I’m a little sad that I’m not going to be able to finish my baby sweater pattern for the Sept. 15th deadline for Knitty submissions. The next one will be for spring, which I don’t think a black sweater is quite the appropriate design for (I know that the colour is immaterial in other people making it, but magazines have to be based on what I’ve made!). Magknits might just win this contest! Not that (a) they aren’t already deluged with baby patterns, and (b) black is really, really hard to get proper photos of (which would make it bad form for them to publish!), so this one may end up self-published in any case.
So, while my brain is stewing in the middle of gauge questions and how to properly size things up while keeping the spirit of the design the same, I decided to play around with someone else’s pattern (a 60’s jacket from one of the vintage pattern books I posted earlier, to be exact)!
I didn’t start out that way – this was going to be a match-the-pattern-to-the-yarn, and try-not-to-start-knitting-before-I-finish-something-else. When along the way:
1. turns out it’s the crochet jacket I liked best (first time in a while that I liked the look of crochet in a garment!) – my crochet skills aren’t nearly where my knit ones are!
2. turns out that even though one of the other jackets was made with bulky yarn, this one is a sport-weight version. I still like the idea of a black bulky short jacket.
3. swatch. get up to the largest size crochet hook I have (6.5mm – says US K10.5 on it), which gives a fairly dense fabric with some flexability – ok.
(still have to decide whether I want to pull off every bit of white fluff attached to the yarn, or whether I’ll leave it in and call the end result “heathered”)
3b. look – I found the perfect buttons at Value Village! Possibly even from the same era!
4. now I find myself facing the uphill task of figuring out whether I have enough yarn. well, this part happened fairly late in the evening, when my tendancy to hyperfocus is at it’s greatest – so, really, there was no stopping me:
– measure swatch for area and weight, figure out I’m using 0.714g/square inch (don’t mind my mixing US and metric!)
– weigh total yarn stash (650g)
– figure out I can crochet up to about 910 square inches with that yarn
Now the next part would have been easy peasy with a good schematic, but apparently they didn’t believe in ANY schematics, so I had to add a couple of steps:
– take the stitch and row counts for each piece, translate them into dimensions using the gauge given for the pattern
– figure out the area of each piece (roughly – mostly it was rectangles and triangles anyway)
– come up with 1070 sq in for the small (would have given me 2″ ease), or 1,190 for the other size (meant for my size – 6″ ease) Oops.
5. now the playing begins…
a) the collar is doubled, which I don’t think is a good idea for bulky yarn – that gives me another 72 sq in to play with right off the bat. Could also do the collar and mock pocket flaps in a contrasting, or just different black, yarn (160 sq in).
b) start playing with the lengths
This is about how the original would look like – although I think I only guestimated 4″ of ease here – it’s really hard to add that properly on a croquis!
Same sleeves, but shorter length.
Shortened the sleeves too. I like the proportions best on this one – but trying to figure out if I’ll wear a 3/4 length sleeve, short, bulky, black 60’s style jacket. Hey, it’s cute at least! I wonder if the Endpaper Mitts are long enough to go under those sleeves?
And it did distract me from the baby sweater disappointment for a day.
Now to make myself hold off at least until I’m done Arwen, and have brought Durrow out to see the light of day (it’s been sent to live under the couch for a few months, because of a gauge hiccup – one sleeve is 1″ longer than the other because I loosened up – am trying to decide whether to reknit the whole sleeve, or whether raglan+DH’s not-so-neat way of wearing sweaters = you won’t be able to tell anyway…). Sigh. The new things are always so much more exciting.
(ps – haven’t forgotten about the sock pattern – it’s about halfway done too!)