book review graphicWhew, it’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a knitting book for you guys. I’ve just found something that I think you’re really going to enjoy … so read on …

Have you ever wanted to knit a jacket? Not just a heavy sweater, but a real jacket? A jacket that looks woven and sophisticated and uber chic? A jacket that you could wear to work or over an evening dress? A jacket that is custom fitted to your shape … and height … and general you-ness?

Knitted jackets ... cool

Knitted jackets … cool

Jean Frost, the known expert on knitting jackets, recently published (through XRX Books) two books: Custom Fit Knit Jackets: Casual to Couture and Stitches for Tailored Knits: Build Better Fabric with Jean Frost.

The first book, Custom Fit Knit Jackets, details jacket construction with all the idiosyncrasies that make knitting a jacket different than sewing one. Frost walks the reader through how to measure, chart and create a knitted jacket that fits, no matter what size you may be. She teaches the reader how to create a paper pattern, a “jersey template” to test the paper pattern, and then how to knit up the garment. She also walks you through how to make a lining, construct interesting closings, and embellish your final masterpiece. This is sort of a sequel to her earlier book, Jean Frost Jackets: Fabric, Fit and Finish for Today’s Knits; the earlier book just brushes the surface of what’s in this latest volume. The earlier book is more just a pattern book for making a specific jacket or two; the book I’m talking about here is more for designing your own unique creation.

The second book adds a stitch-dictionary to your knitting-jacket repertoire; these stitches (charted and row-by-row) are photographed in great detail and shown in different color combinations so that you can clearly see exactly what the stitch patterns will do and why they would work for a tailored jacket. Many of the stitch patterns create a knitted fabric that looks woven — houndstooth, basketweave, diagonal weave (that looks like twill). Gorgeous ideas here.

The only down-side is I think you really need to buy both books if you’re interested in knitting a fitted jacket — the stitchionary, on it’s own, is useful for knitting fabrics filled with texture and depth, but you really need the Custom Fit Knit Jackets to help you create a one-of-a-kind, yep-it-fits, knitted jacket.

Have you ever wanted to knit a jacket … have you found a cool pattern you’d like to tell me about? Please leave a comment so I can add it to this post!

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