I should be working today, but a giant wind and rainstorm hit California last night, and many of the roads are totally flooded. Mayor Jim Griffith sent out an awesome video with one solution to the flooding problem--it takes place in a Safeway parking lot in Healdsburg, California:
Sadly, I do not own a canoe myself, so I am housebound. Free days don't come along that often, so I am knitting as much plaid as I can! I mentioned previously in this blog that I am creating my own plaid design, using Rowan felted tweed aran and felted tweed dk doubled and Rowan kidsilk haze eclipse.
The plaid is formed using a seed stitch fair isle pattern, so I am leaving the back of the jacket plain in dark grey tweed. This way I can do as much shaping as I want on the fronts without worrying about distorting a plaid pattern extending into the back piece.
I went out on a limb with color, inspired by the latest Color workshop Brandon Mably gave at Uncommon Threads, my local LYS. He encouraged us to make bold choices, and to incorporate a color or two that clashed a bit or created a pop of excitement in the fabrics we knit. Usually I stick to more muted tones, but this time I went for it and added a few rows of tangerine here and there (Rowan felted tweed Jaffa) to liven up the design.
I knitted the back of the jacket in Graphite felted tweed aran by Rowan.
To capitalize on the current metallic trend and add some sparkle to the sleeves, I combined Rowan felted tweed dk in Seafarer with Rowan kidsilk haze eclipse in Leo.
The tweed yarn held together with the metallic mohair creates a luxurious fabric with a subtle sheen. Somehow the tweed tones down the metallic, while the KSH eclipse sophisticates the look of the tweed. It is a match made in heaven! Unfortunately, sparkle doesn’t photograph well. You will see what look like white specs in the photo of the sleeve below—those are actually glints of gold.
For the back and sleeves of the jacket, I used Kim Hargreaves’ design, Steed.
#1: Steed by Kim Hargreaves:
I chose Hargeaves’ pattern because it is designed for felted tweed aran in seed stitch, so all I had to do was superimpose my fair isle plaid design on top of that. It is no joke trying to combine seed stitch with fair isle, but I hate the floppy look of plaid that's knitted in stockinette, so I feel it is worth the extra work. The peplum detail in the back of Kim Hargreaves' design is fabulous and allows it to stand out without any need for colorwork:
It is an excellent, well-written pattern. I knitted the back piece and sleeves first, and then built up the nerve to design the plaid pattern for the fronts. I have knitted one, and as you can see, I have just started on the second front.
Next time I will post progress photos with buttons and sewn-up sleeves. The sleeves of Steed are actually a clever variation on the three-piece sleeve of a traditional Chanel jacket. In fact, I highly recommend that knitting pattern for Chanel fans.