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Friday, 12 January 2018

Regeneration Jacket Knitting Pattern


I have been knitting box jackets much like this since my own kids were toddlers. In chunky yarn, they don't take long to make and are properly snug in cold weather; pockets and hoods don't get left behind or lost the way mittens and hats so often do. Twenty years ago, I would knit each section separately. These days, I am a great fan of circular needles. Revising my old pattern, I decided to knit the body and hood in one piece, flat, but on a long circular cord, leaving only the sleeves to sew in at the end.  The basic proportions are easy to scale up or down and simple stocking stitch does show off a gorgeous yarn. 
This is Sudbury Merino Chunky dyed with madder root, which I bought from Native Yarns several years ago as a birthday present for my Mum. Coming across the shrug she had knitted from it, the glorious depths and shades of a top quality madder root dye glowed like a beacon from amongst the other knitwear she left behind. It  clearly deserved a new lease of life.


Regeneration Jacket


Materials

5mm circular needle
pair of 5mm straight needles
4 x 100g skeins Sudbury Merino Chunky = 400m (I had about 20m left over)
Large tapestry needle for weaving in ends and sewing up sleeves
2 stitch markers
6 buttons

Tension

After washing, 10cm square = 10.5 stitches and 17.5 rows

Dimensions
My niece Emelia is seven years old, so hers is the size given below, plus a bit of growing room. The proportions are straightforward to adapt to any size of child and to other brands of chunky yarn - when swatching, I would choose a slightly smaller needle than the ball band recommends in order to get a dense jacket fabric.




Made to fit chest size 70 cm, once buttoned up, the actual jacket measures 80cm.

Method

Pocket lining (lowest section)

Using 5mm straight needles, cast on 11 stitches and knit 4 rows of stocking stitch, then break yarn leaving a long tail for sewing up the pocket later. Knit a second pocket lining, leaving it attached to the remainder of the ball of yarn. Keep both pocket linings on the straight needles.

Body

Using 5mm circular needle, cast on 85 stitches and going back and forth, make three rows of knit 1, purl 1 rib. The next four rows are stocking stitch
Row 4 knit
Row 5 purl
Row 6 knit
Row 7 purl

Row 8 knit 13 and turn, leaving the other stitches on the circular cord - you will now be knitting only the front of the right pocket, which has a sloping opening created by reducing one stitch every three rows.
Row 9 purl back to left edge
Row 10 knit 11, knit 2 together (12 stitches)
Row 11 purl
Row 12 knit
Row 13 purl 2 together purl to left edge (11 stitches)
Row 14 knit
Row 15 purl
Row 16 knit 9, knit 2 together (10 stitches)
Row 17 purl
Row 18 knit
Row 19 purl 2 together purl to left edge (9 stitches)
Row 20 knit
Row 21 purl
Row 22 knit 7, knit 2 together (8 stitches)
Row 23 purl
Leave these 8 stitches on a holder with the yarn still attached.

Making more of the body and completing the linings of the pockets. 
Take the straight needle with the second pocket liner on it and using the right side needle on the circular cord, knit across the 11 stitches using the yarn already attached to the pocket lining, then knit on across the main body stitches on the left needle of the circular cord to 13 stitches before the right edge. Take the straight needle with the first pocket lining and knit across these 11 stitches so that there are 81 stitches on the right hand side of the circular needle and on the left, the 13 stitches not yet knitted. These 13 can now be kept on a holder.
Purl back across the 81 stitches.
Continue working in stocking stitch for another 18 rows.
Cast off 6 stitches at the start of the next knit row and then cast off 6 stitches at the start of the following purl row (69 stitches). 
Break yarn leaving a long tail for sewing in the pocket lining.
Knit across the 8 stitches on the holder for the top of the right pocket then knit straight across the main body (77 stitches) until your work looks like this.



