Thursday, 1 March 2012

Cold February, Warm Jacket

Yes, I know it is now March. But I finished knitting a jacket/cardigan about 2 weeks ago when the weather was still very cold, and have been wearing it a lot, and have only now got around to writing about it.  Even though there was the extra leap day in February.

I am pleased with it - it is warm and cosy and looks good, and it is the first thing I have knitted that I designed myself (though I have often tweaked a pattern rather than following it exactly).  I took the sizing and the shape from a favourite knitted cardigan that I bought years ago and wear a lot, though it is otherwise not very like the new jacket.

I used a thick, soft yarn - Wendy Chunky Merino, knit on 6mm needles.  I chose such a thick yarn because I wanted it to be very warm (and I wanted a quick knit, too).   The colour is called soot,  which is a misnomer.  Soot is black, no question, but this is a sort of slate blue - a very dark purply blue-grey.

I wanted some texture in the fabric, but a lacy stitch pattern would be unsuitable for this weight of yarn, and cables would make it too thick, so I added panels of a stitch pattern made purely from stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch, as in fishermen's gansey patterns. Without the last stitch on either side, it could be extended to an overall trellis pattern, but having only one repeat gives a totally different effect.  The zigzags look almost like cables, but without the thickness.  The rest of the jacket is in plain stocking stitch, except for moss stitch for the cuffs, button band, neck band and  bottom edge.

The purply red buttons were not what I originally intended.  I went to the button shop to look for some sober black buttons, but couldn't find any I liked.  These are a better choice, I think - they brighten up the whole jacket.

Although February started cold, the last week has been very mild, and today was a beautiful spring day.  But if it stays too warm to wear my jacket again until the autumn, I shall not complain.

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