The Emma Jacket is a pattern from KnitPicks that I’ve been inspired to knit. There are a few reasons I chose this project. It uses more grafting, so I get more practice at a rather newly learned technique for me and it uses steeks, which is an entirely new area for me to explore.
Steeks are when you knit extra stitches in a row with the intention of cutting a vertical line between the middle stiches. So, after you knit to the amount desired, you secure the steek stitches in either one of three ways (hand sewing, machine sewing, or crocheting) on either side of the steek stitch that you are going to cut through. I used the crochet steeking method, because I don’t own a sewing machine and my hand knitting is terrible. The beautiful thing about steeking is that it leaves this clean straight edge to work with and makes things look more tailored and finished than having knitted and sewn seams. Yesterday, I cut my steek and if I had taken that bet with my coworker, I would have won 5 bucks, because the crocheted steeks held perfectly. If you want to see more about steeks, I suggest Eunny Jang’s Steeking Chronicles, she has a number of different methods you can use for steeking. After reading those chronicles, you have much more confidence about cutting into that labor of love you’ve been knitting.
Another technique that I chose to learn in this pattern, although it didn’t require this technique to complete this pattern is double knitting. I mentioned briefly in a previous post that I double knitted my sleeves. Quite frankly, I get second sock and second sleeve syndrome and I really detest knitting the same thing twice…it just makes things boring. I have never learned the magic loop method, but I have been quite intrigued over double knitting lately. So, what better time to learn than now? I used a tutorial over at Knitty that explained how to do double knitting and more importantly how to use the technique to knit two objects instead of one thick reversible stockinette object.
Here is what my sleeves looked like while knitting them:
Looks just like I only have one sleeve on the needle…tricky!
But, when I take a break and make sure I haven’t crossed any stitches (which I did cross stitches a couple of times, but still this was pretty good considering it was my first shot at this technique), this is what the “single” sleeve looks like.
The sleeve is over on the right and now you can see two sleeves with the same apex. On the left is the body of the jacket, before joining the sleeves and before steeking…one big tube!
So, the double knitting thing was pretty cool. I didn’t get my single sleeve syndrome and my knitting moved along. My next step on this Emma Jacket is to knit the lapels. Hopefully, that goes quickly, its seed stitch, so it won’t go as fast as stockinette would, but it will introduce an interesting texture into the garment and that was the part that attracted me the most about the look of this jacket. The second thing that attracted me to this jacket was the yarn…KnitPicks Shamrock. From a distance, this jacket will look dark brown in color, but when right up-close and personal, you’ll see specks of colors of blue, white, and orange. The yarn has a hand-dyed, color changing ply mixed in with the solid brown plies. So, it introduces an interesting dimension to the garment.
This pattern gave me quite a few headaches in the beginning and every step I encounter, I reread about 10 times before moving forward, just so I can avoid any headaches. So, if you plan to pursue this pattern, take note and read very carefully.