I am pretty much in love. Love! There are some minor things I'd probably change, but overall, LOVE! So you'll have to bear with me, there are quite a few photos...sorry about that!
Pattern: Pearl Buck Swing Jacket, by Kate Gilbert. First published in IK Winter 2005, then in IK's The Best of Interweave Knits: Favourite Designs from the First Ten Years. It's a favourite for good reason - classic elegant design with fabulous features and the cleverest pleat construction (which I've blogged about here). I think if I were to make it again, I'd probably make the body slightly longer (particularly as the back, with the pleat, is a bit heavier and pulls the fronts up a bit during wear), and I'd think about making the sleeves longer.
I do love a 3/4 or bracelet length sleeve though, and I think the overall look is better with the sleeves shorter than the body. I also love the horizontal ribbed edging - very easy and effective - 2 rows purl, 2 rows knit, ending on 2 rows purl, before starting into the stocking stitch sections.
Yarn: Jaeger Extrafine Merino DK in 994 Peacock. I think I used 12 balls, although I bought 13 (or maybe 14). In any event, when I had only the sleeves to go, I had 4 balls of yarn left. As the sleeves are quite bell-shaped, I was worried I wouldn't have enough to finish them, but I made it with a ball to spare - phew. This is gorgeous yarn, sadly discontinued. Very similar to Filatura di Crosa Zara, another favourite of mine. Soft and with a lovely twist, it makes plain old stocking stitch look something special.
Sticks: 4mm KP Harmony Options. Loved knitting this yarn with these sticks!
Time: Well, if you include dreaming time, this project has been on the go for some time. It is one of the first things I decided I wanted to make when the world of knitting blogs opened up to me, and I trawled eBay and destash listings (this was before the wonderful world of Ravelry) until I got a second hand copy of the IK in which it was printed. (Not sure why I didn't just buy it new, direct from IK...). I actually started knitting it on 24 May 2008, and finished it on 29 April 2009 - just under a year!
What I learnt: I spent a long time blocking the pieces - I wanted to make sure that, as far as I could, I pinned them to the schematic measurements, and more importantly, that each piece was the same size as its equivalent (both sleeves, both front pieces), and that the size of each matched each other - ie that the back and fronts were the same length, that the yoke was the same distance across as the pleated piece etc. It was really worth it. I also pinned the pleat into place, which of course meant it took an age to dry - but again, worth it.
I also took extra special care with the seaming. Even got out my little Vogue quick reference book to refer to. And I think it shows!
I'm pretty darn happy with the seams, if I do say so myself! All that lovely knitting and gorgeous yarn deserved some good seams!
Mattress stitch, how I love thee!
The fronts, of course, curl. But I'm ok with that, as the real action is in the back.
And because it is a swing thing, I had to swing for you:
Hmmm, giddy now...