The Land Rover Owners Wife

Shell pattern baby jacket in J. C. Brett baby marble dk

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I really rather like the look of this one

I really rather like the look of this one

I’ve made this little jacket for a colleague of Muds, who is expecting her first baby in June and for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect, even though I have never met her. Her story is inspirational and one from which many of our young people could learn a lot. She is a young polish woman who far from coming over to our country to live off tax payer funded handouts, came over and took a job as a NHS cleaner to pay her way through university, with the sole aim of improving her circumstances through hard work and determination. This paid off when, a few years ago, she secured a good job in the same company and department as Mud. She continued to work hard and now has a good position within the department and there are many British Nationals, both young and old, who seem to believe that the world owes them a living, who would do well to follow her example.

Climbing down from my soapbox, I’ll now tell you about this charming little jacket.

The front borders, front sections and back were knitted in piece

The front borders, front sections and back, were knitted in one piece

The yarn is a firm favourite of mine for baby boys and I’ve used this colourway for several little garments now. It’s the J. C. Brett baby marble double-knit, 100g (268m), shade number 5 and is 100% acrylic. The yarn is lovely and soft, handles beautifully while being worked and, I’m told, washes well. I love the blue and brown colour way of this shade and it always looks really effective once knitted up.

The front and back shoulders were knitted together which left a beautifully tidy seam

The front and back shoulders were knitted together which left a beautifully tidy seam

I found the pattern on the freepatterns.com website. A blanket and hat are also on the pattern but I chose to complete the jacket in this case. Please be aware though that there are a couple of revisions at the very bottom of the pattern, to correct mistakes in the instructions which you need to read before you start or, like me, you’ll find yourself frogging the work back a couple of rows in to start again – which was annoying as I knew it wasn’t right but continued anyway, so have only myself to blame and will remember to follow my instinct next time.

Setting the sleeves was the worst part of the whole process

Setting the sleeves was the worst part of the whole process

So with the stitches cast on for a second time, I steadily worked my way through the pattern which was in a new format for me, in so much as the front borders, front sections and back are knitted as one piece until the required length from bottom edge to armpit is reached, at which point, some stitches from each end are placed onto stitch holders, leaving just the centre stitches to be worked on until the neckline is reached. The centre section is actually the back of the jacket and once this has been worked to the neck, the remaining stitches are placed onto another holder whilst the yarn is reattached to each set of end stitches in turn and then these are worked up to create the two front sections, complete with border.

Two little Peter Rabbit buttons finished it off nicely

Two little Peter Rabbit buttons finished it off nicely

As with the remaining back stitches, the two sets of front shoulder stitches weren’t cast off at this point but were kept on separate spare needles, the reason for which became clear when it came to making up the garment and was because:

  • with right sides facing each other, the needle holding the appropriate front shoulder stitches was placed parallel to the needle holding the matching back stitches (left front to left back etc);
  • then with a third needle, the back and front stitches, were knitted together, one pair at a time; and
  • when the second pair was done, the first was passed over the second to cast them off.
And the back of the jacket

And the back of the jacket

And so on and so forth until the 9 stitches for one shoulder were all cast off, 19 stitches for the back of the neck were knitted across and then the second set of front and back shoulder stitches were cast off in the same way. The end result was a tidy and perfect shoulder seam join on both sides.

The rest of the neckband and sowing up was quickly accomplished, two rather cute little Peter Rabbit buttons were sewn on and after a quick press, the garment was carefully wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with a shiny silver ribbon, ready for delivery today.

All in all I think this jacket has become my favourite baby knit to date, as I really love the shell and column detail, and would be suitable for both girl or boy.

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