Now that winter is here, I need a casual-wear coat. Something that will keep me warm and toasty and look nice worn with jeans. Without making me look like the size of a house.
I’ve been looking for the right pattern for a while…
I’d seen a lot of promising patterns, but when researched on Ravelry, immediately discounted them because seen on a real person, they suddenly didn’t look quite as nice.
I’d seen some gorgeous knitted designs in the shops. But they’re acrylic, and besides, buying one is not the point.
Now factor in the weather. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, I suspect your next winter will be wet, wet and mild. If it’s anything like our winter so far. It’s all a bit ‘bleh’ and hasn’t inspired any serious coat knitting efforts to date.
Also, since moving to a much warmer house, I’m finding to my disappointment that I’m not able to wear my thick jumpers much. I’m practically living in my Slanting Gretel Tee – it’s just the right thing. Looking at it another way, I guess this is a good reason for a coat – because I do need slightly more coverage outdoors, even if my tee is keeping me warm enough inside.
I had originally decided on Anise, a beautiful free jacket pattern from Rowan. However, on account of the fact that it is less than flattering on most real people I’ve seen it on, I’m really not sure. There’s a small problem with the ahem, bust area looking unusually prominent if you aren’t of very slim body shape. Besides, Big Wool in New Zealand is prohibitively expensive.
Then last night, leafing through the folder of patterns I had printed off over the years and filed away, with intentions to knit them at some point, I came across DROPS’ jacket pattern 109-8. It bears a remarkable similarity to Anise (they both have a moss stitch bodice, a garter stitch “waist” and a stocking stitch skirt). But looking at versions of the knitted project on Ravelry, I notice that it suits most body shapes very well.
I think I’ve found what I’m looking for. The best thing about DROPS is that their yarn is also very reasonable. Given the weak Sterling at the moment, I am able to buy the Eskimo yarn mentioned in the pattern, and pay for international airmail postage, for just NZ$100, from Scandinavian Knitting Design‘s website.
On the other hand, I’m also thinking it would be very nice knitted in Zealana’s Tui. I think the yarn will just fit the purpose (specified tension is 11st per 4cm). I’m still eyeing up the Red Pepper colour. A nice red coat would be very cheery for the middle of winter…
I think I will do an experiment. I’m going to knit Anise in the The Wool Company’s Spun Sliver. It’s exactly the same suggested tension as Big Wool, but it might be a bit heavier, and obviously not as sophisticated in spin. Big Wool is lofty, whereas the sliver is a single spun that really should be further spun into a finer yarn… but it is fine for chunky knits too. At $30 per kg, I have nothing to lose! It’s a quick knit – if the coat doesn’t turn out well, I won’t have wasted too much effort.
I will also think about the Zealana Tui for DROPS 109-8. I can already see visions of myself in it … and hear my daughter saying “Bad Mummy! You have enough yarn!!”… Hehe. Not that it’s stopped me before…