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I have finally got a pdf version ready for Lyra’s coat.

Download it here: Lyra’s Coat. The original version is still here.

It is almost time to start wearing it again.

The Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits pattern previews are out, which always excites me.

I don’t actually have time to knit anyone else’s patterns anymore as I can’t seem to find time to get all the ideas in my own head out in the time I can devote to knitting, but I love to look at them still.

If I did have time to knit someone else’s pattern (so if this were, let’s say fall 2004), I would be most likely to knit the orange/red/salmon cardigan with short sleeves and cables in the “Signature stitches” story in the Vogue issue (I like all the sweaters shown in the preview for that section) and the “Afterthought darts cardigan” by Theresa Schabes, which is similar to some ideas I have kicking around in my head.

I don’t think I could ever have too many cardi’s and the “Afterthought darts cardigan” looks eminently wearable. The only change I might consider would be to make the sleeves three quarter length as I like all my sleeves to be three quarter length, and the only change I would consider on the Vogue sweater would be to have a straight garter stitch border on the sleeve instead of the chevrons that seem to be there in the picture.

I love knitting for that reason, you can’t walk into the _______ (insert mainstream clothing store of your choice here) and say: “I will get that one, but in green, with long sleeves, and with the buttons on that sweater over there.”

I have finally convinced my boyfriend to take some better pictures of me in Lyra’s coat:

It is also just warm enough to actually wear it.

Download pattern here: Josephine.

Originally published in Magknits, March 2008

This sweater has much to recommend it: it is warm and cosy and a fast enough knit to be ready before it gets too warm to need it. The cowl can be worn buttoned or open as an oversized collar. There is a minimum of actual direction in this pattern, with most sizing being placed anywhere along the row you like – like many things this pattern shows that random numbers can create great results.

Of course human beings do not make good random number generators as we dislike to see the same number appear consecutively, but for the purposes of this design that is fine, because humans are the beings who will look at your sweater most, and most other humans have the same biases as you.

Difficulty

Easy

Size

33 inch / 84cm (37 inch / 94cm, 41 inch / 104cm, 45 inch / 114cm, 49 inch / 125)

Materials

6 (6, 7, 8, 8) skeins Rowan Big Wool (100% wool, 87 yd [80 m] per 100g); colour: tremble #35

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 16 inches (40cm) long

US 17 [12 mm] straight needles

OR

US 17 [12 mm] circular needle, 24-32″ (60-80 cm) long

Stitch markers

Tapestry needle

7 1.75-inch [44 mm] buttons

Gauge

7.5 sts and 10 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in stockinette

Here is the first PDF of the patterns I published in Magknits of the last few years:

Kaleidoscope

If you are interested in the yarn I used, please see Princess Farms’ website.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

If you like the pattern and want to see more, consider making a donation:

Or check out my patterns for sale.

lyrascoat-buttons1.jpg

Sometimes you don’t have those perfect buttons to complete the project you are working on and sometimes you don’t want to go out to get any, or you live in Saskatchewan and today is Sunday and nowhere likely to sell buttons is open. Or maybe, just maybe you are aesthetically opposed to spending money on this project, but you still have yarn left over — then you can crochet yourself buttons.

I started with cotton yarn in a colour that coordinates with my project. an appropriately sized crochet hook, something to stuff the buttons, and a tapestry needle:

lyrascoat-buttons2.jpg

I started with the loops for button holes:

Loop the yarn twice around something that will give you the approximate length you want — I used the palm of my hand and bring a loop of yarn from the back and then loop around the hook and pull through, this will start your crochet. This is a little difficult to explain, just try it until it makes sense.

lyrascoat-buttons3.jpg

Next, work single crochet, bringing the hook to the back of the yarn circle to bind it.

lyrascoat-buttons4.jpg

Continue until the end of the loop and make sure the stitches aren’t twisted. Cut the yarn leaving about a 4″[10cm] tail. Put the tail on the tapestry needle, thread through the first crochet stitch to secure it, and draw through some stitches to secure the end

lyrascoat-buttons5.jpg

For the buttons themselves, wrap the yarn two times around your little finger.

