Stieler Jacket In Progress, HoTN

I’ve spent the past few days doing some exciting swatching, trying to refine a colorwork pattern and creating a schematic for a short jacket for History on Two Needles.

It started when I saw this magnificent jacket in this painting. I found the colorwork very inspiring, and wondered what yarn would work well to achieve the feeling of the sweater. I knew it should be a larger yarn, not something small and fine as is generally used in colorwork.

I knew it would also have to be lightweight so this would be a wearable garment, so I wanted to avoid a heavy yarn. I thought a ribbon would be nice, but it would have to be the right ribbon, and I’d want to use it with a more stable worsted weight yarn.

I received a ball each of Valentina in Honeycomb and Sunshine in Nutmeg from Trendsetter, and started playing around them. I discovered that I really liked the effect I achieved by using them doubled for the darker areas, then switching to a single strand of Valentina for the lighter areas.

Using both yarns together was an interesting effect, but the color change wasn’t as clear cut as I wanted.

Right around the same time I photoshopped the sleeve of the jacket and exploded it to create a repeating pattern. I dropped that into Appleworks, where I make my charts, and made an initial pass at the pattern.

I knew it would be best to do a traditional color changing, stranded colorwork and give up my double/single strand kooky method. But with such thick yarns I wanted to keep the floats as short as possible.

So I reworked my intial chart to include more color changes, thus reducing the areas with large floats.

When I liked the swatch I came up with, I created a schematic in Appleworks.

I took the chart and created a repeating pattern in Photoshop, then filled in the schematic (adding fur cuffs and collar and a waistband) to create a working sketch. Yes, this not-very passionate, cut and dried, measured image is my sketch.

I guess I’m still a pattern drafter (vs. a draper) at heart.

I’m thinking the colors I want to use are Bronze & Chocolate. I may reverse them (lighter color in Sunshine and the dark contrast in Valentina) just for fun. Decisions, decisions…

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