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An Affair for Three Seasons: The Knitted Jacket

Oct 5, 2009

Last weekend I went to camp. The event was called Wild Women's Weekend and it was held at a YMCA camp that I went to as a child. It was so much fun to go again as a "big kid"!

Three of my knitting friends went along, too, and even though there were a bunch of activities on the schedule, we sat our butts on the dock and knitted for hours in the sun. It was in the 80s—beautiful weather for late September! The evenings were chilly, though, and all four of us knitters packed a knitted sweater or jacket for the nippy nights.

I was recently going through my closet, switching out summer and winter clothes, and I was mourning a bit because I have so many knitted jackets that I wore all fall and winter when I lived in Seattle. The mild weather there allowed me to wear my favorite knitted jackets to work almost every day from mid-fall to early spring. And since it was Seattle, I'd just throw on a light raincoat overtop as needed and run out the door.

Now, not only am I working from my home office (work clothes = sweats and slippers!), but it'll be COLD and snowy soon. Time for a big girl coat (and boots and mittens and scarves and hats. . .). I'll wear my hand-knit scarves and mittens all the time, but wearing my knitted jackets as outerwear will be delegated to the fall and early spring.

Just because I can't wear my jackets as much as I want to anymore, I'm not going to stop knitting them! I'm adding Three Sisters to the queue ASAP. It's from Knitted Jackets by Cheryl Oberle.

This book is full of wonderful jacket patterns; it's hard to choose just one. Three Sisters appeals to me because I love the "three sisters" in the jacket: garter stitch, stockinette stitch, cable pattern. It's elegant in its simplicity.

And I appreciate the name of the piece, too: Even though I only have one sister, Liz, she's going to want this jacket before it's even close to being off the needles. (Every time I start a project Liz says, "That's going to look GREAT on me!")

Below are three of my favorite knitted jackets, modeled by my mom and my sister. (The Central Park Hoodie is soon to join this club because I'm making it a bit bigger and longer so I can wear it as a jacket this fall.)

The Brown Jacket: This jacket
is my favorite. I knit it a couple years
ago out of a variety of yarns. It's got
some silk, some merino, and some
nylon, all coming together to make a
soft, cozy, warm fabric. (That's my
mom amongst the roses.)
The Silk Garden Jacket: I knit this
about five years ago, and I wear it
all the time: a testament to the
durability of Noro Silk Garden! 
I also call this sweater the
"ton of buttons sweater." (That's
sister Liz modeling.)
The Big Button Jacket: This one is a
favorite among the knitted jacket fans.
I love wearing short -sleeved items
over long sleeved tee shirts, and this
sweater is perfect for that. (My sister
is such a trooper, modeling for me
on command!)

Have you knitted any jackets? Share some of your favorites with us in the forums!




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LibbyFraeda wrote
on Oct 31, 2009 1:38 PM

the horizontal stripes are not a good look for a big girl. Neither are the sleeves which stop at her bustline and therefore widen that part of her body.

Stacy wrote
on Oct 12, 2009 7:39 AM

I've only been knitting for a little over a year and still have problem knitting mittens.  I cannot imagine knitting a jacket.  I can only hope to knit one someday!  These are absolutely beautiful - especially the large button jacket.  

on Oct 11, 2009 11:47 AM


on Oct 11, 2009 11:47 AM


on Oct 8, 2009 8:26 AM


on Oct 6, 2009 3:29 PM


on Oct 6, 2009 3:29 PM


on Oct 6, 2009 11:48 AM

For Cameron Diaz's sweater in "The Holiday": Try the Bed and Breakfast sweater by Kathy Zimmerman ( It would look beautiful in white!

on Oct 6, 2009 11:37 AM

To Kelly S: I love "The Holiday," and that sweater was a "wow-er" for sure. I need to see the movie again to refresh my memory of the details of the sweater, but if you look through the pattern store, and in the recent Interweave Knits magazines, you might find something similar. I will too, and I'll post here if I find something.



Siverson7 wrote
on Oct 6, 2009 10:35 AM

I want to say a big thank-you to your sister for modeling the jackets.  It is great to see your work on a "real person" instead of a professional model.   I, too, have a lot of sweaters "loosely" based on Noro patterns and would love to see how other people change patterns to fit .  

