Smokin', originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Start: 12th October 2009
Finish: 22nd October 2009
Needles: 6 mm / 80 cm Addi Turbos
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Extra Tweed; 95% wool, 5% viscose; colourway #0099 (Black); yarn held double; used up the totall of 18 balls (actually about 17 balls weight-wise).
Notions: 5 crescent horn buttons
Pattern: "Smokin'" by Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed; from the book "Son of Stitch 'n Bitch"
Size knitted: S
Modifications: Pockets are done by set-in pocket linings instead of just sewing the linings on to the outside of the jacket. I also replaced the leather cased buttons for crescent horn buttons instead.

Smokin', originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Lawdy, it's been almost a month since I last blogged. Sorry about that, I just didn't feel the Muse to do so lately. Apart from that, I have been busy applying for jobs, etc. No luck so far, but who knows what might be lurking around the corner, eh? ;-) I'm keeping myself optimistic about it all.

Anyhow, I have been meaning to knit myself more cardigans and jackets...and I must say that this is by far my favourite. Smokin' has caught my eyes ever since the pattern had become available. It just looks so...old-worldy gentleman-like. The problem was that I just couldn't find the yarn to knit it up with. I went out and bought single balls of different yarns to knit up gauge swatch and just never was satisfied with the results. I either get gauge with the fabric being too airy or just not get gauge at all.

Then it just dawned on me that I had 20 balls of these discontinued Extra Tweed in my stash...and that it might just work if I held the yarn double. And voilà! It did!

With the big gauge, thick needles, the project was a breeze. I only changed how the pocket was done and replaced the leather-cased buttons for crescent horn buttons. As for the pockets, I have adopted the method I learned from knitting the pockets for "George". This is how I did the pocket (keep in mind, the measurements are for the size I knitted, i.e. S): The pocket linings were knitted before I started the project by CO 22 sts and knit in stockinette stitch until the lining reaches 6”, leave the stitches live on waste-yarn.

When the body reaches 4 1/4” after garter stitch border, start knitting the 22 stitches garter stitch for the top part of the pockets 6 stitches in from the left and right edges of the fronts. Once the whole piece measures 7” from CO edge (i.e. 1” garter stitche and 6” of the stockinette stitch or 4 1/4” of stockinette and 1 3/4” of 22 sts garter pocket tops), place the 22 garter stitches from the fronts on waste yarn, then join and pick up and knit the 22 stitches from the linings. Proceed with the rest of the jacket according to the pattern.

Once the jacket is done, catch and sew-down the pocket linings.

Smokin', originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

I love everything about this jacket...apart from knitting the button-band and shawl-collar. It was hell.

I wonder whether it would have been easier to knit up the button bands togehter while knitting up with the body. I feel that picking up and knitting the button band separately and then sew it down to the body is pretty tedious…The only thing I really didn't like about the construction is the fact that the button band and collar are picked up and knitted separately from the body and then sew-down to the body...which introduced all kinds of boo-boos and resulting in my having to sew down, undo, re-sew, undo, frog, re-knitted, re-sew for the total of four times. :-/ Will try to modify this kind of thing in the future to integrate the button band and collar in the knitting process instead of doing them separately.

The result of this boo-boo is the fact that the shawl-collar doesn't sit like it should really sit. But I wasn't about to re-do all that for the fifth time and gave myself the satisfaction of having the freedom to leave it so. :-p

Another oopsy that I did was the buttonhole. The very bottom buttonhole was done at the very beginning whilst the others are done at the end when you knit up the button band. I totally forgot about this and mis-calculated the spaces for the buttonholes. I pretty much disregarded the very bottom buttonhole. This resulted in the space between the very bottom buttonhole and the next one up being further apart than the spaces between the other buttonholes, and so the button-band at the bottom would pucker when I button up all the buttons. I wasn't about to frog the whole button-band and collar bonanza and went through hell again. So, I just left it as it was. Besides, I just leave the very bottom button un-buttoned every time I wear the jacket. :-)

Otherwise, I love this jacket and have been wearing it very often, since it is very versatile for this ever-changing Autumn weather we're having here in Munich.

Well, then, wishing a great rest-of-the-week to you all!


rc_in_sd's picture

Absolutely beautiful, Victor - you continually impress! And thanks for all the details. It's great to read about all the ups and downs you encountered.

grandcarriage's picture

Looks good on you...I think this design is best on slim guys like Jared and yourself. I'd have to shorten the length and add some shaping for the shoulders. I did a jacket very similar. I feel your pain about the button band: been there, done that. I have a secret for garter button bands... I won't bore you unless you want to know.

pS: perfect yarn choice!

Elemmaciltur's picture

Oh, yes, please, I want to know the secret of garter button band!

grandcarriage's picture

As I'm sure you realized, it's a bit of a trick to get the buttons and picked up stitches placed where you want them on the first try. I will knit a garter swatch, dropping the needle size down 3-4 sizes, to knit it as tightly as I can bear, for extra body on the Buttonband. I compare the blocked garter swatch to the side of the blocked a count, and figure out what ratio I need to fit the proper number of stitches knitting into the selvedge stitches: IE: knit into 2 skip 1, knit into 3 skip 1, knit into 2 sk 1, knit into 3 etc). This swatch also helps you figure out how many st on border and between the buttons. (I place little markers on the selvedge where the buttonholes are to go before I start knitting the band so I don't have to think about it when the time comes). The collar you want to have more drape, so a larger needle size is appropriate, but a swatch is just as valuable. When sewing on large buttons, I don't sew to the fabric, but to another button on the opposite side of fabric for greater stability. (Some sturdy but lightweight plastic that won't show).

OR, instead of garter, I use a double over-ed layer of reverse stockinette, done as above, with a smaller needle and with the test swatch method. Figure out where the button holes are to go (on both sides of fold) stitch the edge down as logical, and whipstitch button holes. Looks great, and very sturdy...and resembles garter.

Hope some of this was helpful.

Elemmaciltur's picture

Cool, thanks for the tips! I'll keep them in mind. :-)

scottly's picture

I agree completely this sweater looks great on you really slender guys. Great job! It's very stylish.

Cris's picture

I really enjoyed the read and thought it was a great looking sweater. I wouldn't mind finding the pattern myself.

Thanks again.



Aaronknits's picture

Smokin? Oh my god, it certainly is! You too! Nicely done, especially the buttons!