Using the straight needles and a new ball of yarn, return to the 13 stitches on the holder at the left edge. Attach yarn at pocket edge to knit the front of the left pocket.
Row 1 knit
Row 2 purl
Row 3 knit 2 together, knit to end (12 stitches)
Row 4 purl
Row 5 knit
Row 5 purl to last 2 stitches, purl 2 together (11 stitches)
Row 6 knit
Row 7 purl
Row 8 knit 2 together, knit to end (10 stitches)
Row 9 purl
Row 10 knit
Row 11 purl to last 2 stitches, purl 2 together (9 stitches)
Row 12 knit
Row 13 purl
Row 14 knit 2 together, knit to end (8 stitches)
Row 15 purl
Break yarn. Continuing from the left edge of the main piece on the circular needles, knit across the 8 stitches which form the top of the left pocket (85 stitches).

Continue knitting in stocking stitch until the work measures 25 cm, finishing with a purl row. After washing, my swatch shrank in height by about 8%, so to get a finished length of 25cm, I knitted 27cm. At this stage, sew in the edges of the pocket linings so as to stop them flapping and avoid having all the sewing up to do at the end.

Continuing Right Front

Using a straight 5mm needle, knit 17 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 2 and turn, leaving the remaining 64 stitches on the circular needle.
Purl back across the 20 stitches, using the other straight needle.
Continuing in stocking stitch, knit 2 together at two stitches before the end of the next four knit rows, reducing the stitch count to 16.
Continue straight until the armhole measures 14 cm ( to account for shrinkage, I knitted 15cm) 
Knit 12, turn and purl back.
Transfer all 16 stitches to a holder with the yarn still attached.

Continuing Back and Shaping Right Shoulder

Attach a new ball of yarn to the stitches on the circular needle, starting at the base of the right armhole.
Knit 2, slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit 35, knit 2 together, knit 2 and turn, leaving remaining 21 stitches on the circular cord.
Purl back across these 41 stitches.
Continuing in stocking stitch, by the same method, reduce one stitch at each side of the next four knit rows, reducing the stitch count to 33.
Continue straight until the armhole measures 14 cm ( to account for shrinkage, I knitted 15cm).
Fold the right front over so that it lies against the matching part of the back with the wrong sides facing out.
Use a three needle bind off to cast off joining the right front and the back together, the first four stitches of the outside edge of the right shoulder. The working stitch left after casting off four should be transferred to join the stitches remaining on the holder for the top of the right front.
Continue knitting across the back until 4 stitches before the end. Turn and purl back.
Working with the wrong sides facing, use the three needle bind off to cast off joining the right front and the back together, the next four stitches at the outside edge of the right shoulder. 
Break yarn and slip the remaining 8 stitches of the right front onto the circular needle. Your work will look like this.



Completing Left Front

With the right side facing you, rejoin yarn at the base of the left armhole.
Row 1 Knit 2, knit 1, slip 1 and pass slipped stitich over, knit to end.
Row 2 Purl
Repeat these two rows four more times.
Continue in stocking stitch until the work measures 14cm (15cm to allow for shrinkage).
On the last purl row, purl 12 and turn.
Knit back to the front edge.
Purl across all 16 stitches.
Folding the right sides together and working from the wrong side, use a three needle bind off to cast off 8 stitches joining together the back and front of the left shoulder and break the yarn. Transfer the remaining 8 stitches of the left front onto the circular needle.

Hood

There will now be 31 stitches on the circular cord, 8 from the right front, 15 from the back and 8 from the left front.
Knit and purl to and fro in stocking stitch until the work measures 25cm (I knitted to 27cm to allow for shrinkage).
On the last purl row, place a marker on either side of stitch 16 (centre).
Row 1 Knit to 4 stitches before marker, knit 1, slip 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit 2, slip marker, k1, slip marker, knit 2, knit 2 together, knit to end.
Row 2 Purl
Repeat these two rows two more times.
Fold the hood in half with the wrong sides facing out. Use a three needle bind off to close the top of the hood, casting off while joining the two sides.

Button Band

Formed by picking up stitches continuously starting from the bottom of the right front, going up to the top of the hood and coming down to the bottom of the left front.
Use the spaces between the first and second column of stitches. Pick up a stitch through the first hole and then the second hole, miss the third, pick up from the fourth, miss the fifth - continue in this fashion, picking up 3 stitches from every 5 rows.
Row 1 (wrong side) work in knit 1, purl 1 rib.
Row 2 (right side) makes the button holes - by convention, these are on the left front edge for a girl and the right front edge for a boy, but I always do them on the right. Rib 3 * yarn over, knit 2 together, rib 6* repeat 5 more times and then rib to end.
Row 3 (wrong side)  work in knit 1, purl 1 rib.
Cast off in rib.
Sew on 6 buttons to match the button holes on the opposite border.

