Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bavarian Jacket

Bavarian Jacket

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Bavarian Jacket, Spun Out 29A, available at Schoolhouse Press
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino, colorway 119, about 13 skeins
Needles: US 7 Options
Gauge: 4.25 st/in

This is a great pattern, with neat little tricks like elbow shaping that you don't see every day. It's just some well placed short rows, but it makes a difference. I left them out at first, but was displeased with the way the fabric bunched when I bent my elbow. Lesson learned, don't question Elizabeth Zimmermann!

Aside from screwing up and then having to fix it, I didn't make many modifications. Instead of grafting the shoulders, I used a three-needle bind off, and I cast off for the back neck and picked up stitches for the little collar. So my Bavarian Jacket isn't as seamless as the original, but the weight of the garment is on the shoulders, and the seams there do keep it from pulling out of shape. The pattern calls for a knitted strip of garter stitch stretched between the sleeve caps to hold things together, which I found unnecessary.

I left off the optional pockets and "ridiculous" (EZ's word, not mine) little belt at the back, but only because I thought that the shank buttons I chose would be uncomfortable if I went with the belt.

The yarn is from the stash, and I chose it mostly to use it up. On the whole, I prefer solid yarns, but sometimes the siren song of the variegated skein is more than I can bear. I purchased this in an unhappy moment after I finished my first sweater, Wicked, and it came out disastrously. I thought that if only I had used the "right" yarn, it would have been fine, and was determined to re-knit the pattern and show it who was boss. The mood passed and I was left with the yarn.

I'm pleased with how the colors worked up in garter stitch, and especially with how it looks with the buttons on, but I can't say that I would prefer it to, say, a solid olive green. Then I could have done navy i-cord and scarlet pocket linings a la Liz to great effect. On a variegated background, however, it would be too much.

Elizabeth Zimmermann Original Bavarian Jacket
Original Bavarian Jacket
See this and more at New School Knitting: The Influence of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Schoolhouse Press
Original Bavarian Jacket - Back

Original Bavarian Jacket - detail


Helen said...

I think it looks wonderful and I think you're absolutely right about not adding any 'details' that would distract from the yarn. I think, actually, that it looks better than EZ's, which is just a little too Bavarian, a little too 'costume-y' for modern eyes.

sophanne said...

That looks GREAT. I have several EZ books and have been on the fence about trying some out. (I've had more than one sweater failure myself and not one success yet.) Seeing that pattern in a color I like and without the details makes me LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is just a beautiful jacket! I agree with everyone else that your version is so very elegant! You continue to amaze. Well done!!!

Anonymous said...

Your jacket is stunning! I love the yarn; in the photos the variegation looks fairly subtle. It really works well with the garter stitch, I agree. Don't you just love the structural details EZ includes, like the elbow shaping? It makes for a subtle, sophisticated piece. With the elegant yarn you chose and your fine workmanship this jacket is just totally gorgeous.

Knittinreed said...

It looks fantastic! I also like your version better than EZ's. But let's not tell her :-)

You knitting is really beautiful.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Jessi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a beautiful sweater! I have never made anything by EZ, but all her patterns look so cool.
I also really love that yarn. It has just the perfect amount of variegation.