Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bianca's Jacket, a repeat

It has not been the best knitting weather here. It has been a bit hot, especially for Colorado, especially for 7,000 feet up in the mountains. I went to knitting group, but there was only one other knitter (plus the shop clerk) there. It was in the 80s and I understand if the other members thought it was too hot to knit!

Yesterday, I saw a squirrel walking across my patio, his cheeks bulging with something, and I wondered where he was going. I looked out the door to see if he had just jumped over the fence and left, but I found him sprawled in the shade, eating the bird seed he had raided from my feeder and stuffed in his cheeks. I guess it was just too hot in the yard to eat there.

It is summer. In honor of that, I've decided to have a summer repeat. I knitted Bianca's Jacket last year, but since that was before I had this blog, I haven't discussed it here.

I did post this picture a few entries back, which prompted some to ask for more views. I'll oblige in this post, and start with the basics: the pattern appeared in the Fall '06 issue of Interweave Knits. I used 4 hanks of Artful Yarns Fable which I had in my stash. I had bought this yarn in a yarn shop in Fort Walton Beach the summer before, and finally decided it might be enough for this short, lace-yoked jacket. I really liked the Fable, especially in the golden-brown/green/teal colorway. I thought 4 hanks, with nearly 200 yards in a hank, would be enough for a crocheted tank top. It would have been, but I began knitting, and my choice of pattern changed accordingly. I looked at patterns for months before finding Bianca's Jacket and deciding

I would have enough yarn for it.  It was enough yarn, but barely enough--I had to go with 3/4 length sleeves instead of the long sleeves the pattern has. Actually, they end just past my elbow. I puzzled a bit about the length. As I read the pattern, the lack of shaping and the lace cuff would produce a bell-shaped sleeve. I didn't want a bell-shaped sleeve. I thought if I ended it at the elbow, the lack of shaping wouldn't matter. It is simply a straight sleeve, with a lace cuff.

The yoke and the shaping in the bodice work out well in the Fable, which has enough silk in it to enhance the drape. The pattern was written for 100% silk yarn. Fable is mostly cotton, with 15% silk. Despite the difference in fiber, it works well for this pattern. It was the right gauge, but I was in between sizes and decided to cast on for the smallest size to save yarn. Due to the stretchiness of the lace pattern, it does fit.

I wore this little jacket over a long sleeved shirt on the second day of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I didn't wear it to show it off. I really hadn't planned to wear any of my handknits to the festival--I was intimidated by the presence of tens of thousands of knitters. The thought of allowing them to see my knitting, to judge my knitting, was not appealing. However, it turned so cold, I was forced to layer whatever bits of clothing I had brought in order to keep warm. I was glad, in the end. I received compliment after compliment on it, from the woman who stopped her car in the parking area to tell me she knit it at the beach the summer before, to the exhibitor who asked me if I designed it. I'm proud of my little jacket. You see, my knitting ocasionally produces a wearable item. Not often, but sometimes.

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Patricia said...

Love, love, love that jacket. Its definitely going into my knit queue. Very nice on you. That squirrel looks absolutely blissful. You must be feeding some primo bird food.

Renée said...

Wow! That jacket is stunning. You should be totally proud of yourself! I have enjoyed reading your blog btw. Thanks!

Kathy said...

It's a lovely jacket. I actually prefer 3/4 sleeves so probably would have done the same thing. If I had enough yarn for the pattern, I probably would lengthen the torso over making sleeves the proper length.

I've never seen a squirrel in that position.

Julie McC. said...

I'm with you. On the original, the sleeves are bell-shaped and the garter-stitch border is narrower.

That said, I like yours better. Much better.

vlb5757 said...

It's a very cute jacket. See other knitters have great taste too. 80s are hot? lol! I am sweating like crazy here in VA at 95. I would love 80s!

The squirrel had the right idea. My female doxie lays like that right after being in the hot back yard. She comes in and throws herself on the cold tile. Cracks me up.

Jennifer said...

I'm new to your blog so I've got a lot of catching up to do. First, I love the sweater and I'm impressed that you could do it with so little yarn. Second, there's a Grey's Anatomy KAL?! Can I rewatch the previous seasons and keep my needles going??Lastly, amazed and totally wowed by your spreadsheet. The ebb and flow of my stash is too dynamic to spend that much time tracking but you are my hero (you're very brave to track the spending too -- mine might equal more than the food budget for a small nation I'm afraid).Thanks so much for all the inspiration.

Michelle said...

You should be proud. It's a beautiful sweater. I'm glad you got so many compliments on it. That always up's my confidence on wearing any of my handknits. :D

Kilroy_60 said...

I love the ever so lifelike squirrel you knitted. 8-)

You do great work and your blog showcases it nicely.


WandaWoman said...

I'm thinking of knitting this jacket too. It is gorgeous. I do like the yarn you chose to use with it too. Very nice.