I currently add about 2 inches in length to everything, always cast off the shoulders all at once to make them square shouldered, and generally  "bell" the patterns outward to accomodate my full figure.  I need help on how to make a sleeve fit after i have added to the underarm area.  Just adding overall up sizing to a garment leads to a "guy" silhouette and that is not flattering. I think this woudl make a great new series becasue all knitters I know eventually alter patterns to fit.

on Oct 6, 2009 10:25 AM

There is nothing more in the world I would love would be to be able to knit a sweater or jacket.  My problem is I am alittle more than a beginner (very little)  I can make more scarves than you can count, but I am so afraid to even try to make a sweater.  Does anyone know how to find someone in the area to help you to learn?  I have been thinking of putting an and in the local paper for someone to help teach me, any ideas?

KellyS@2 wrote
on Oct 6, 2009 8:06 AM

Kathleen, Have you seen the movie, "The Holiday"?  I fell in love with the winter white cable cardigan that was worn by Cameron Diaz.  For years I have searched for a pattern close to this one, to no avail.  Do you know if Interweave Knits has anything in the works even close to this one?  Thanks, Kelly Symons

stevie wrote
on Oct 6, 2009 7:22 AM

I knit Teva Durham's New Pea Coat from Interweave Fall 2008 for my sister and she loves it! It was a great project to work on although I did do some yarn substitution, etc for economy's sake. She swears that one of these days she is going to get it lined and I hope she does!

barbaras@143 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 5:43 PM

Kathleen, your jackets are wonderful.  Can you point me to instructions for the Big Button Jacket and the Silk Garden Jacket?  Many thanks!

Pamba wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:55 PM

I work at the YMCA.  I am the opener and get there at 4:45 am.  I bring my knitting and as i greet the members I knit.  They are always so interested in what I am doing.  Many of them are back to knitting and others have taken classes to learn.  I also meet others that came to the water aerobics classes I teach who have been going to a knitting quilt which I soon joined.  I think that you should have done some of the activities during the day and knitting at night.  Health is very important too.  I love running and biking and swimming and knitting.  

I love reading your adventures.  Thanks for all the information.  


Elaine cJ wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:37 PM

Vogue Knitting had a pattern several years ago called Mitred Squares which I made twice. It's all garter stitch, but the shaping makes it look incredibly complicated. It goes fast, too, on #8s or #9s using worsted weight yarn. A lovely garment to wear.

Shelle Cain wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:33 PM

I mostly crochet jackets, but you have definitely inspired me to knit one now! I love to knit - but I seem to only knit shawls and baby hats. I have designed several crochet sweaters and you can see pics on my website if you care to take a look. :D

femmer05 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:31 PM

I like your jackets a lot.  I am also intrigued by the book of knit jacket patterns.  However, since I cannot see the patterns, I don't wish to buy it over the internet.  I wish that these pattern  books for sale would learn that unless we can see pictures of the finished sweaters contained therein, we're pretty unlikely to buy it.  I'll watch for it in my local bookstore.;

MonicaH@21 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:09 PM

I love the jackets and Camp Reed.  I went there as a kid too, worked there in college, then sent my kids there as well.  I miss sitting on the dock and enjoying that sun.  Too bad I didn't knit back then.  I will have to look up that Wild Women's Weekend for next year.  

shiphrah wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:07 PM

Plus size models!!!! Thank you, Kathleen (and Liz and Mom).

GerdaP wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 4:02 PM

Hi Kathleen,

It is so fun to see you in print, I love knitted jackets as well, my two favorites are one out of Debbie Bliss Aran wool, I modified it so much that I don't remember what I did. Another favorite is a Lopi Alafloss cabled jacket, it has brought me through wet rainy football games for many years, it is so dense I never get wet even in torrential downpours!



LindaE@28 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 2:02 PM


I would love to knit a sweater.  I've taught myself how to knit socks,

shawls, and scarves in different patterns but the sweaters baffle me.

I don't know how to measure myself and I need something very easy because the patterns I've read are too hard. Also I don't like to sew things together and would rather knit something from the neck down...


ClaireB@2 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 1:49 PM

My knitted jackets are used almost year around!  I wear them in the winter layered under a light-weight parka. Perfect for really cold weather (ok, maybe not for the 20 below climate) partnered with (hand-knit) hat, scarf, mittens, pulse warmers . . . I find that Nordic-style stranded knitting is the best for winter layering since it provides a great thermal fabric.

