Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jo Sharp Origami Jacket

When I first saw a preview of Knit 7 I fell in love with the Origami Bolero Jacket. I could hardly wait for the book to arrive. However, when I did get my hands on a copy, I could not instantly obtain all the colours of the original designs, so fiddled with some other colour combinations to see what I could do with this clever pattern.
My final choices for yarn were
A.Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton 667 Dew (as in pattern)
B.Jo Sharp Summer DK Cotton 256 Bisque (as in pattern)
C.Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre 857 Elderberry (pattern uses 860 Cork).
D. and F. Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette 752 Ecru (pattern 758 Devon and 751 Pebble)
E. Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette 750 Briar

I am very happy with the jacket, and think I will wear it a lot this winter. The weight of the yarn mixtures is just perfect for a subtropical winter. I made the larger size, with the full length sleeves - version 2, but used the yarn types according to version 1 (A-F yarns). I was a little concerned that the arms would be too tight on me for an outer garment, as they are fairly close fitting on the model photograph, and slim arms are not exactly my fitting problem, but found that the lace pattern stretched beautifully to make a very comfortable garment over a knit top.
I used 5.5mm needles for the lace sections, but needed to go down to a 5mm needle for the moss stitch in order to obtain the correct gauge. This is unusual for me, I tend to knit rather firmly, and more often increase needle size - so check your tension very carefully before making this jacket. This is emphasised in the pattern instructions, and I agree totally, the tension is different in this pattern.

I love the way the jacket can be worn as a cardigan or as a bolero. There are quite a few patterns around that claim the garment can be worn in different ways, but frequently one way is far superior to the other. In this pattern, I find the garment equally successful worn with either end up. This is wonderful design.

Although it is not shown in the magazine, I think a third option is to wear the jacket in the bolero direction, fastened at the front. This gives yet another sillhouette to this versatile jacket. I think the length and style of the jacket works really well with my favourite pants pattern of the moment - the Marlene trousers #105 from Burda World of Fashion Magazine August 2008. Here is a back view of the fitted cardigan option. In Knit 7 the very slim and gorgeous model has a lot of room at the back in this view, as there are not a lot of curves at the front. Those of us with more bust end up with a much better fitting cargigan at the back IMO!

Several people have bought yarn for this jacket in the last few days, after trying on mine, which is very flattering. Most people are leaning towards the version 1 colourway, but I love the deep colours in Version 2 as well.
My next project is from Knit 5 - the eyelet cardigan, as I found the silk georgette so gorgeous with which to knit.

The origami jacket was a lovely quick knit, with plenty of interest for me in the stitch pattern and colour changes.
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