Wednesday, October 26, 2011
FO: Forest Fiesta Swirl Jacket
My biggest project of the late summer/fall so far. The book Knit, Swirl! has been a huge hit at Yarndogs since it came out. I knew right away I wanted to knit one but I waited until after Sock Summit to cast on. First, I tried Silk Garden Sock instead of Silk Garden Lite because I was in love with one of the colors. Robin from the shop did this and hers was gorgeous if a bit smaller than expected. It came out like a more typical jacket shape with smaller lapels that couldn't be worn as a hood. I already have 2 jackets with that silhouette, though. I really like the Baja hoodie surfer vibe with the hood. I promised myself this summer I'd take surfing lessons this fall, but moving got in the way of that. I plan on doing it next month, though! I'm already doing pushups to get ready. That's part of a whole 'nother blog post, though!
I swatched and got gauge with the SGS, but when I started the jacket it didn't stripe! Robin's colorway only had about 3 different colors in it, but mine had about 6, so my color runs were much shorter. I set aside the sock yarn (perhaps for Galia from Phatfiber's Madeira pattern) and bought some Silk Garden Lite. Stripes achieved! I'm really glad Noro brought back Silk Garden Lite, but there aren't that many good colors yet. I do like the one I used, but I might like it more without the brown. I always buy extra yarn when I'm dealing with Noro and care even the slightest bit about having the color sequence come out the same every repeat.
Shortened sleeves by 8 stitches either side. This may have been too much of a change, but I'm told they will continue to stretch out. The tutorial on how to cut off the cuffs if the sleeves end up too long spooked me a little. I decided to shorten the sleeves after I tried on Robin's first jacket and measured her sleeves but I forgot she didn't pleat her cuffs.
The pattern will tell you how many stitches per inch on the sleeve so you can make adjustments. It says to space out your changes along the length of the sleeve. I subtracted 1 or 2 stitches from each set of cast ons for the sleeve. You really don't want to change the number of the last set of cast ons, though! This is the number of cuff stitches and should be fixed. If you mess with it, there will be a stair step in the middle of your cuff that will look funny and be hard to seem. Write down whatever changes you make so you can do the same shaping in the bind offs at the end of the sleeve.
First, check the errata. Even for the 2nd edition. The only mistake in this pattern was in the chart, which I didn't use.
The row gauge on this is pretty hard to get, but really important. Knitting this was a little stressful. First, I was paranoid I might have twisted the CO when I joined it, then I was worried about it coming out big enough because of the row gauge and about the sleeve length. Because of the construction, you can't really try it on as you go. Basically I just went with my swatch and blocked the hell out of the finished sweater.
To get a jacket large enough to wear the collar as a hood, pick one size larger than you might otherwise choose from your measurements. At the beginning of the book, she says all the models fall into the range suggested for a size 1. The pattern info says the model is wearing a size 2 in the photo. I made a size 3. I didn't have any problems with the sleeves being too small. I tried on Robin's size 2 in the sock yarn and the sleeves were extremely tight in the upper arms.