Emma Jacket

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:

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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.

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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.

Bob Dobbs Vest Completed!

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Pattern: Bob Dobbs Vest
Book: DomiKNITrix
Yarn: 3 balls of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Charcoal and 1 ball in Snow, 50% Cotton/50% Acrylic
Gauge: 18 sts, 24 rows = 4 inches
Needles: US 8 24″ circulars
Modifications: Used this skull chart instead of the Bob Dobbs Chart or the Skull Chart in the book…per Mikey’s request.

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Up-close shot of the duplicate stitched skull.If I can get him to model it, I will post a picture on one of the Finished Projects pages. It will only be a matter of time…its starting to get cold in Cali!

Knitting Update

I finally finished Mikey’s Bob Dobbs Sweater (with a skull pattern instead of Bob). I will be posting a picture as soon as it is washed and dried…which should not be such a feat since I can stick it in a machine!

I finished my Spiral Doily from yarnover.net. Its been washed, blocked and doing its job on top of our end table for about a week. I even took a picture, which I will post this weekend with details of the adventure it was, if it kills me.

And now, instead of finishing that second Red Sox sock, I of course picked up another project on my “Future Projects” List. The Emma Jacket from Knit Picks. I am about 65% done with it now, which means I post entirely too slowly for my knitting. Or it means I don’t post enough. But, I do have some beef with this pattern…it only cost me 1.99 for it, so I probably shouldn’t have any gripes…but, it isn’t very clearly written and it took a lot of time on my part to figure out what I was supposed to do, when I was supposed to do it and how the outcome of it would be.

Of course it helped when I figured it was being knit from the bottom up…with every other seamless sweater I’ve knitted, its been top down…had to switch modes there. Once I figured that out it was almost smooth sailing. Then I had to find out on my own after increasing for 2 inches I had to add the first short row, then after I had knit 4 inches total I needed to add the second short row…all the while increasing. Then after I had knitted and increased 6.5 inches of fabric, I was to put the increasing on hold while I did the waist shaping. Then continue on with the increasing until I was done with the increasing.

I started out increasing to the total stitches I needed, then doing short rows and then having a big ‘?’ mark on my face when I got to waist shaping and yeah…total confusion ensued! After some creative math, that took about half a day to do, I figured out how I should have knit it, ripped back almost all the way for the third time (third times a charm) and knit it correctly. What could have prevented this big confusion folks? A simple sentence, something to this affect:

Continue with next steps of the pattern (short rows, etc.) while alternating knit and increase rounds until you have reached the Total Number of Body Stitches.

Would have had that magic light bulb light up in my head if that sentence was there instead of:

Alternate knit and increase rounds until you have reached the Total Number of Body Stitches.

Followed by the instructions for short rows.

Sleeves were uneventful, except for the fact that I decided to venture out and knit both sleeves at the same time, its kind of like double knitting without crossing the yarn to bring the fabric together. So, instead of having a thick sleeve, I have two sleeves knitted at once. You can find a great tutorial in this Knitty article that explains how to do that, thus ending second sock and second sleeve syndrome:

Extreme Knitting: 2 Socks in 1

Pictures were taken of that also and I will be posting about this in a more detailed post this weekend as well.

After the Emma Jacket, its off to do either Snow White or the Gray Flannel bag from “Pursenalities.” Two projects that I am extremely excited to dive into after this jacket is finished. I must say though despite all the beef, this jacket is turning out nicely so far.

Shocker, Isn't it?!

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