the Christmas jacket [part 1]

Finally, my first post (and finished project) of 2014!  I’ve been busy since the last post on December 31 completing a test for a jacket through the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry.  (I don’t seem to post when I am in the middle of something – I see that as time I could knit 😉 )  I had to ask for an extension on the deadline a couple of times, but as of Friday, I am officially done knitting!  Hooray!  It’s a great time to be done, as it’s very chilly here right now.

Briargate Jacket by N. Totten | Knit Picks Swish DK (100% superwash merino wool; 123y per 50g skein) color Lava Heather: 16 skeins (1899y/772g used)

I started on November 20, when the yarn finally came in the mail.  And finishing January 17 means I completed an entire jacket in 59 days!  I never thought I would be able to knit such a large project so fast.  My green sweater (see “choose wisely” parts 1 &2 ) took me over a year and a half – my argument is that it got so boring in stockinette stitch.  Yet, this jacket was knit with smaller needles than the green sweater!

The jacket took 69 hours and 30 minutes to knit, seam, and weave in tails.

I used US #4 and DK weight yarn.  I learned many new techniques, including buttonholes, sewing in set-in sleeves (and what to do when the sleeve cap vs. the armhole didn’t match well), lined pockets, sewing shank buttons, a collar, and planning ahead to make even increases to match the textured stitches of the sweater.

3/4″ shank buttons purchased from Wal-Mart – a large discount store! No fun yarn or button stores around here…

I managed to keep the jacket a secret until Christmas day, as it was a present to my mom from me – and my sister, as she paid for the yarn.  The body was done that day, so luckily I had something ready to gift to my mom (and also from my sister!).  Now I just have to convince my mom to not wear it too much, as I will be entering this in the state fair this summer.

Christmas Day: Lots of tails to weave in, and pocket and collar finishing was not done yet! But, I had something to show for my work.

I referred to The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques, by Nancie Wiseman, for help sewing down the pocket linings and an idea of how to ease the body to the sleeves.  This wasn’t the first time I referred to that book while working on a project!  Check out my project page on Ravelry to see some other photos and details.

As soon as the pattern is released for sale, I will let you know.

Check back later this week and next for (hopefully) helpful how-to posts about my pocket lining and armhole seaming techniques!


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