(Warning- I'm feeling a little fond of the asides today. This post is heavy on the parentheses)
At the time of this post, this jacket has 1079 Ravelry Project pages and is in 4515 queues, including my own. Chances are, if you're reading this, you've at least considered knitting up Drops 103-1 (I wish they'd give their projects better names.) It's a free pattern and it looks great on just about anyone. You should think about it if you haven't.
The first project up is one I'm sure you've seen. It has over 300 faves on Ravelry and is in the top 6 for number of faves for this project. Nina, aka LaNina used US 10 needles and Kraemer Yarns Maunch Chunky in Licorice Snaps. I'm not sure what size she knit up, but this looks like a small to me. Nina shows us here one way to have fun with this pattern that enhances its versatility- funky fasteners! If you look at the Rav page for this project, you'll notice most of the best jackets have huge, in-your-face buttons, toggles, or fasteners. Nina has also turned her collar down, reminiscent of CanarySanctuary's modded version (I know you've seen this version, and Canary knows I love her, so I won't go into detail on her mods here.)
Another thing the best-of-the-best have in common is great color choice. This pattern has lots of detail, but it's not too overwhelming in a bright color. Taija (or Tui to Ravellers) used Garnstudio Eskimo in a bright yellow when she knit up her size xl on US 11s. This version shows how the front detail reigns in what could be problematic bustiness in another jacket. It also illustrates a drawback, however. This is not a jacket that you can leave open.
Although the asymmetric lines and high neck highlight the face, those same lines make for a strange bulge of fabric when left unfastened.
While Taija minimized the bulkiness around her neck, that same bulkiness adds a high-fashion quality to Fragilistica's (or Magda to non Ravelers) (really, are there any non-Ravellers left?) version below. Magda is also showing us a shorter sleeve and more ease than the previous projects. Adding ease (aka knitting up a bigger size) is a good way to make the bulk look like it's coming from the jacket instead of the body. It also doesn't hurt that Magda looks like a supermodel in this photo anyway (really! Why can't I take artsy photos like this?) She used Rowan Chunky Print in Natural and US 11 needles. Magda also happens to be in the top 4 for favorites with this jacket.
And how beautiful is this next photo? Elin is freaking cute as a button (she really is, check out her blog). This photo makes me feel all back-to-schooley excited for fall. I love the boyfriend jeans and slightly baggy look of this jacket (note to self- look into boyfriend jeans). Elin used a little more ease and shorter sleeves, making her 103-1 look like something you'd curl up in after a warm bath on a cool night. Elin, is this thing really as comfy as it looks?
You can use Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in Muffin and US 6 needles to try and copy Elin's jacket. She knitted a Medium with smaller needles and yarn than called for and ended up with a 38" bust. She doesn't mention if she was able to match her gauge to the pattern.
Lastly, another beautiful color to ease us into Autumn. (I just realized today is the first day of Autumn. I love Autumn.) This is Amy; she also calls herself Amelie on a certain website. Amy went for longer sleeves and a double-breasted look with six buttons. She went for the 37" size, which I'm going to assume is a Medium-ish? The neck on this jacket is not overwhelming and doesn't compete with her Bettie Page hair and funky glasses. You really have to know when to let your personality speak louder than your clothes. This is Garnstudio Eskimo in purple and she used US 11 needles.
You can play around with sleeve length, ease, and how much of a collar you want to make this jacket look sleek, casual, or down-right comfortable. (I do not use casual as a synonym for comfortable.) The detail down the front and buttons near the face draw attention away from any width you may be trying to camouflage. This jacket is also A-lined, which means it will skim the body instead of hugging curves. The simple lines of this jacket give a great opportunity to play around with color and try out the biggest, funkiest, buttons you can find. It will only enhance your face and excuses for funkiness are few and far between.
Is this jacket in your queue? Have you tried to knit it up? How has ease affected your opinion of your jacket? Show us your buttons!!! Have you played around with gauge or other modifications? What colors would you choose for this jacket and why?