Friday, July 10, 2009

There Was a House in New Orleans...
Called the "Rising Sun."
This pattern is a little controversial. It's for sale now, but a few lucky people were lucky enough to print or save it when it was free a while back. The controversy is that people who bought the particular issue of Interweave Knits, in which this jacket was pictured, feel like they should still have access to the pattern since they paid for the magazine- even though the pattern itself was not in the magazine.
Followed all that?
Whatever. Let's get to the goodies. This is the Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert. You can purchase it for $6 on her website if you don't already have it. This design is a hit or miss. I've seen a lot of photos of these jackets that look absolutely horrible. Lumpy, thick, and misshapen, they can make the wearer add 20 visual pounds. There are a few shining examples, though, that prove this pattern is really a goldmine in disguise, if only you know the secrets.

Secret #1: Yarn Selection. Jench1n, above, Chose Noro Silk Garden in colourway #208 and US 9s. The long color repeats of the yarn create slimming circles at the natural waist, visually cinching the jacket in at the slimmest point of the body. Please note the muted colors and softer, drapier yarn also add to the slimming effect. Bold, contrasting colors, like primary colors, and yarns with more "body" might not give you the visual effect you're looking for here. This particular version is a size 35", which, I think, works out to about a medium. The shawl collar construction (I believe she just used one fastener instead of 3 or 4) creates my favorite neckline- the V! Forcing your eye up from the cinched waist to the face. (For another beautiful collar variation see hanao on Ravelry)

Secret #2: Be wary of variegations. Mimi here was able to get a little brave with the variagated yarn due, in part, to the fact that she was knitting a size 33 1/2" (Manos Del Uruguay, Clasica in Bing Cherry; US 7s). A larger woman would not be able to carry off this much visual action. Mimi also switched up her skeins every few rows to avoid pooling. Now, I know people have different ideas about whether pooling is good or bad. If you see a pooled top that has a slimming effect on the wearer, please let me know. I have a feeling that any attractively slimming pooled sweater might be knit by the Loch Ness Monster.

Rule #3: Toggle placement. This is the most important rule to follow if you want your jacket to NOT look like a tent. There are a lot of jackets out there where the toggles are placed to high up on the front, left section. When the gathering happens at the top of this jacket, it causes the bottom to flare out in an A-line shape. Anyone who watches Clinton and Stacey knows that A-lines are great for skirts and dresses, but the inverse of that rule is that A-lines are HORRIBLE for tops. Unless you're about to pop a baby out, then you can wear whatever the hell you want (We'll call this Shannon's Corrolary to the A-line Rule.) Jenny, pictured above, used Cascade 220 in Charcoal Gray with US 8s for her jacket. She says this is the "largest size" but I'm not so sure. Unless the largest size is a medium in the real world as sometimes happens with these things. Notice how she, and the other women in this post, placed the toggles as far DOWN the front of the jacket as possible. The result is slimming and elongating, rather than the bulky teepee appearance of Sunrise Circles gone wrong.

Rule #4: Have fun with color! This rule has two prerequisites: 4a.) This does NOT apply to stripes- see rule #1. and 4b.) All other rules must be upheld. Christy used Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in a beautiful orange color. This is the 37" version knit on US 7s. As I was researching this pattern for this review, the bold colors grabbed my eye right away. The jacket has a funky construction, so you may as well run with it, right?

This jacket is dangerous in the wrong hands. It has the ability to make you look like a large, hairy, ape if you do not follow these rules: 1. Select your yarn carefully. Don't go too bulky or stiff and 2. Be careful with stripes and variegations. 3. Location, location, location! Of the toggles, of course. Set them low on the jacket so the sides are straight. Aviod the A-line at all costs! and 4. Have fun with it! Try some funky color or embellishments. Just keep the crazy stuff away from your boobs or hips, and you should be fine.

Speak Up:
Is this in your queue? If you've knit it, how did it work out? Do you need some remedial button placement? Show us your embellishments! And, as always, let me know what you think!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this analysis as well as the others you've done. I don't have the skills to know which variables will make a sweater look wonderful but you've provided some excellent tips.


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