KathieB@4 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 1:24 PM

I am currently knitting the Plymouth Kimono 1530 wusing a Cascade for the stocking stitch and Berroco Jasper for the garter stitch portions.

I was wondering what sizes are the jackets in the book?

Why don't designers make more patterns that are flattering to us ample ladies.  Note that two of the sweaters your sister is modeling have horizontal stripes.  That is a "no no" for me.  

Bookworm2013 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 12:52 PM

Great jackets!   I love jackets - they all must have pockets, though.  However I might make an exception for the CPH, I suspect.  After you "embiggen" the pattern, will it be available for us?  Hope so!

Nancy in N MN

KnitgusKnit wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 12:45 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl Oberle last month at Stitches Midwest and fell in love with her work!  She had all of her pieces from the book and her other books there as well.  Great Suff!  I bought this book and can't wait to make a coat from it.  I also got some of her yarn.

I've made lots of jackets too.  Chris Bylsma's Madison Coat is my favorite.  It's done on real chunky yarn so it goes fast and just makes you want to make two!

jan@4 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 12:41 PM

when you ask for a jacket, i made one ; you can see it on ravelry ,look  by janknitter where you find it.

LisaB@39 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 12:16 PM

Kathleen, I love your jackets! And you, your sis, and your mom all have the same great smile. :-)

I've never knit a jacket before, but I'm tempted to try the Three Sisters. Do you think a beginner could handle it?

on Oct 5, 2009 12:12 PM

I wish you would put how many of the patterns are knit in the round and how many are seamed sweaters.  Everyone seems to have a preference, and this will help each person gauge this or her interest in purchasing the book ... rather than just passing it off entirely.

McKennaO wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 11:49 AM

An excellent book recommendation, Kathleen. Thank you for mentioning it. I have an almost pathological addiction to knitting books, but this is one I actually use, and frequently. Very well-written and with easily adapted patterns, there truly is something for everybody. Seasoned knitters will find it a great de-stashing tool - just think 'outside' the colour box.

on Oct 5, 2009 11:16 AM

Thanks for the compliments, friends!

The big button jacket is based VERY LOOSLEY on a Jane Ellison Noro pattern--I can't remember the book, but if you search Ravelry, you might find it. The brown jacket is from Norah Gaughan Book 1, and the silk garden jacket is from an old Rowan magazine—maybe from 1990—that I borrowed from a friend.


on Oct 5, 2009 11:14 AM

Hi, I have just joined ther group, I live in London, England and wonder if I can still subscribe to the magazine.

We don't seem to have any good knitting magazines here or groups to join.

June Zubert wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 10:44 AM

Your jackets are great!  Where can we find the patterns for them?


on Oct 5, 2009 10:39 AM

Beautiful work, Kathleen!  You're inspiring me to finish some of my UFO's!!

on Oct 5, 2009 10:38 AM

My Mother taught me how to knit when I was four; I am now seventy-three and still knitting.  The first was a red sweater done in the knitted stitch.  The second thing I learned was to  purl along with the knitting and I made a gold jacket.  My Mother sat in one chair and I sat at her feet and she was there with every stitch I made.   It even had pockets.  This was several years  before the war.   I sat for hours watching her knit and sew.  I know she must have used patterns, but I don't remember ever seeing any.  Today, the big thrill is learning all the new stitches (which probably aren't new, but are to me), and the new way of doing things.  My, one of my next, projects is to make a coat of many colors to use up bits and pieces of yarns.  I don't throw away one inch of yarn; or anything else for that matter.  I love the jackets too!  Take care and be safe  

PeggyF wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 10:31 AM

I love this book!  Currently I am working the "Puzzle Me This" jacket in Plymouth Candide, a cranberry colored yarn that has aged at least 10 years in my stash.  The stitch pattern is so simple, yet creates a handsome texture.  I like to have projects OTN in various weights, so this covers my heavy worsted UFO.  I have my eye on several more patterns in this book.  Like the "Best of Interweave Arans & Celtics," I want to knit nearly every pattern in the book!

knit on!


Helen@138 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 10:28 AM

I have picked out 5, yes 5, jackets that I want to knit out of this wonderful book.  I have a weakness for jackets.  I can go out for a pair of shoes and come back with a jacket.  


MarenM@2 wrote
on Oct 5, 2009 10:12 AM

Love these jackets of yours!  Where do I find the pattern for the big button jacket?