Misty Morning Jacket

20/09/2019 · 5 comments

in Crochet,Style

emma-varnam-pink-linen-jacket

It’s the very earliest time in the morning, the sun is just peaking very, very tentatively above the trees. There is a chill in the air – but the promise of a bright crisp day. I’ve been awake for long enough to know that I will not drift back into slumber. So I slip silently from under the clovers and pad across the landing.

It is these kind of mornings – in the silence of a sleeping house that I reach for my favourite cosy jacket. I can’t quite decide how to name it. It’s not a bed jacket, far, far to warm to wear in bed. But it is not a dressing gown. I much prefer to wear a jacket or cardigan shaped garment over my pyjamas.

As I pull it over my shoulder and fasten the buttons – the familiarity is so very comforting. Slippers on, I sneak down the stairs. Stanley is already pawing at the glass panes in the kitchen door.

If I am clever I can open the door, scoop up the ravenous cat, and shut the door behind me. His wails of hunger can pierce even the deepest sleep.

Cat fed, the kettle is on and I stare out the kitchen window at the garden. The scent of autumn is definitely there and I plan – perhaps optimistically – to plant some bulbs later that day. ‘This year, yes this year I won’t leave it too late’

The cafetiere is now full with hot black coffee and I go to grab a mug ..which one, which one…. who am I kidding … its always the same. I pick my favourite dumpy mug with jaunty red spots and pad across to the living room.

In one seamless move I position myself in the chair in the bay window, feet tucked up and coffee in hand. I know it will be mere seconds before Stanley will arrive and he will find his familiar spot – wedged between my lap and the chair of the arm. Together we will work the yarn. Silently and joyfully – a peaceful hour – warm and cosy.

The Jacket

I’ve tried to discern when I began to favour this approach. Did I wear such a thing before our son was born? Perhaps I did. But certainly in the years of early play, you know, mornings at 7am – sat with a toddler on the floor of the living room. At these times a shorter cosy jacket was far more practical – not tripping up on impractical gowns.

I made two versions of the wonderful moss-stitch jacket by Debbie Bliss. The shape is boxy and the style is timeless. This is lounge wear before it became a ‘thing’. The pattern comes from her book – The Knitting Workbook – I still have an original copy, published in 2001. You can’t fault it, Debbie’s style is evergreen.

emma-varnam-pink-linen-jacke

I have no idea what prompted me to make a new version of this jacket. Perhaps it was the approach of Autumn and I longed to be cosy ready. I also wanted to try out the new Stylecraft Bellissima Chunky. For me it either had to be a pastel blue or pink and I went for the Precious Posy.

emma-varnam-pink-linen-jacke

Using the measurements of the original design by Debbie I charted out a crochet version. I have made a few designs in linen stitch recently. This is a good crochet substitute for the classic knitted moss stitch.

Like almost everyone I know (but not Jane Crowfoot – who is a crochet goddess and very well behaved) I am not a fan of the tension square. This is when you work out how many stitches and rows fit into a 10cm square. It is vital when you are designing. It tells you how many stitches you need to prepare and gives you the basis for shaping. The pattern for the back and sides was not difficult to work out. But when it came to the sleeves I needed to draft the shape using graph paper.

emma-varnam-pink-linen-jacke

Crochet doesn’t always translate well from the traditional English knitting pattern. The firm fabric doesn’t have the drape of the knitted stitch. Things can get a bit bulky under the arms. But the chunky nature of the crochet rather suits the purpose of this design.

I chose enormous shell buttons which are so very easy to fasten . Bellissima has a lovely silky finish which provides excellent stitch definition. I think it will also be quite hard wearing. I have stayed true to the orignial design by replicating the double cuff. Most importantly is the inclusion of a descreet pocket. Experience tells me that come the winter months, snuffles and sneezes will mean that a well placed pocket will be an absolute boon for hankies and tissues.

emma-varnam-pink-linen-jacke

When all was finished the sewing up complete – there is a tense moment when you try on the garment – will it be ok? Phew, it fits! I know this will a strong favourite in the Winter. It will become an old friend until it is so worn, and sloppy that the way it falls off my shoulder will become annoying. Then it will be time to make another….now where did I put the pattern?

The jacket used 9 balls of Stylecraft Bellissima Chunky, a 5mm hook and seven large shell buttons. I am a Stylecraft Blogstar, so the yarn was gifted to me.


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