Baby Steps are For Babies *

I was dazzled by this book many moons ago when I first saw it, and I just had to have it. I had never done any modular knitting before, but the jacket on the cover and a number of the other projects just called to me. Reading the book, I came to the suggestion that you start with the first project in the book, the Ojo de Dios vest -- a simple project made of squares joined simply in lines -- just to get your head and hands around the techniques involved. Problem is, I could never see myself or anyone I gift wearing the vest. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not something I see myself wearing. What I WANT is the jacket on the cover.

And here is the limit of my process-knitter status. I know a pure process knitter would have made the vest just for the experience and not worried if it ever got worn. While I love the idea of learning and experimenting with new techniques, I need to know that the final product will be used by someone.

So I dove in and made what I wanted. This was an example of pure selfish knitting: I wanted that jacket, and I wanted to make that jacket. And I loved almost every minute of it. In fact, I got so involved in the process that, though it crossed my mind a few times that I should, I never once put the knitting down and got out the camera to capture it in progress. So all we have is this rather not good photo of it finished. It deserves so much more.

dream jacket 1

Pattern: "Dream Coat" from Dazzling Knits by Patricia Werner (MAYA)
Yarn: A whole buncha stuff from the stash, including Silk Garden (the predominant yarn, in three colorways), FDC Wave, Cash Iroha, Lana d'Oro Tweed, and some Bartlettyarns 2-ply
Needles: WEBS Hard Bamboo 9" #6 and #7, WEBS Hard Bamboo 32" circ #6 and #7
Mods: I chose to do a modified single chevron instead of the two half-chevrons and a seam on the sleeves. I used some simple hook and eye fasteners rather than buttons because the button band had a tendency to gap (I think this is a product of how the band is done, because it also gaps on the models in the book).

I love this jacket, and the predominance of silk in the yarns makes it perfect for cooler days here in Tucson (the same quantity of worsted-weight wool would likely be too warm for all but the most un-Tucson of cold days, even for me). I would love to make another one, using only one color of Silk Garden and not changing colors at all -- just knitting it as it came off the balls. For now, however, I have moved on to yet another new knitting challenge and jumped right over the baby steps.

nihon kimono 1

This is the right sleeve and part of the right body of the Nihon Kimono from Shadow Knitting

Again, I was drawn to the technique, the book and certain projects in it (this happens to be the LAST project in the book). After reading through everything, I bought the Harrisville Shetland called for in the purple colorway in the book and dove into this jacket (again, this is the thing I most wanted to have in the book).

So far, I am loving the knitting (I do love me a good #2 needle) and watching the shadow patterns develop as I work on it. Oh, and the wool-in-Tucson thing: this is much lighter wool and will make a much lighter garment, so I'm predicting that it will be just fine for Tucson winter evenings. Okay, we're ignoring for now the fact that I will finish this just about the time it starts getting too warm for anything more than a long-sleeved t-shirt, but there's always next winter.

* Not that I have anything against baby knitters (M is one -- or at least she thinks she is). But there has to be a time when one's accumulated years of knitting experience allow one to skip the baby steps and move directly to the tango.

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