Pocket Edging

With right side facing, pick up and knit 13 stitches evenly across opening of pocket.
Cast off knitwise and sew down edges.
Repeat on the other pocket.

Sleeves (knit two)

Cast on 21 stitches.
Work 3 rows of knit 1, purl 1 rib.
Continue in stocking stitch, increasing one stitch at either end of of 7th and every following 8th row. I do this by knitting through the back then the front leg of the first and last stitch.
When there are 35 stitches on the needle, continue straight until the sleeve measures 35 cm (to allow for shrinkage, I knitted 38 cm) finishing on a purl row.

Row 1  Knit 2, slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit to last 4 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 2
Row 2 Purl
Repeat these two rows four more times (25 stitches).
Cast off on a right side row in purl.

Sew sleeves into armholes, aligning the reduction rows with the matching reductions on the back and front. Turn inside out to sew up the long sleeve seams. Wash and smooth into shape before drying flat.

'Poor Emelia, what a boring Christmas present for a child. I expect she would have preferred a game for her new iPad.' My companion finished her tea and set down the cup with a sharp clink.
'She put that jacket on straightaway and when I told her madder roots were what they used to use to dye soldiers coats scarlet, she was really interested.' I put our cups into the sink and turned to speak over the noise of the taps. 'Emelia has plenty of imagination. High Tech isn't the only kind of gift that appeals to the new generation.'
'What was your most exciting Christmas present, then, Beaut? A new tea towel?'
'Actually, Elinor, my biggest thrill was unwrapping some extravagant, handmade French rubberwear. From himself, with love.'
My companion blinked.
'You would never wear anything like.'
'Oh but I do, often. Light weight and close fitting, never any chafing, no matter how much I run about. Easy to slip into any time.'
Her eyes were popping by now.
'You sit there a minute while I put my new French rubberwear on, then we'll go down the beach.'





8 comments:

  1. That fabulous madder dye against your niece's copper colouring is wonderful!

    And I am admiring your French rubberwear. Very je ne sais quoi!

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  2. Thanks :) Elle arrive, la tooth fairy.

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  3. lovely red! the right colour for cold, grey winter days... and I thought at first that rubberwear = are rubber gloves:) typical male practical present that would be - but nice fitting wellies, that's a different story:) enjoy them in every puddle you come across!

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  4. Thanks - I am off out for a squelch this afternoon :)

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  5. Yay Fran's back! Thanks for this pattern I will make it soon in some chunky soft black acrylic that I got cheap as chips!

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    Replies
    1. Sounds perfect for good wash and wear children's clothing. I'm hoping this recycled wool yarn will hold its size and shape better than fresh new wool and not give my sister in law too much grief. I did put it through a wool wash cycle without trouble.

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  6. Thanks Fran. I have a little bit of acrylic and most of it came from secondhand shops (practicly recycled) or from Mystery Bags of unlabelled balls on sale at the local Lincraft/Spotlight. A few I bought before I realised how much softer good wool is, and how worth the little bit extra care and money. Funny you mention washing, I know about the microfibres shedding off our clothes when washed. I think a solution may be to go the old way of sponging down stains with a damp rag, and then throwing the rag in landfill. There is an organism/bacteria? now that has evolved to degrade plastic, I think the scientists found it could even degrade hard plastic like an icecream container over many years. They have found microfibres of plastic inside worms I think, so maybe it's not a great solution. Anyway I have endeavoured to be more aware of my impact on the environment. Sponging clothes in between washing also has the advantage of prolonging the shape and colour of the clothes too. And it's good when I'm feeling lazy- swipe, swipe, blot- clean!

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  7. I think there is a real place for acrylics, especially for clothes that are forever in the wash. They really do last well and keep their shape. I know I succumbed to a rant recently and I regret it. What ticks me off is not acrylics, it is aggressively righteous types who try to make others feel bad about wearing wool or silk or even fur, in the name of animal rights. In my opinion, they are missing the big picture. The most ecofriendly clothing of all is secondhand :)

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