Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Old Tiles box jacket


"I'm crazy about deteriorating surfaces and half demolished derelict buildings - beautiful tiled surfaces found in historical houses and places of disrepute are often left with half told stories in their deteriorating state. The design inspiration came from a photograph of a weathered and corroding town wall in Portugal - the type of surface I get such a thrill from because of its sense of mystery."
Brandon Mably on Old Tiles, Brilliant Knits

I believe part of the charm of this jacket on me came from this. I like to know the stories, if any at all, behind the creation of a design. But of course the combination of the colours is the biggest attraction. I first saw this design in Brilliant Knits, fell for it. Then, saw another version in The Ulitmate Knitter's Guide and fell even harder (maybe because the model wore it better there!). In both, there is only one size and there is NO schematics. Being a really really new knitter then, I didn't realize the hidden dangers lurking underneath. Recently I got Rowan 34, in which Old Tiles appears again, this time from XS to XL ... AND with schematics ... but much duller colour combinations. I was happy that I chose the colours based on the brighter and more colourful versions.

Last night, I read my posts on the jacket again. I believe this will be the one project on which I post the most. The project was started in March this year ... but it felt like a really really long journey. Have you noticed that for this project, I started with the sleeves first, which is not my usual way? I've been secretly patting on my own back for this smart move. Starting with the relatively smaller pieces of sleeves allowed me to learn the various techniques in intarsia knitting and get used to the rhythm of knitting. This is also why I went so much faster at the end. I remember towards the end, I kept thinking that if I could ever finish this project, I could do anything ... a very empowering thought.

Since I have already spent so much time and energy on it, I would like to do everything well. After one trip to Jo-Ann's, I knew I couldn't find the suitable buttons there. After some web searches, I discovered a button shop in the area. 3 Beads & A Button is mainly a bead shop which also sells buttons. I decided on something that is simple and goes well with the main colour of the jacket:


I mentioned earlier the danger of one-size-fits-all. Luckily, it is a boxy design, so there is no problem with the body ... but the sleeves I got leaned toward the short side. Not too much, but I would be much happier if they are, say, 1 inch longer. I have been having this fear that once the jacket is done, its charm on me would be gone. You know things like this happen. But I am happy to tell you that not this time! When I finished all the final touches except the buttons on Monday night, I was already very excited to try it on and took pictures:


And I love love love wearing it! I actually wore it for half an hour in the middle of the night before taking it off! I have also decided that the jacket is meant to be worn without buttoning up:


You see what I mean? Even Husband said he liked it ... he said it had a Spanish feeling to it.

Details:
Pattern and Modifications: Old Tiles box jacket by Brandon Mably (from Brilliant Knits)
In the original design, there are 2 front pockets. But the whole thing was complicated enough for me sans pockets, so I omitted them.

Yarns: Rowan Cotton Glace (12 colours), Rowan Fine Cotton Chenille (2 colours), Elann Endless Summer Collection Sonata (3 colours)
I definitely love the Cotton Glace. The yarn is of really good quality, the colours are lovely and it doesn't split at all. On the other hand, substituting with Sonata is a result of my inexperience. Sonata is a slightly thicker yarn than Cotton Glace and it splits like hell. Now that I think about it, I may have better result substituting with Patons Grace. The Fine Cotton Chenille was discontinued long ago. But I managed to find the colours I need here. However, I don't really like knitting with chenille because it is so difficult to control the tension. I can't imagine knitting a whole sweater out of such a yarn! (But you know there are patterns out there! LOL!)

Gauge and Needles: 23 stitches to 4", US2 and US3

How would I do it differently?
This is easy - use wool. Simply out of curiosity, I put the jacket on the kitchen scale, and can you guess how heavy it is? Mind you, it is a short boxy jacket ... and it weighs a whoppy 1lb 5oz!!! Even the loose ends trimmed (am I a bit sick? I saved almost all the loose ends!!) weigh almost 4oz. So, if you are ever interested in making a similar jacket/sweater like this, no matter what cotton yarns the pattern suggests, go for wool. If I were to make this one again (well, you never know, right?), I'll definitely consider KnitPicks Wool of the Andes. If you can afford it, use Rowan KSH ... that would give you an airy lightweight jacket.

