If I believed in conspiracy theories, I’d be certain that there were forces in the universe determined to stop me from writing blog posts. This past week it was my computer—again. Although I love Macs and I am delighted with my 27-inch iMac, this is the second time it has needed a repair to restore an ominous black screen to vibrant color. The various Mac geniuses are accommodating (and the machine is covered by a service contract), but my machine ends up spending several nights away from home, and I’m cast out of cyberspace. I’m not sure that everything is 100% better, but it’s working now, so I’ll make the most of the opportunity.
I have been knitting at night, perhaps more so because I could not be distracted by Ravelry, and I got fairly far on my jacket knit from Beaverslide’s McTaggart Tweed in the nightshade colorway.
This self-designed jacket was intended as a project I could knit in public. Mara is just too demanding with its 14 colors. Now that I’m up to Mara's sleeves, the decreases need careful attention. The four-row repeat in McTaggart Tweed pattern (2 rows of 1 x 1 ribbing separated by two rows of reverse stockinette) is perfect for knitting while chatting and drinking coffee.
But even easy sweaters need some concentration from time to time, and my jacket was no exception. This stumbling block was self-imposed because I had the brilliant idea to insert slanted pockets—not just slanted pockets, but pockets with a different stitch motif inside than out. I wanted to make the most of the nubbiness of the yarn by adding texture to the fabric. Because I don’t have the physique of a runway model (nor am I ever likely to), I did not want the double thickness of the textured fabric over my abdomen. In fact, one reason for the pockets was to give me the illusion of having a smaller waistline than I actually do. I’m not sure I can disguise my waistline completely, but it is worth a try.
The Principles of Knitting has an excellent description of knitting slanted pockets, and I found one blog post that did a good job of photographing the basics. So here I’ll show the variations needed to line the pockets in a stitch pattern that differs from the one seen when the jacket is worn. I had a tough time capturing the color of the yarn because I did this at night—which explains why the colors differ so much from photo to photo.
Step 1 is to prepare the pocket lining, which hangs a few inches below the slit. My pocket lining is in stockinette. On the front (the right front), the stitch holder contains the stitches that will be at the side seam.
Step 2 is to knit the slit. I determined the length by measuring (with the help of a sweatshirt) the distance I wanted the pocket to end near the center front—about 2 inches. There will be a 1 or 1 ½ inch buttonband, adding a little more space to the sweater front.
To get the slanted edge, I decreased every other row (on the wrong side because the decreases looked better) from the bottom end of the pocket until I got to the 2-inch part at the top. The textured pattern turned out to be a benefit because it made it easy to count the rows.
Step 3 is the attachment of the pocket lining to the stitches on the holder that fall near the side seam. This is simple—just as for a plain stockinette pocket. I just knit across in stockinette until I came to the pattern, and then I switched to the textured motif.
Step 4 is where the fun begins. I mirrored the decreases on the pocket slit by shifting one stitch from stockinette to the pattern for every slit decrease.
This is what it looks like when that process is complete. I actually had to fudge a bit here because there were 5 stockinette stitches on the left front. To get the pattern, which is an odd number of stitches, to work out visually, I had to end with 6 stockinette stitches. If you try this at home, just let the pattern dictate (within reason) the number of stitches that you’ll join to the slit piece.
In this photo, the green marker (a bit subtle in the photo) on the left is where the pocket lining started. I moved the purple marker for every stockinette stitch that was converted to the textured stitch, just to keep track of what I was doing.
And voilà—once those 6 stitches on the pocket were knitted together with 6 stitches on the public textured side, I had two slitted pockets that matched.
As for making me look slimmer, only time will tell. I’ve finished one sleeve and have the cap to do on the other. I also have not figured out the collar yet, so another pause for some thought is on the horizon.