Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fairy Tale Jacket

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After waiting three days for the rain to clear so I could photograph this sweater (what, is this Seattle or something?) I gave up and trudged helplessly into the gloom with the camera.  Such flat, gray light.  Which, it turns out, is adding considerably to the already ethereal quality of the project.  It is sucking all the color out of things, but in rather a dreamy way, and I’m a little bit okay with it.

The decision to re-knit the mistake sleeve was the right one.  It hurt at the time, oh yes, but I’m glad I did it.  This design is such an elaborate confection of elements, such a riot of things to do and stuff to look at.   From a technical standpoint, there’s a bit of a challenge in the contrast between the two fabrics.  The knitted parts are very soft and drape-y, and the crocheted bodice feels, by comparison, a bit dense and thick, so making the sleeves fit nicely in the armholes required some thinking.  In the original, Sidsel joined the squares as she went, which goes a long way toward ameliorating the typically firm qualities of granny square crochet.  I decided to join the squares by crocheting them together on the wrong side, and the result is quite sturdy, but I think it all drapes together very nicely.  It’s in the blocking, friends.  It’s all in the blocking.   

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Goodness, I love it.  It’s like Sgt. Pepper Joins the Circus.  Or Sgt. Pepper Gets a Package From His Mom.   Or Sgt. Pepper Falls Asleep in a Room Full of Industrious Elves.   (There’s a collection of short stories in here somewhere.  A future children’s holiday classic, I’m pretty sure.  Feel free to take this idea and run with it.) 

As I’ve said before, this pattern is only available in Norwegian, and I think only in hard/print copy as well, which is why I undertook the challenge of trying to adapt it on my own.  I simply applied what knowledge I have accumulated in the course of my lifetime of knitting and crocheting, and built a garment based on Sidsel’s brilliant and beautiful design.  She tells me she hopes to include this pattern in a forthcoming book, which will (fingers crossed) possibly be published in English.  Let us all hope very hard!  If it happens to be published in a way I can get my hands on, I can tell you my closet will shortly thereafter be bursting with color.  Have a look at her website, even if you can’t read Norwegian.  So inspiring. 

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Doesn’t that just look fantastic?  This should be the cover shot for my imaginary upcoming album “a Cozy Northwoods Christmas” with eight-piece all-elf backing band, and featuring me on the autoharp.  Songs include “It Must Be Snowing Somewhere” and “Is That the Last Piece of Kuchen?”  (Who am I kidding?  I can’t stop knitting long enough to do that.  You should, though.  Another free idea, if you want it.)

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I used Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Oatmeal (this comes in huge skeins, and I used two) on a US 7 needle for the knitted parts, and worsted weight scraps in a whole bunch of unidentifiable colors and yarns on a US F hook for the crocheted parts. 

I’d like to wear this over a knee-length jersey dress, with cabled tights and red clogs. That is so cozy.