lyrascoat-buttons6.jpg

Put your hook to the back of the loop and wrap the yarn around it and pull back to the front, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through first loop.

lyrascoat-buttons7.jpg

Now crochet about 6 single crochet stitches onto the loop.

lyrascoat-buttons9.jpg

Pull the loose thread from the yarn you wrapped around your finger to pull tight and close the hole in the middle. Do a slip stitch in the first single crochet to complete the circle. Chain one, work a single crochet stitch in the next stitch and two in the following one. Continue working one single crochet and two single crochets in each stitch for about two rounds or until you think your button is almost big enough. Switch to working one single crochet in each stitch for one round.

lyrascoat-buttons11.jpg

Slip hook through next stitch from the previous round and wrap yarn, pull through, repeat for next stitch, wrap yarn around hook and pull through the three loops on the hook. Single crochet in next stitch. Repeat the previous two stitches until the hole starts to close.

lyrascoat-buttons12.jpg

Take a small amount of stuffing about the size of your button when compressed

lyrascoat-buttons13.jpg

and stuff it in your button.

lyrascoat-buttons14.jpg

Continue working as established until the hole is almost closed. Cut the yarn, leaving about a 6 inch[15cm] tail. Using your tapestry needle, darn the hole closed and stitch through several stitches to secure the end. Draw through the button and cut the thread.

lyrascoat-buttons15.jpg

Here is one of my finished buttons:

lyrascoat-buttons16.jpg

Here is what the button and loop look like on my project (Lyra’s coat, instructions are available here). I made five altogether as I was originally going to make four, but since living in China I am superstitious about the number four and try to avoid it.

lyrascoat-buttons17.jpg

As we previously discussed there is a small problem with the placement of the pockets on my coat, so here are instructions to show the way I have dealt with this little problem.

This is what they are like now:

Lyra’s Coat with botched Pockets

lyras-coat-botched-pockets2.jpg

I cut half the threads that make the coat at one side, slightly staggered, so the join won’t show too badly and unwind the cast on edge:

lyras-coat-botched-pockets3.jpg

Then I cut the other half at the other side and unwound those too:

lyras-coat-botched-pockets4.jpg

Finally, I will put the yarn on a tapestry needle and graft the two sides together:lyras-coat-botched-pockets5.jpg

lyras-coat-botched-pockets6.jpg

The unevenness will go out after I “block” it — actually this will be more of a “wash.”

I am almost done Lyra’s coat. I tried it on today and I only have a few more inches. Actually, the whole thing is so heavy that it grows and I think I should stop sooner than I intuitively think I should.

The pockets are a fiasco. The coat has grown from when I made them and they are no longer anywhere near my hands. I could do Elizabeth Zimmerman’s method of cutting the yarn and taking out the stitches to make holes for the pockets, but the coat is so heavy I think I would have to reinforce them in some way and I just don’t think it will work well, so the pockets will be nixed for my sweater.

I think I will be posting a technique of how to undo pocket holes in the next few days, so you can all look forward to that. Just remember if you are caught up with me in knitting this that I said you should make pockets where you want them, so if you placed yours as badly as I did, it is not my fault.

I have a couple pictures of me knitting the coat:

Lyra’s coat in progress

Lyra’s coat in progress - 2

It is enormous and overflows my lap. I wish it would be done now. Just a few more inches.

I just wish I had a bathtub to wash it in — it will overflow the kitchen sink as well, and it is musty!

I have just finished a project from my stash, and I plan to make the pattern available here in the next few weeks, but I thought I might give you a sneak peek at what was coming:

Gwen

I still need to block it and photograph it properly, so you can get a better idea of what it really looks like.

And just because I love yarn closeups:

gwen-2.jpg

I have received a request from Nikki over at Knitensity for more pictures from different angles for Josephine so here are a few. Please excuse the weird blind shadows.

josephine-2.jpg

josephine-1.jpg

josephine-3.jpg

For some reason I don’t seem to have any pictures of the back, but there is a picture of the yoke shaping on the back in the pattern page. For the free pattern, please see Magknits here.

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