Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Mar 4, 2007

Round Trip Jacket #2, Lace UFO, Freeform Challenge

As promised, here are pictures of the second Round Trip Jacket I made, colors came out a bit light. This is Noro Iro #40.

This one took me about 6 days. I used #11 needles and it took about 5.75 skeins of Iro. It would definitely take quite a bit longer if you make it in a finer yarn than Iro.
The pattern is from the Fall 2003 Knitter's magazine (#72).

It has also been reprinted in the book Jackets for Work and Play from the Best of Knitter's series of books:

Here are, in no particular order, for those of you who are embarking on this round trip, some of the things you might want to know about my experience with the pattern.

1. There are two sets of directions - one for using a medium weight yarn like Silk Garden or Kureyon, and one using a bulky yarn. The one for the bulky yarn is pictured in a solid color and has garter-ridged sleeves. I didn't like those sleeves and chose to omit the garter ridges and do the sleeves in plain stockinette.

I did not try to match sides, cuffs, etc., but allowed the colors to fall where they would, depending on serendipity to achieve a pleasing, if unmatched, effect. I just don't care. I LIKE it that one of my cuffs is gray and one is greeny-black. To try to match Noro colors you have to use more of the (expensive) yarn and it slows down the knitting and turns it into a unpleasant chore requiring some calculating. And Noro does not help with any of that - every skein is different in some way.

2. Directions call for "invisible cast-on"(provisional) throughout. It is essential to use that for the very first cast-on of the back panel, because you will be needing those live stitches to attach the band as you work it.
In the other places where you will be casting-on, at the beginning of the band and at the beginning of the cuffs, the eventual use for those live stitches will be to join the band and cuffs with 3-needle bind-off. I didn't like that join (maybe it was the Iro, maybe it was my ineptness) so I just cast-on and cast off as I usually do and sewed the pieces at those joins.

3. When you are attaching the band and cuffs (as you work them) to the live stitches on the back piece and the sleeves, the directions call for joining with an SSK. This will leave a bumpy ridge. It actually looks okay with the Iro, since it's kind of a bumpy, lightly spun singles. Most people in the Knit-Along chose to do the join with a K2tog, which leaves the bump on the inside of the jacket. I did this with the above jacket and did like it better.
Cautionary note: When doing the cuffs, they are joined with a SSSK or a K3tog! Lots of people started those cuffs thinking it would be the same as joining the band to the back piece.

4. Those sleeves -- if you look carefully at the pattern pictures and some other pictures at Knitter's - you will see that they are really more a 3/4 sleeve. With only one exception, everyone in the KAL chose to make the sleeves longer. I added 10 rows to mine.

5. This jacket is really a sort of jacket-shrug hybrid, hence those short sleeves. I think some people were a little disappointed with it, wanting it to be more of a jackety-jacket. They wanted it to close better,or they thought it too short or that the gorgeous rounded band should be re-designed for a squared-off front band effect.

For me, this is absolutely my kind of clothing and I love that rounded band -- I made a large size in a bulky yarn, so it turned out longer than the others' jackets. I don't really like a front closure, so that was not an issue for me. I have to say, though, in wearing, this does have a tendency to slip at the shoulders, so I've thinking about creating some kind of shawl pin that's more like a frog, that I will place closer to the neck, rather than in the middle where most people pin it together.

6. Finally, though this is a pretty casual item of clothing, and dramatically whimsical (people will stare, the curious will ask all kinds of questions about it ) when made in Noro yarns, there was one knitter in our group who made one that would definitely be considered dressy. She used a Blue Heron cotton ribbon yarn. It was drapey and lovely. Right now she's making a short-sleeved blouse of the same yarn to wear under the jacket. It will definitely be an elegant twin-set.

If you do make this jacket, I hope you enjoy the making and wearing as much as I did and do!!


In addition to the zillion things I'm committed to doing right now, I'm trying to spend a little time clearing up the UFO situation. This is a lace scarf/stole I started two years ago at least. I'm using some Twinkletoes hand-dyed sock yarn from Over the Rainbow and size 8 needles. It's really close to being finished, in fact I think I'm just going to bind it off!

The pattern is from the book A Creative Guide to Knitted Lace by Jan Eaton. Looks like it's OP now and only available from used book shops. I don't know if it will wind up being one of those scarce, pricey OP knitting books -it's a rather basic guide-but there aren't too very many out there and some of the prices are already twice the original $12.95. The "look-inside (tm)" feature is available on that link to Amazon, so you can check out the index and table of contents to see if it's something you might want to buy.

2007 FreeForm Challenge

I'm happy to report that I did finish all the pieces for the 2007 International Freeform Challenge and have sent the pictures off to Myra for the online exhibition. Soon I will send off the pieces themselves and they will get to be on display with the whole group's offerings at the freeform booth at (I think) the two Crochet Guild of America conferences this year.

Of course, I can't post the pictures here because we want the online exhibit to be a wonderful surprise, but here is the yarn I chose to work with for the last element I did, Air.

This was a fun project -- I learned quite a bit while doing it. The deadline has been extended several times and right now, it's been extended by an additional two weeks. So, if you like to scrumble and want to contribute, you still have time. You do not have to do all the elements and the 3-D ornament. You can participate with just one piece!

Upcoming Workshops

Well, I've enjoyed making this post today. I have to get back to work on the triloom weaving as I am again invited to do a workshop. This time, John and I will work together on the whole workshop as one day-long event. Last time, we separated the two. But I was SO glad he stayed for mine and intuitively knew just where he could jump in to help.

This time I can return the favor by helping where needed as he does the nuts-and-bolts of getting people started with the trilooms. It will also be good to integrate the two, so that people might be able to finish one of the small projects I've designed by starting the weaving for it in the morning session.

I am also part of a committee at a wonderful new integrative health center here, The Maple Center. I will write more of this later, but the committee is creating a daylong workshop about using the arts as healing tools for grief and loss.

I have thought long and hard about what I want to do as a service in memory of Patrick. While it might seem logical to work on issues of addiction and drug abuse, the fact is that I cannot bear to have that in my life. Going through what we went through as Patrick struggled with addiction was devastating and traumatic. Right now, just writing this and thinking about it, tears are welling in my eyes...

So, it came to me that my service in my son's name shall be to those suffering loss, particularly the loss of a child, but loss is loss. I want to share how I have chosen to answer the destruction and loss in my life with creation and love. I want to share how art has moved me through some of the worst, most despondent moments I've ever experienced.

This opportunity to work with a number of professionals at the Maple Center comes about because of the other tragedy in our congregation - the death of Lydia Laska, who was just 22 when she died this past December. Donations made in her name will be used to fund this workshop. I will be working on one of the sessions with Lydia's mother, Cathie, who is an art teacher, painter and weaver.
Peace, love,

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At 3/5/07, 12:20 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

Your creations are beautiful! The grief healing work sounds like an excellent path to pursue. I just have Water to make for the FF Challenge, and then my 3D object. I have found it to be really fun, too! Can't wait to see them all.


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