I absolutely* love* this book!
As a long time knitter of sweaters, in the round, top down, fair isle, cabled (etc) I realize that I neeeded *no more sweaters* in my wardrobe ~ I handwashed my sweaters recently for fall/winter,,, and it took days for me to do this!
I was in a knitting funk, I didn't know what to knit and had become bored.
I took up a few projects for my husband using some wonderful stitch patterns and lovely yarns but I just felt like I was in a slump ~ and I had no desire to knit after years of learning many different techniques~
This book came at a time when I neeed to get my knitting mojo back ,,,,,and I cannot even begin to tell you how this book has encouraged me to knit some of the very lovely jackets that are in this book~
I love how Jean Frost has helped take the fear of good fit out of knitting a lovely hand made jacket,,,, and demonstrates how easy it is to make up mock up jacket( no real sewing skills necessary other that very very basic)
You fit your jacket BEFORE you start putting needles to yarn, so you get a guaranteed fit!
NOW my interest is piqued now,,,,I do not knit unless I am sure of fit anymore . I learned the hard way,,, years ago ,as I am sure most knitters have.,
Next ,you work up your swatch ,so you are certain you are *in love* with the fabric that you make ,and are willing to commit time and money to it.
I like that some of her ideas include the use of 2 or more(??) yarns to make a lush fabric b/c even tho I am a seamstress, I know I am limited w/fabrics for sewing jackets,no matter where I go or order from on line~ I rarely have access to designer fabrics,, but I do search them out. I am also pleased that the yarns she choose are not neccessarily high end yarns, I love the heavy use of Cascade b/c it is also AFFORDABLE yarn to many
It is all about stitch pattern and fit~
I will begin with a basic jacket, and work on getting a good fit before I commit my knitting time to making up more ~ in other words ,I will make darn sure I tweak my jacket pattern first.
She includes basic jackets for several different stitch sizes so you can make a basic sweater/jacket for fitting ,,OR ,,,just because you desire to do so!
I had no idea this project was being worked on at XRX, as I have not read Knitters magazine or gone to a Stitches event for quite a few years.
I came across it while looking at Ravelry.
I teach knitting, so I tend to teach methods of EZ, B Walker, and A Staremore,, but this is very very different.
This is knitting w/ a nod to a professionally fit jacket, and ventures into couture (which is really wonderful) I tend to sew things like this,,,, but to knit them ??and create my own fabrics??
A dream come true!!!
It is a whole new way of thinking for me.
You are knitting w/ the eye of Coco Chanel herself and Jean has done her homework,I would love to take a class from her someday~
I am very appreciative to Jean Frost for writing a book like this because I know if I whip up the mock up done in sweatshirt fabric) I can be assured my jacket will fit me like a glove (which happens to be my chief complaint w/pieced and sewn knitting~)
No more holding your breath until your project is sewn together to see if it fits!
THAT is worth its weight in gold!!!!!
While it is not necessary to line a jacket you are taught that process,( should you desire to do so.) Remember * if* you line your jacket to allow more ease in the jacket itself but I doubt many knitters will line b/c it is added time to the project (and I think you do have to have some sewing skills for this)
I plan to do this b/c I am a seamstress , and I think it is wonderful to slip an arm thru a jacket a bit more easily but again *NOT necessary*
As mentioned by another reviewer,,you can start if you are a fairly standard size) by knitting your swatch and watching your measurements as you knit along.
I want to be clear, you do NOT have to be a seamstress to knit a jacket to fit you,,,I just happen to be a knitter and seamstress,, so I am looking at this book w/ a different eye, but I DO want every knitter to know they can create these lovely jackets w/ basic knitting skills!
Some of my students have seen this book and want to start the basic jacket/sweater.
I think it is great,,provided we take good measurements and knit that swatch!
I also will encourage the basic fitting shell in the book but not expect it. We will continue to measure as we knit. As a matter of fact I will make fitting mock ups for my husband's vests! I wonder why I had never thought of this myself, its so simple and relieves the stress of fit after you are done w/ the garment
I do question one thing I have read ,, and I need to check on this further.
It is where the
shoulder seam is placed. I have only sewn a true couture dress once in my life hand sewing everything picked is very consuming!) so I am not 100% sure on this, but I always thought that the shoulder seam was to meet smack dab in the middle of your shoulder and this book claims differently so I have some work to do in terms of research . She does not agree w/this but says the shoulder seam should be in the back thereby elimating the need for short rows to fit the back. I do question this bc short rows are done for comfort even when you knit in the round, you get rid of that annoying " gotta tug the front down syndrome"!
I am pretty sure I would be wrong b/c I do not know that much about couture and I assume Jean Frost does , but I still want to check it out~
I do not think you have to be an advanced knitter, a fairly new knitter can easily make up one of the basic fitting sweaters ,and have it come out quite lovely and work from that point on~ *and *the " math" is all done for you!
This way you can grow in skills with this book on fitting issues,,, as well as learning many different stitches used to make lovely textured jackets~ I would suggest the " Finishing School " book for knits ,by Deborah Newton as a book that would compliment this jacket book nicely~
The range for jackets is very large , from tiny small to XXlarge and anywhere in between!
I look at the work that must have been done to produce a book such as this. and it is mind boggling! Since I plan on having some waist shaping addedto all my jackets,, I may have to do some easy math, but the jacket in the book w/ waist shaping is done in simple stockinette so its pretty to start out w/ that one and move on from there.
I have heard others suggest to needle down in the waist to stay in pattern,,,, so maybe that would be a better choice??
I am going to really enjoy working out of this book!
I am putting this book on my shelf right next to my EZ books,,,,,THAT is how much I love it! I hope you do too!!!!!