which is quite hard to see here, due to the daisies.  But the pleat collar stands upright, which is a look I don’t really care for.  If I add a collar it would be more of a peter pan style, but again, I’m not sure if I’ll include one or not.  I’m still toying around with the idea of sewing on some surface cording down the center front and around the neckline.  I don’t want to compete too much with the hem pleat design, so I’ll most likely baste it in the very end, to assess if I like the look or not.

I cast on for this project on Friday night and by Saturday night I had the front piece already knitted up!  (That’s crazy fast, even for me…..must be due to the cropped-ness and thicker yarn.)

(sans pleat hem of course)

I’m using a dk weight yarn in navy called Zara by the Italian company Filatura di Crosa.  I decided on using a navy and white scheme since I’ll be wearing this jacket in the fall.  Ever since participating in the Colette Palette Challenge this past Spring, I’ve had it in the back of my head that I’d pick a new color scheme for my fall sewing and knitting.  So this will be the first garment I’ll be making up for my fall wardrobe in a navy & white theme.  I’m just a bit ahead of schedule…. heh

In my image above, the color is quite hard to decipher since it almost looks black.  But here’s a good shot of what the yarn color really looks like:

I cast on starting at the bottom edge, using the provisional cast on which I learnt from this YouTube video, hence the pink row of stitching at the bottom.

The idea with the provisional cast-on method is that you create a crochet chain on your knitting needles, and begin knitting directly into the crochet chain (pretending it’s a normal cast on edge).  What this means is that at any point you can undo the crocheted edge, and have live stitches on the bottom of your work.  It’s really quite a brilliant idea in itself, and perfect for this little, cropped jacket.

So you might be asking…. Why do I want live stitches at the bottom of my work???

I’ve picked a length for the navy section that I think is appropritate to start adding on the contrasting, white pleated hem.  But once I finish the opposite front piece and the back piece I’ll be able to baste all the pieces together and try it on in order to fully determine if I have it at an attractive length.  The provisional cast on edge enables me to add additional navy length if I need to as well as removing length if it’s too long.  But I used this cast-on method primarily to add the pleated hem at the very end since I’m not certain if I want one or both of the hem pleats.  The provisional cast-on edge is lookin’ pretty nifty, right!?

Knitty has a good article which talks about the provisional cast-on method if you’d like to read more about it.  They also have a pictoral tutorial in this link on how to do it too, but I wasn’t able to folow along very well with it.  There’s actually about 3 or 4 different ways achieve a provisional cast-on edge, and after watching them all I found I liked the spare yarn version best since it was quite straight forward.

And if you’re anything like me and want to hear about all 4 of the different ways before deciding on which you want to use, this YouTube video tutorial is for you.  :)

  1. Eithne / Jul 19 2011

    I think both of these jackets are lovely, especially the first but maybe it’s better to use the second one for the class so that you’ll have the skills perfected when you get a chance to make the first! Just wanted to say that I’ve really been enjoying your blog posts, I don’t normally comment but between the knitting and the sewing techniques you’ve been showing lately , I really look forward to seeing a new post pop up in my google reader. Do you have a ravelry account?

    • Liz / Jul 19 2011

      Aww, that’s so sweet of you to say Eithne…. Thank you so much for commenting. :)

  2. Eithne / Jul 19 2011

    oops just saw the link to your ravelry account below, going to have a look through it now if you don’t mind!

    • Liz / Jul 19 2011

      Of course! Anyone can Ravelry-friend me. too. I have a bunch of older projects in there, but I’m pretty bad at posting up pictures on a regular basis. I do have a lot of “favorites” you can look through if you’re looking for some vintage patterns though.

  3. Ashley / Jul 19 2011

    What’s the name of the board thing that you’re using to block on? I’ve been trying to find something to use to block on but as I don’t know what they’re called I’m having a hard time finding anything! It’ll be useful when I complete my first ever knitted garment! Eek! :)
    I love the jacket, the white edging will be so pretty! :)
    Ashley x

    • Liz / Jul 19 2011

      Hey Ashley, thaks for your sweet comment.

      They’re called either a ‘blocking board’ or a ‘blocking mat’. I didn’t find much in searching on amazon, but a bunch of knitting related sites do carry them.
      I do like mine, but it’s difficult when blocking out sweaters with long sleeves since I can’t fit the whole thing on the board at one time. I actually found mine at my local Joann’s craft store in the quilting section: click here to see.
      But the benefit of mine is that it has a grid already laid out for easy measuring and blocking.

      I did a quick google search and found this one online; it’s a bit more expensive, but looks pretty great and you can get it in two different sizes.

      I do know a lot of people use these kind of blocking mats, which you can find pretty cheap at kid’s stores.

      I don’t want to sway you that you actually have to buy a blocking board. When I was just starting out all I used was a towel and my bed to block things out. It’s a bit more time consuming, but it does the job too. :)

      • Ashley / Jul 20 2011

        Yay, now I know what they’re called! Thanks! Kind of obvious now I think about it :) I’ve seen the foam mats on Ravelry on someone’s photos. I found some on e-bay for cheap. My main problem is space. I’m currently at uni living in a tiny tiny studio apartment with my boyfriend, so blocking on the bed or even the floor (we have about 4 by 1.5 metres of floor space!) would be a pain. But with the foam play mats, I could lean it up against the wall to keep it out of the way. I’d love a proper blocking board with measurements like yours, but they sure are pricey! So foam mat and a sharpie will have to do!
        Thanks for the links too, it’s really helpful to see what’s available. Also great to know the names different places give them. Might make finding a cheap one easier :)
        Thanks again!
        Ashley x

  4. Michelle / Sep 21 2012

    Hi!

    I’ve just come across your blog and it is just adorable! I’ve been looking for vintage patterns for some time, and although there readily available in charity/second hand shops the thought of shifting through them for hours only to find one or two with all the information etc is just too much! So your blog is just what I need! Unfortunately my knitting skills are still developing, luckily though my Nan enjoys it and is always wanting something to occupy her, now I have lots of patterns to show her :) I love both of these jackets too! Do you have a pdf version of the second jacket pattern?
    Thank you so much, I’m definitely a fan now!

    Michelle

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