Added Feb 6, 2011
London, United K...
I volunteered to make up this old magazine pattern for a colleague who remarked that his wife looked just like the model in the photo! There was supposed to be a pair of trousers to complete the suit, but the jacket turned out to use so much more wool than I had expected that there wasn’t enough left over for the trousers (or, indeed, for anything else).
The pattern wasn’t particularly clear to follow, and I had to count the turning chain as a stitch in some places and not in others in order to end up with the specified number of stitches at the end of an increase/decrease section; I never did work out if it was ‘officially’ supposed to count or not. The main body of the jacket is worked in a heavily textured bean stitch, with the cuffs, collar and belt in half trebles, although the belt came out too narrow for my salvaged buckle, so I ended up working a row of double crochet around the edge, which turned out both to stiffen it and result in an attractive raised border.
The seams were all initially backstitched (the pattern does not specify method), but I found that the sleeves and armpits were held rigid and much too tight, so I unpicked all these seams and made the jacket up again using a crocheted seam to stretch with the elasticity of the fabric.
There were two sizes given in the pattern, for a 32-inch bust and a 35-inch bust – the photo, of course, was for the smaller size. I made up the larger size in order to suit the intended recipient, so while I’m modelling it here myself for photographic purposes I’m afraid you can detect that the finished jacket is actually rather too big for me, especially across the shoulders!
The close-up shows the cuff, where the bulky bean stitches change to closer-packed half trebles.
I happened to have a job-lot of salvaged rust-red colour-flecked wool that was much the same colour as the wool in the photo, and used that (there was only just enough: the completed jacket weighed over 2lb!): the wool was uneven in diameter but averaged out as approximately Aran-weight, although I suspect that the original pattern may have intended something thicker. The magazine specifies “28 balls of Sirdar Studio” without giving any indication as to the size of a ball or to the thickness of the wool concerned….
The original pattern suggests a 4.5mm crochet hook, but I found that I had to change up to a 5.5mm hook to achieve the tension required. I used a 5.0mm hook for the cuffs and the half-trebles around the bottom of the jacket, and a 4.5mm hook for the belt in order to get a closer texture.
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