Sunday, September 04, 2016
During the knitting of the dark pink tunic for my niece, it emerged that her brother would quite like a knitted jacket. We searched Ravelry for something he liked and found this gem, "Just Chill" by Amanda Woeger.
What a great pattern! All knit in one piece which I love, top down in the round with an interesting saddle shoulder construction, well explained. I was so happy with it, the knitting went really smoothly and I managed to play the gauge/size game just right (which is never a given, especially when knitting a worsted pattern with 8ply). With no ripping and reknitting it was all done bar the shouting - and by that I mean the zipper - in two weeks. And it was all finished and handed over before I went to New Zealand - so there has been plenty of cold weather for him to wear it.
Inserting a zipper for the first time was a bit daunting but Mum got involved and it went pretty smoothly, with a combination of hand and machine stitching. The only thing I wish I'd done differently was to stop the zipper a good bit lower than the top of the collar. The collar comes up quite high on his neck and the top of the zipper is scratchy, so he can't zip it right up. We had to shorten the zipper anyway - Mum showed me that you can make a new stopping point for the zipper by simply stitching many layers of thread between the (new) top two teeth. So we could have shortened it a tad more.
We had planned to use Bendigo Classic, but I was worried that he wouldn't wear it if it was at all scratchy around the neck. So I decided to substitute something much softer for the blue trim. I was lucky to find some Zara in the same bright blue he had already picked. A bit more expensive, but worth it. Classic is a robust crepe style wool. Normally I find it quite ok to knit with, if not luxurious, but it was just so unpleasant in this red colour. It kept wanting to split and unravel itself during the knitting, even though, strangely, the final fabric turned out quite ok.
More recently (post-NZ trip) I made this frog hat - "FROG - the good kind' by Deborah Tomasello. The name is a bit of a knitting joke because to "frog" is to rip out your knitting to correct a mistake or to pull it apart completely ("rip-it, rip-it"...etc) - often a sad decision.
This was a special request for someone who loves frogs and may be needing a chemo hat - so I used cotton to avoid any irritation and also avoid making it too hot for possible daily/indoor wear.
I used French knots for the eyes and duplicate stitches for the flies. The bulging three-dimensional eyes are a bit freaky looking when you see them side-on...but I think they work.
Wanna see the inside? To be honest, I did choose one of the tidier views here. All those French knots and flies were done with a single thread winding around the inside of the hat (also the white for the mouths) so that area is not so neat.