I've finished the Adrienne Vittadini sweater jacket, a few weeks back now and am working on another in a different color. For quite awhile now, I've lusted after this Michael Kors sweater coat:
Originally, I'd decided to sew a version of it in ponte or doubleknit fabric, but now that I'm getting my fingers back into handknitting, I'm going to knit a version instead.
I can't get the picture any larger that that (sorry
), but here's a link to the page:
Youngest DD is going to buy her Mom the yarn for the project as a Christmas gift (yippee!!!) so I'm really excited about that. I went to JA's to peruse the yarn choices, came out with two, and have decided to check back with the independent yarn shop that I initially tried to purchase from for the AV sweater.
Last night, I sat down and figured out how I'm gonna knit this thing up, as best I could.
First, I had to decide what kind of sweater this is. To my mind, it's a basic cardigan, just lengthened, with a hood and center placket. Nice design. OK, now for a basic design cardigan that I can work with. I went on several free knitting pattern websites, didn't really find anything and then had a thought: "why not check and see if you already have something suitable that you can use?"
Well, I do have a basic sweater pattern, my first knitting project, as a matter of fact, but couldn't find it. Doncha just hate when that happens?
Anyway, I did come across one that I'd totally forgotten about, a pattern by Ann Norling; called "The Big Cardigan". She very kindly worked this three variation pattern up in four different gauges, and I thank her for that!
Because, I'd decided that I was going to figure out the gauge myself, and just use the pattern as a guide for when to do the armhole and neck shaping, more or less. I started knitting a swatch with one of the JA skeins, and to my surprise, found that it matched one of the gauges she features for her sweater! Super!
Now to figure out how to mimic (add) the MK design details.
Looking at the front, it seemed to me that the center front of the jacket falls in the middle of the placket. So, I drew the front of the jacket, and on the same piece of paper, drew out a four inch wide line, to see if that width would work. It didn't, and I decided that a three inch wide placket would look better. Ok. Check.
Then, I looked at the ribbing at the hem of the sweater. How deep should it be? Again, I drew out different
depths, and decided on a four inch ribbing. Great. I enlarged the MK picture, and counted the ribs, but that didn't really help or matter. From what I can see, the rib is 2x2, and it looks pretty nice. I've done a 3x3 sample, and it looks more like the "welt ribbing" for the pocket, so I'll use the 3x3 for that. I counted how many ribs are used on the MK sweater for the welt, but I don't want that many on mine, and held up the sample I'd knitted, and decided on less.
I decided to knit the sweater in the large size, and found that I'll need to cast on eighty stitches initially. Cool. Then, using her gauge, figured out how many stitches I'll need to make the placket, and subtracted that from the eighty she calls for. Check. So far, so good. (Keeping my
knitting needles crossed at this point.
Now for the hood. I'll be knitting the two halves separately, so I needed to first find out how many stitches there will be combining both neck fronts and the neck back. I did that, and divided that number in half. I'll either find a hood pattern, or just dig out a sewing pattern piece for a hood, and by increasing on the back of the hood, try and mimic the sewing pattern piece. (Make sense?)
The sweater back is pretty straightforward, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
As for the extra length (the Ann Norling pattern is hip length, in two of her versions), I've figured on an extra four or five inches to the body of the jacket, not including the ribbing at the hem, so I'll just guesstimate how many extra skeins I'll need, and for the hood, as well.
The sleeve cuff looks to be folded at the wrist, and I've decided on a five inch cuff using the same 2x2 rib as for the hem.
Well, I'm going to finish up a Christmas sweater that has been languishing for (ahem
) two years now for a dear male cousin. I figure on really starting on the MK sweater after Christmas, if all goes well.
Wish me luck.
forgot to mention: while sticking my nose two inches from my computer screen, it looked to me like the body of the MK sweater was knit in something other than stockinette stitch. Maybe a 1x1 rib? I knitted that, and while it does look more like the MK sweater, I've decided that it would be a pain to try and figure out how much extra I'd need. So, stockinette stitch it is. I like the way it looks, anyway.
I will be knitting the plackets in the 1x1 rib, btw, I'll just cast on more stitches and adjust according to how wide I want them.etc: image size code to a larger one