Friday, December 16, 2011

The Metro Coat

I took photos of this coat after I finished it, but failed to get everything up to the blog.  So, after 1 1/2 years, here is my finished Metro Coat.  I knit sweaters using my own patterns and using bought patterns.  For this sweater, I used a pattern from a book called Swing, Swagger and Drape by Jane Slicer-Smith.

Our local yarn shop, The Needle Lady, brought in Jane Slicer-Smith, an Australian knitter,  a couple of years ago to give a series of workshops.  I attended one on fitting.  It is only the second knitting class that I have ever attended, and it was well worth it.  Jane is a master at fitting sweaters, something that has always been hit or miss with for me.  She brought a huge selection of sweaters to try to see which ones we liked and how they fit us.  It was great fun to try on all these beautiful sweaters.  I love the one on the cover of the book and will definitely knit it one of these days, but I started with the Metro Coat because I felt I needed to start using up some of my stash.  I had a lot of the light grey silk/wool yarn in my stash, so I then chose colors to go with it.

The colors I chose were a tweeded black, dark grey and camel and used green and bright blue as the accent colors.  I started the coat, but the going was very slow.  Then, I had a major back injury.  I herniated a disk in my back and was unable even to stand up for more than a week.  Even then, I could only stand up for very short periods of time without severe pain.  Once I got through the worst pain and was able to get off the very strong pain killers, I was still bed bound for 3 weeks.  So once I could sit slightly propped up, I started knitting.

This coat is not hard to knit, but does require some attention to pattern.  This is the first sweater that I have knit that has used bobbles.  My first attempts were not so successful, but I got the hang of it.  Mainly, it was a challenge managing all of the intarsia strings and untangling them periodically, but otherwise, it is a pretty straightforward project.  

Because it is such a big coat, I decided to line it to hide all the color changes and to help hold its shape.  I picked a beautiful cotton fabric for the main lining, and used a slick rayon for the sleeves to help get them on and off easily.  I covered the seam in a velvet ribbon.  

Here is a photo of the back of the sweater, and one with me wearing it.  It is quite warm and works well for 40'ish type temperatures.  I get lots of compliments on the sweater, and often have people stop me to comment on it and to ask where they can get one like it.  I love this sweater and I am tempted to do another one but shorter.  However, life is too short to knit the same thing twice, so I think I am off to do a different project now.


  1. Your coat is simply stunning. When I think of all the trials, errors and VICTORIES knitted into this coat; your back problems, struggling with new techniques.... it simply looks breathtaking.

    Well done!

    I am passionate about knitting but relatively new to it - two years in total - intarsia has me a little baffled but maybe (you have inspired me) I could make 2012 the year when I conquer my fears about lots of little bobbles of coloured yarn hanging from the back of my work? ;-)

    I wish you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

    1. I see from your blog that you are taking on many knitting projects. They are so beautiful. Intarsia is easy, just frustrating because I don't make bobbins like you are supposed to do, but just use the big balls of yarn which can get very tangled. I did make the little bobbins using my mother's old keepers for the metro coat. That made things much easier. The best skill to learn is carrying yarn across the back, something that is best learned from another knitter.

      Good luck and keep up the knitting!

  2. I somehow missed this post. The coat is gorgeous, and you look fabulous in it!