Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sleepy Hollow Sweater Coat

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The sweater coat is done, and I love it.  Want to see?  Well, good luck.

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I thought to take the camera to the woods, thinking this thing would look so nice against the last of the yellow maple leaves, but events conspired against success.  A few headlines:  Overly enthusiastic dog yanks at leash trying to maximize sniffing experience.  Jeans pocket flap creates unsightly bulge at backside, which shows through knitted garment.  Dark brown yarn absorbs all available light. 

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Husband takes sixty-eight photos of woods, leaves, dog, me, and himself, instead of the sweater. 

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I fail to remember to remove scarf so collar and yoke are even visible.

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Dog continues to drag me through the woods in pursuit of something elusive.

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It started to rain.

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Which did make for a fairly spooky woods walk, with moody, mossy fallen trees and all gray in the distance.  This spot always makes me think of Sleepy Hollow.  I paused for a moment, and the dog sat with the most quivering reluctance.  She was coiled.  She was ready to lunge. 

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I worked this sweater from the bottom up, knitting the body and sleeves separately and then joining them together at for the yoke.  The construction is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s yoke sweater recipe, instructions for which can be found in her book Knitting Without Tears  and which is so simple you wouldn’t believe it.  When the yoke was finished, I worked a short shawl collar by knitting extensions on twenty or so stitches at both front edges until the length of each reached to the center of the back neck.  I grafted the ends together and sewed the long edges to the top of the collar opening. 

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Then, I lined the coat with a piece of really pretty taupe and white polka-dot silk from the stash.  This took several tries, and I picked out quite a few seams before getting it right, but essentially, all I did was trace the blocked sweater and create a pattern from that, adding a gusset at each armhole to allow for comfort and movement. 

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I sewed fifteen buttonholes.  By hand. 

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I am so thrilled with this coat.  It is roomy and cozy and woodsy.  The big cuffs turned out just right. 

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The experimental collar turned out just right, too, although it took me seven (seven!) tries to get there. 

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I used seven skeins of Cascade 220 in some kind of heathered raw umber color, on US 7 needles.  It took ages.  It was pretty worth it.  I wish you could see it.

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