Archives for posts with tag: amelia raitte

Impatient with the various WIPs I had lying around, I cast on for a new project a couple of days ago–an adorable little cardigan called Cherry, from My Fashionable Life/Needle and Hook. I’m knitting it in a lavender shade of one of my favorite yarns, Rowan Calmer in 484 Lucky, which I got from some steep sale at Jannette’s Rare Yarns. (She shut down her eBay shop recently and opened up this new storefront instead–she sent a message saying you could get a 10% discount using the code JRY1, but I’m not sure when that code expires.)

I’m working the smallest size. I started with the sleeves, working them two at a time, and desperately hope they will fit… I erred on the side of negative ease. Looking through the examples of this sweater on Ravelry, it seems like it’s more flattering to go a little too small with this pattern than a little too big.

It’s such a pleasure working with Calmer–so stretchy and bouncy and soft!–but the pattern is kind of fiddly to follow. I’m only at the second repeat of “little birds” and already seem to have messed up the alignment of the birds on one sleeve–will have to go back and fix that. And it took about five minutes of staring at “dec 2 sts each side on these 2 and every following alt 7 rows and then every 4,” or however it was worded, to figure out exactly when, where, and how often I was supposed to decrease. It’s pretty standard verbiage, I guess, but that doesn’t mean it’s not confusing… I hope I don’t misread it and end up with very long, cone-shaped sleeves at the end of the weekend.

The pattern notes suggest styling it like Katharine Hepburn, “with Oxford bags.” I had no idea what this meant and just looked it up–they are voluminous trousers, apparently. I don’t have any, but perhaps I can borrow a pair of Rahul’s Dockers and wade around in becardiganed yet mannish style.


Pattern: Jess, from My Fashionable Life/Needle and Hook, by Anna Bell/Amelia Raitte

Size: Small (32-34)

Yarn used: 13 skeins of Queensland Collection Uruguay DK, 0.5 skeins of Peru Luxury DK, color 03 Burgundy, both bought for $2.50 a skein from Littleknits. Double-stranded. I knit this jacket earlier this year for my stepmother and used up 11.5 skeins of yarn, so I thought I was being clever by buying 13 skeins this time. I ran out of the 13th skein while finishing the second sleeve cap, and had to use the Peru Luxury DK to finish up–fortunately, the two yarns look exactly the same to me. This yarn, a many-plied merino/alpaca/silk blend, is absolutely dreamy to work with, all bouncy and squishy and shiny and and soft. I highly recommend it. It did bleed a ton when it hit water, and it turned out heavier and drapier than I would have ideally liked, but at $2.50 a skein, I’m not complaining!

Needles used: Size 11 Boye Needlemaster.

Started: 9/26/07

Finished: Let’s call it 10/14/07 (the date I finished seaming and weaving in ends). Still not quite complete because she’s missing two buttons–I bought all 4 they had at Jo-Ann and they’re still not back in stock yet.

Mods: The biggest mod was that I lengthened the sleeves to full length rather than 3/4 length. I used short row shoulder shaping with a three-needle bindoff on the shoulders and still am not convinced of its benefits. Added buttonholes every 14 rows (the pattern doesn’t specify) to end up with 6 buttonholes total. I also corrected the shoulder shaping–it seems to be reversed as written–and the basketweave stitch pattern, as noted in my initial post on this project/wrap-up post on Jess I.

Notes: This is the second time I’ve knit this jacket–I made one for my stepmom this spring, in a sage green color of the same yarn, and liked it so much I decided to make one for myself. The jacket fits really well despite the lack of shaping–I think because it’s pretty form-fitting and the simple knit/purl basketweave stitch stretches to accommodate. The full-length sleeves are kind of bell-shaped because I didn’t make them any narrower around the wrists when I lengthened them, but I think it looks nice enough. It doesn’t look that great unbuttoned, because the fabric is kind of floppy drapey; it’s really cozy and warm, but doesn’t offer much protection against cold wind if you are, say, riding your bike down a hill in November. I might knit with a slightly tighter gauge if I made this again in this yarn. It seems prone to stretching at this gauge; there were unseemly holes around the base of the neck where I picked up the collar, but I think I’ve mostly disguised them. See my other notes from Jess I and the project in progress here.

Verdict: I still love this jacket–what a great little pattern this is. I’m glad I made one for myself. It goes very quickly and makes excellent mindless knitting because of the size 11 needles, the knitting in pieces (each front was only 28 sts!), the lack of shaping, and the easy but interesting basketweave stitch pattern. It has so many pleasing little details–the turned hems, the slipped stitch edging, the buttonholes. You can see the slipped stitch edging, basketweave pattern, and seed stitch collar texture on this close-up.

Look at the cute buttons I found at Jo-Ann: they’re La Mode vintage triple flower buttons, circa 1941, model 1711, $2.99 per two.

Thanks for a great pattern, Anna, and thanks for a great deal on the yarn, Fulay!

Some bullet points today, because I feel like listing things:

  • Jess II: The Re-Jessening continues apace. I finished the back during my lunch break today. I tried short-row shoulder shaping for the first time and it seemed pretty good, except I had some issues with the short rows worked on the wrong side, and got all confused, and had to redo that side. It looks mostly OK now. For future reference (i.e. in a day or two, when I end up doing the the matching short row shoulder shaping for the front), I went and read nona’s short row tutorial again, and looked again at the lovely explanations on let me explaiKnit and knitty. And I looked, but to my surprise, there’s nothing about short rows on TECHknitting yet.
  • I wasn’t entirely sure if I should be trying to knit in pattern when I did the last row to knit up all the wraps. Perfectionists, avert your eyes–I think I ended up doing one side plain and the other side in pattern.
  • I am now 8.5″ into the left front. Hurray for size 11 needles!
  • I used a backwards loop cast-on for the back, and knitted on the cast on for the front. The back looks tidier from the inside, but I think I’ll use the knitted cast-on for the rest of the hems. It’s much less of a pain in the ass to knit into the cast-on row, and it’s harder to pick up and match the stitches to the live stitches when you’re knitting the hem up.
  • I love my ball winder. I’ve been winding all my skeins into double-stranded centerpull balls to avoid having to knit from two skeins (the first pair flopped around and got all tangled). And then, after I finished the back, I rewound my loose little heap of leftover yarn into a nice firm ball of merino/alpaca/silk goodness again.
  • I re-seamed the collar on Lara. It’s still not perfect, but the little blip of excess neckband is at least at the back of my neck now instead of hanging out at the side.
  • I received Knitty K8’s stitch markers in the mail–forgot if I mentioned that already. They’re pretty! I haven’t had a chance to use them yet.
  • I’m baking a dish from I’m baking a dish from Lindsay Bareham’s Supper Won’t Take Long right now, called “Brown Tom.” More here. It’s a lovely feeling to have a casserole baking in the oven, and know you’ll have a hot, savory dinner soon.

There. Done with listing off all kinds of boring stuff for my own benefit.