Monday, March 10, 2008

Denim Jacket Sleeves Revisited

Sandi - a new commenter - (Welcome Sandi!) mentioned yesterday in the comments that she'd like to see more/learn more about the denim jacket I made last fall. Well, first let me say that I will glady revisit this project and dredge up some photos as well, because this is one of my very FAVORITE projects of all time. It's one of the items I actually wear and use constantly in my wardrobe. In fact, I love it so much, that I intend to make another jacket this Spring using my favorite green yarns.

This jacket project started when I saw Ali's Freeform jacket sleeves at one of The Studio's freeform workshops. Here is a photo of her jacket. Ali didn't give us a pattern or anything, she just had her jacket on display and it was one of my favorite freeform projects. I HAD to make one for myself.

Because I wanted these sleeves to be striped in all different yarns and textures, I selected a big pile of blue and purple yarns from my stash. Some smooth yarn, some textured and some novelty. For "spark" I used some of the Louising Harding sparkly yarns, as well as Artful Yarns.

Now the specifics. I bought a used denin vest at a thrift store, not a jacket but a vest without sleeves. From my closet, I found a jacket that fit me and traced a sort of "pattern" onto a piece of cardboard, then cut out a piece of cloth so I could make sure the template fit my arm. I used the flat cardboard piece as a template. I knew that I'd be knitting these sleeves FLAT and trying to fit the template as far as width was concerned. I started knitting the sleeves from the cuffs up. For my own personal size, I cast on 36 stitches using a size 8 needle and knit in 2 X 2 ribbing for about 10 rows for the cuff, then switched to plain stockinette and gradually expanded outward through a series of increases to, at the fullest part of the arm, having about 45-46 stitches. Then I started tapering back down when I got to the top of the sleeve. I kept track of which yarns I used for X number of rows so that I could later make the second sleeve sort of match the first.

For those who need more of a pattern, there is one here, called the Denim Dream Jacket from Creative Knitter designed by Bobbie Matela, that might be helpful for those who could benefit from more specific instructions.

Here I am wearing this jacket. I love it!! I will make more in the future, probably several.


Anonymous said...

Oh My Goodness Chelle - thank you for the great posting on the jacket!! I so want to make one of these - it may not be my very first project as a beginner but hopefully it will be second!! thanks so much - sandi

ChelleC said...

Happy to do it. I can't wait to see your sleeves when they are finished. I know you can do it. It's really not hard.

Laura said...

You look so cute in that jacket!

Ellen Bloom said...

What a great idea! You have that hand-knit look and you only have to knit the sleeves! Brilliant.

Elysbeth said...

You really look smashing in that. I have to admit to giving it the fuzzy eyeball in the flat photo, but on...too too much!

Psst, where's the bag?

ChelleC said...

Thanks everyone! I really enjoy this jacket and wear it a lot. Now that spring is coming, I'll be wearing it even more.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Bravo! You had a goal, a dream, and you figured out how to make it work for you. I love remaking one thing into another.

I'm not a short jacket person, and I have never been into blue faded denim even when I wore it in college because we all did.

However, I'm in the process of making a huge pullover into a not-quite-as-huge cardigan. I steeked and got a zipper, unravelled the collar, and am planning to shorten the sleeves (probably turn up the ribbed cuffs and tack them under like a hemmed edge, to look more like a jacket and still keep out the wind).

Remaking found objects makes me really happy... whether I made them or someone else. Great job.

loopykd said...

This is an amazing project. I love the idea and very well executed.

Rob said...

I just saw these vests the other day and I am in awe of the creativity - so much so - for the first time ever, I will now learn to knit! I must ask, however, how did you attach it to the vest?

Well done!