I finished my Staccato coat in 2009 after working on it for 3 years. Yes, you read that right: three years. I thought that accomplishment deserved a new photo shoot.
The coat is made with a favorite: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran (discontinued) in the colors Maze and Tusk. Tusk is kind of odd... the tweed nubs look like coffee stains! I have so much left... what to do?? Kidding, kidding. I know what to do.
This pattern is by my favorite colorwork pattern designer, Kaffe Fassett. It is stranded and has a 105-row pattern repeat, thus satisfying my need for self-inflicted knitting torture. Oh my friends, there is no memorizing this pattern. I always liked when I came to the part with the "rooster". Yes, I had a lot of time to name those motifs.
The pattern has fantastic details to appeal to the seamstress in me: 1) lined pockets, 2) facing for side openings, 3) folded hem and zipper facings.
I like to put in zippers like a classic hand-sewn hem. I cross my thread back over itself into X's, once from the knitted fabric to the zipper, then again within the zipper borders.
Always pick a strong fabric-backed metal zipper for coats and jackets. Plastic zippers can bend in an unsightly manner, and sometimes warp with washing. Knitted fabric can move in mysterious ways, you know.
I know you have been waiting for me to tell you why this coat took me 3 years to make. In reality, I made this coat 1.75 times. You see, like most Kaffe Fassett patterns, the sleeves have drop shoulders, and I looked awful in them.
Upset, I took a sabbatical.
I then used Ann Budd's "Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" to change the pattern to a set-in sleeve, but the dimensions really weren't right, and it looked awful... again.
Frustrated, I took a leave-of-absence and contemplated life and the rules of knitting.
Are you sitting down? When I was able to face the coat again, I pinned it, machine sewed the sleeves onto the body in exactly the shape I wanted, and chopped off the knitting with a good pair of scissors!
It fits beautifully, now! heh heh. I have been wearing it every spring and fall for biking to work for three years, and it still looks great. Gotta love that Yorkshire Tweed.