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Jacket with Frog Fasteners - Part 1

From "Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters" by Lise-Lotte Lystrup

"A snug, figure-hugging jacket, perfect for smart outings in town" This pattern has proved to be a bit of a saga for me, but a fantastic learning curve. The jacket is entirely worked in a stockinette stitch with a frequent, purled zig-zag making up the pattern, and simple k1p1 cuffs and a purled border in the front. In principle, this pattern wasn’t going to present any challenges to a new, but not incompetent knitter such as myself. Well, didn’t they prove to be famous last words! What has become a bit of a habit, which I hope I’m not alone in having, I find myself acquiring yarn that I love and then needing to find a pattern to fit. This project certainly fell foul of my not thinking about every factor when matching a pattern to the yarn I found. Lesson #1 noted.

I started knitting the back panel, following the pattern, and given the gauge, it’s a fairly quick knit in comparison to the previous project, so I was very encouraged to see fast progress. However, this fast progress was marred by the fact that the tweediness of the yarn meant that the little zig-zag purls got a bit lost in an extremely textured fabric. At first, I was a bit irritated by this, but I have learned to like it. I have convinced myself that paired with a black satin, or leatherette skirt, the texture could look really quite interesting. I’m also hoping that blocking will help to bring the zig-zags out a little more. Though time will tell on this latter point. The front panels were fairly straight-forward to complete, though I found myself needing to re-write the left-front panel pattern. Unfortunately, this stage was completed a long time prior to my writing this, so I cannot even remember whether there was something wrong with the pattern itself, or whether this was an indication of my newbie knitter status. Fortunately, I kept the notes, and the main difference between the pattern and my re-write were as follows: After having shamefully put this project down for a couple of years, I rediscovered it and feel determined to complete this ready for next winter. Complete with aforementioned skirt being made! Lesson #2 was soon to be learned with the commencement of the first sleeve. I eagerly cast on the required 26 stitches, and cracked on with the knitting. After a short while in pattern, I thought something was wrong. It didn’t seem to look the same. Were my eyes, and the excessive texture, playing tricks on me?! After involving my OH and asking him whether I was going bonkers, he confirmed that it was definitely going all wrong. Being a solutions-driven engineer type, he helpfully suggested that I plot the stitches on a graph to help make sense of what was going wrong. His idea certainly worked, and exposed a moment of carelessness on my part. My “divisible by 6” pattern didn’t fit so neatly into 26 stitches as I had cheerfully, and unquestionably, knitted up. Super basic maths should have told me, had I engaged my brain, that I’d have two extra stitches to account for. D’oh! So, I re-started the sleeve, and sure enough, by adding 2 to the beginning of each alternate row, my gnarly and undefined little zig-zags were playing ball. At present, I’m in the midst of my second sleeve, and I can’t help but reflect, again, on the qualities of the fabric that I’m slowly creating. Mostly, I’m contemplating how bloody itchy it’s going to be! As such, I’ve convinced myself that I’ll need to line the whole piece in black satin. Given that this would be my first foray into combining my sewing skills with my knitting, I suspect a few more lessons will unfold, possibly to do with ease, and stretch. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it though!

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