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. :)