It was my birthday this weekend and as a celebration, I want to share with you my mitre jacket pattern which I’ve been working on. This pattern has been in my mind for a while and started life when I saw the granny square cardigan in an Interweave pattern book and grew a little more when I discovered the might of mitres. It took several attempts for me to settle on the type of mitre I wanted, and the yarn, but I got there in the end.
In the end, I used neither of these types of yarn, and none of those type of colours. And that’s when I realised the huge versatility of this pattern. You can use any wool and any type of mitre and create a really unique garment.
So here is what you do. Take an existing cardigan/jumper and lay it flat with the arms straight out to the side. Measure from cuff, across the chest and to the other cuff. Now you need to decide what number your measurement can be divided by – I’d suggest 9/10/11 as good numbers. As an example, my measurement was 136 cms with the body measurement being about 42 cms. I knew I wanted to make the cardigan sleeves not quite full length as it’s a lightweight summer item and the sleeves would be wide, so I rounded the measurement down to 132 cms and decided to make my mitres 11cms by 11cms (like knitting lots of gauge swatches). And then I got on with it. It is helpful for the number of mitres on the body to be even so that you can split it easily for the front. And of course for the mitres to fit your body comfortably. The sleeves you can add or detract mitres from depending on the length.
Since I was using DK yarn – Adriafil Cheope Sienna, Sand and Dark Khaki, with 4mm needles I cast on 39 stitches. The basic pattern for each mitre is the same.
Row 1 Knit 18, k3tog, K18
Row 2 and all even rows, purl all stitches
Row 3 Knit 17, k3tog, k17
Continue in this pattern until you have one stitch left.
I made four mitres for the right arm, four mitres for the body and another four mitres for the left arm. And I had a very long line of mitres, and a few puzzled looks from politely interested people who asked what I was making. I then knitted four mitres for the right arm and two mitres for the front right, and four mitres for the left arm and two mitres for the front left.
You can join the mitres as you knit by picking up 18 stitches on the side of the mitre you have just finished (don’t forget you already have 1 stitch remaining from the previous mitre, which should be on your needle) and then casting on another 18 stitches. Of course, there was no way I was going to make the jacket just one colour. More on that later.
I then wanted to join my long strips. It is possible to keep on picking up stitches on the existing mitres but I wanted to make a feature with a contrasting yarn. I did this using Adriafil Carioca, which is a slightly heavier weight yarn so not appropriate to use for mitres with Cheope
but a great contrast for joining. I used the “zipped” crochet join to really make the joint pop! Make sure that you join four mitres for the sleeve but only one for the front. The remaining one mitre will be a collar and the neck hole – see photo.
So now it was time to knit the next row down. Exactly the same number of mitres except for one thing – I used two colours in each mitre this time. The change to the pattern is that you cast on 19 stitches with colour 1 and the remaining 18 with colour 2. Otherwise everything is the same, just make sure to twist the two colours together when you are done with the k3tog so that there are no holes.
On the third row I used one colour again, and knitted two mitres for the front right and one for an underarm gusset. Then four mitres for the back. Finally one underarm gusset and two mitres for the front left. I added in the underarm “gusset” so that the sleeve would not be too tight under the arm and bunch uncomfortably. These three pieces need to be joined to the second row of the jacket first so that the gusset attaches to the last mitre of the sleeve on the front and the back (in effect being “folded” in half).
After this, I was in the home straight. One more row of mixed colour mitres knitted in one long strip – two for the front right, four for the back, two for the front left and the final strip of one colour mitres, the same as for the row before.
As the mitre is knitted in stocking stitch and since the yarn is cotton, the edges of the mitres curl a lot. Whilst I was knitting the two colour mitres, a man even asked me which football team I supported as he liked the bunting!
So as I was approaching the end of the knitting, I was wondering how to finish the jacked off on the edges so that it would lie flat. I thought of i-cord edging or picot edging and tried different things. In the end, I thought that I would bring the colours all together by using them all.
It’s a substantial edge that allows no curl at all. I used the edging to strengthen the neck line so it wouldn’t stretch. You will need to crochet two stitches together on each side of the neckline on each row of edging to make sure the neckline lies flat. And of course work in extra two DCs in the corners so you get a sharp turn. Here is the final version in its unblocked version.
And here it is in glorious blocked variety.
With this pattern, remember that you can use any yarn, any colours and any type of mitre you like. You could even make slightly bigger mitres along the last row (use larger needles) if you want a slightly curvier jacket. Similarly you could use a smaller needle to produce tighter mitres on the sleeves so that they are less wide. The key is to experiment! I’m really please with how this has turned out. And now I’m casting around in my wardrobe to find something suitable to team it with for the office. Just a few more photos as I’m secretly quite proud of this one…
What will your jacket look like?