all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Knitted jacket

DSCN2195My first ever adult garment knitted by following a pattern!

My quest for slower sewing has brought me to knitting. I was never a great knitter in the past. My teenage repertoire was limited to scarves and the ocassional set of baby booties, but I never attempted anything as large as this.

Back in September I bought a knitting magazine with some free wool and needles and did this :-

First knittingA bit of knit, a bit of purl, some increasing and some decreasing.

I also made these from a kit purchased at the WI Centennial Fair, where I deliberately set out to find myself something to make other than from fabric and using a sewing machine, or should that be ‘as well as’ something to make from fabric etc! See here.

Wrist warmerNeedless to say, there are two of them. knitted in the round using a magic loop. But apart from working out how to create the thumb hole in a tidy fashion, it wasn’t difficult knitting. In fact, I have made four altogether.

So then I embarked on the jacket above. I’m wearing it right now. It is my central heating on a winter’s afternoon, although its going to take quite a while to save the cost of the wool in heating bills.

It is Rico creative twist super chunky jacket; pattern, wool and some advice, all from Guthrie Ghani. I bought the wool at the SewBrum event of 30th October and completed the garment a month later. Obviously super chunky grows quickly which is why I selected this weight of wool.

Everyone that that I spoke to (except a magazine article that I read) advised to use the wool as recommended by the pattern, thus ensuring that it knitted up as designed. That made the cost of the jacket round about £60 (with SewBrum discount) and of course I had to purchase needles, stitch holders, stitch markers and wool needles as the need arose. So the whole thing probably cost more than something similar in the shops.

After much debate I opted to add a loop and button, although it took me while to work out the best way of creating a loop and attaching it to the front. Eventually all I did was to wind two strands of wool together whilst anchoring them to the edge of the front, winding the wool round the button as I did so.

DSCN2201

I have also knitted quite a big size, based on body measurements, and in all but one respect I am happy with the size – but, the sleeves are very wide. So wide that they will not comfortably fit under my new raincoat, and if they wont fit under that, then they probably wont fit under any coat. Hence, it becomes either an indoor jacket for cold days, or an outdoor jacket for dry autumn and spring days – and that’s when the loop and button will be of use.

Of course I have learnt many lessons, so for any novice knitters reading, here are a few of them:

  • I made notes – not many, as most of the knitting is basically ‘knit until it’s 60 cm long’ or whatever, but this is a particularly useful lesson for my next knit…….
  • I did a tension check square and was happy with the results.
  • I am using bamboo needles as I had read that they lead to more even knitting, and are less slippy when the needles are quite full.
  • I think in every case when I needed to change needles, I did it in the wrong place. At a distance it hasn’t really made much difference, but I think if I look closely, I can see where I changed. I’m not sure how to fix this in future, as I have done exactly the same at the start of my next knit. Any advice gratefully received.
  • I made a mistake somewhere on the back and ended up with too many stitches on the needle, but as I had no idea where I had made the mistake, I just carried on and cast off.
  • DSCN2187But then I had to pick up stitches round the neck and wasn’t sure whether to pick up the number specified in the pattern, or pick up each cast off stitch. This is where advice at Guthrie Ghani comes in, because both the assistant and a shopper agreed that I should pick up as per the design, noting that knitting can be forgiving of some mistakes. So….
  • DSCN2196The finished back looks OK and I quite like the slight fault in the wool mid back, as it makes my jacket more unique than it would otherwise have been!
  • It would be almost impossible to unpick sewn up seams…. Now that is an important lesson for a sewer, as I guess we are all quite fond of our unpickers. At one point I thought I had stitched the shoulder seams in the wrong place. Luckily when I hung the whole thing on my dress form, it looked OK, but by that time I had given up any hope of unpicking.
  • There is mention of the use of pins, but with super chunky wool, don’t even think about it. Get some stitch markers are use them in the same way.
  • And a final note to other novices – use YouTube. I also have a small Basic Course in Knitting book, and have referred to both from time to time, especially when I first started the magic loop work. In this make I used it to work out how to re-join wool (so simple, it’s amazing anyone bothered to put anything on YouTube), and about picking up stitches. Don’t be afraid. The process is quite forgiving, and can be used to hide stitch count errors!

Thanks for reading this, and watch out for the next piece of knitting. It’s equally as expensive, and also started on the wrong sized needles!!

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2015 by in Fashion, Jackets, Jumpers, Knitting, Novice knitting, Rico, Super chunky and tagged , , , , , , , .
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