28 comments:

grumperina said...

It's beautiful, and looks great on you! What an accomplishment - you can do anything now! Enjoy wearing it!

Megann said...

Absolutely stunning! You did such a great job and look so cute in it!

xmasberry said...

wow! that is really nice! although i do not envy you weaving in the ends! Really wonderful and it looks fantastic on you as well!

claudia said...

Not only is that an impressive knitting achievement, but it looks great on you. Personally, I don't think I've ever reached that goal, so you are one up on me.

YEAH for you!

twig said...

It's gorgeous! You did such a great job on it!

Re: KnitPicks sampler I don't think they had the sampler pack when you started Old Tiles. I'm really liking working with Wool of the Andes, but this is my first time ever knitting a garment with wool, so I don't have much to compare it to. But I do think my stockinette looks a lot more even.

Nicola said...

Absolutely stunning! I've followed your progress on this and you did a beautiful job.

Debi said...

Hi Hunny! I'm back...I missed you and I'm gonna post your meme very soon!! Pumpkin missed his auntie agnes :)

Old Tile is simply breathtaking!! What a beautiful job, such knitting perfection! It looks so lovely on you ant the sleeves are the perfect bracelet length! It's an heirloom for sure!
Brava!

Pumpkin sends chirrrrps to you and the hubster!! xxx

Mimi said...

Such a great job on this Intarsia poject! It shows the artistic touch of this design. The overall size is very proportional and I think the sleeves' lenght are just right for you. You look fantastic on this sweater.I share your enjoyment by this achievement. Congratulations Agnes!

candsmom said...

Just gorgeous!! So beautiful and stunning. Such incredible craftsmanship, too. What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations to you! :-)

Winter said...

Wow, that jacket looks gorgeous. You certainly have a lot of patience to make it. Though I suppose the constant switching of colours would help keep one entertained long enough to make some good headway on it . . .

Either way, congrats on the completion. It looks good on you, too!

Siow Chin said...

Congratulations to you, Agnes! You did it and it looks marvelous on you. Bravo for your courage in tacking such a difficult project too.

Eva Shiu said...

It is so beautiful ! It fits you perfectly ! Excellent work !

Laura.Y said...

Looks superb Agnes! This jacket really really speaks for itself. The amt of work that went into it! Gosh! U've outdone urself :)

caitlyn said...

It is realy stunning on you, Agnes!

joy said...

Congratulations on finishing Old Tiles! What an amazing job!

Ruth said...

wow it looks terrific! i can't believe you finished it! it looked like a lot of hard work, and it looks great. =)

Laura said...

Let me join the chorus of impressed people. It looks fantastic! Congratulations on making such a intricate jacket.

Now, let's see a photo of all those ends. :-)

Diana said...

woohoo! congrats on finishing Old Tile! That is quite an acheivement.

Liz said...

WOW! It's gorgeous on you Agnes!

I like it better open also. Much more fun and what a great accent for just about anything!

Kudos to you for sticking it out!

erin said...

Way to go Agnes! Fantastic job and great fit!

alltangledup said...

great fit, great colours and well done on those ends, there must had been hundreds!

Lolly said...

What an amazing accomplishment, Agnes! It is really beautiful and looks wonderful on you too ;)

Purly Whites said...

This is such amazing knitting! You did a phenomenal job and I hope you are proud of yourself for a good long time!

sylv said...

shit, you've done such a great job with this !! For sure now you can tackle ANY project !! Congratulations !!!!

Lynette said...

You have certainly moved on to the advanced stuff, Agnes. Old Tiles is beautiful - congratulations!

nona said...

What a delight to visit your blog and see your Old Tiles jackets finished. It's beautiful -- oh heck, it's a masterpiece! I hope you enjoy wearing it, I'm sure you'll get endless compliments.

quiltyknitwit said...

You persevered and did a great job. It is truly lovely!

Anonymous said...

After 30 or so years of knitting, I still find almost every project is a learning experience...cotton vs. wool etc. I once did a very cabled sweater in cotton rather than the wool called for in the pattern. With all those cables, you can imagine how much that baby weighed. Your sweater/jacket is just absolutly beautiful and I hope you will enjoy wearing it for years.