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The Pan-Am Jacket: You Can Do It!

Jun 12, 2013

Last fall, several intrepid knitters got together for a Knitting Daily Knit-Along and made Ashley Rao's Pan-Am Jacket. This jacket is a wonderful challenge for the courageous knitter. And it's the perfect project for a knit-along! Everyone learned so much from each other, and the community that was established was so fun to be a part of.

I must confess, though, that I didn't finish my Pan-Am; I never even started it. Shame on me! I've knit several of our knit-along projects, but I just couldn't fit this one in.

It'll stay on my list, though, because it's so beautiful, and flattering, too! It incorporates so many knitting techniques that you'll improve your knitting skills in the process of knitting, too. Here's a montage of finished objects:

   
They're all beautiful, and I love the color variety. It's so much fun to see what colors people choose, and I really didn't expect to see a two-color version! It wouldn't occur to me to knit this sweater in two colors, but I think it turned out great!

You can't see it in these photos, but some people knit the facing of the border and sleeves in a different color, which adds a secret detail just for the knitter. Neat-o.

In the knit-along forum there are a bunch of tips that are super helpful, but one that came up a lot concerned the sleeves and the Roman Ribs' tendency to bell out a bit.

Several knitters solved this by going down one or two needle sizes and did the cuff facing in 1x1 ribbing. This technique pulls the sleeves in a bit and manages the belling problem.

As I mentioned above, the Pan-Am Jacket is a challenging pattern—it's not for the beginning knitter. But I really encourage intermediate and even advanced-beginners to knit this jacket. If you don't challenge yourself, you won't advance, and the finished Pan-Am is so lovely, as you can see from the photos above.

So this is one of those knitting trifectas: interesting to knit, beautiful finished project, versatile wardrobe-builder. I love it.

And even though our knit-along is over, the forum will live forever on the web and you can glean so much knowledge from the knitters who went before you. So download your Pan-Am Jacket pattern today, read through the knit-along forum, and knit a fabulous jacket for yourself!

Cheers,

P.S. Have you knit the Pan-Am Jacket? Share your experience with us in the comments.


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Comments

janetw43 wrote
on Jun 18, 2013 10:44 PM

This is a challenging pattern and it was only my determination to not let it get the better of me that helped me get there. The initial copy that I purchased didn't have any sleeve gusset but I couldn't see how it would work without an increase there once the body and sleeves were separated so I worked out a gusset.

I have also changed the shaping slightly and the garment is 3/4 done but I have put it down so that I can work on some lace projects. Don't like it being a UFO so will pick it up again and complete it next month.

Check the errata data - which I am about to do again to see if there is anything on the sleeve gusset.

I see the comments about the Roman Rib and maybe I will undo the sleeve cuffs and try the ribbing for the facing because I feel the cuff as it is is too heavy for the sleeve and it bells too much

nokreps wrote
on Jun 17, 2013 1:53 PM

I finally completed mine this past April and was able to wear it a few times before the weather warmed up.  I knit it in a smaller size then I normally do and I added the sleeve gusset - I used Lambs Pride wool, which fortunately blocked to measurements (my friends were skeptical that it would fit).  I like the slight flare of the jacket and sleeves, very different from what I normally knit.  I consider myself a very experienced knitter, but had never knit something with raglan sleeves.  I found it a lot of fun and actually would have finished in January, but was put off by the sewing of the facing!  It all turned out for the best, as I finished it  during a knit retreat with some friends.  One of the them had a stone button, which turned out to be the perfect touch!

nokreps wrote
on Jun 17, 2013 1:53 PM

I finally completed mine this past April and was able to wear it a few times before the weather warmed up.  I knit it in a smaller size then I normally do and I added the sleeve gusset - I used Lambs Pride wool, which fortunately blocked to measurements (my friends were skeptical that it would fit).  I like the slight flare of the jacket and sleeves, very different from what I normally knit.  I consider myself a very experienced knitter, but had never knit something with raglan sleeves.  I found it a lot of fun and actually would have finished in January, but was put off by the sewing of the facing!  It all turned out for the best, as I finished it  during a knit retreat with some friends.  One of the them had a stone button, which turned out to be the perfect touch!

LuluThreads wrote
on Jun 15, 2013 1:35 PM

I started my Pan-Am last July, and finally finished in May of this year.  

It was a challenge and I am glad I completed it.   And - It fits!

I thought the main problem with the pattern was the size of the sleeves.

I made one of the smaller sizes, but needed to add stitches at the underarm.

Added one more increase each side of sleeve just before the underarm, then cast on 3 stitches each side of sleeve and body at the underarm.  Then I decreased gradually 3 times.  

I eliminated some of the flare at the center back.  Also, when picking up stitches for the border, I didn't worry about number of stitches so much as making sure it would fit and drape correctly.  Just make sure to follow the pattern at the corners.

Photo is on Ravelry.  Luluthreads

Ilehlia wrote
on Jun 15, 2013 8:08 AM

I'm like you.  I was very interested in this KAL when it got announced, and I downloaded the pattern.  But I haven't started it.  I have at least 6 UFO's on the needles at the moment, so I didn't really want to get THAT far behind.  So now I've bookmarked the knit-along forum so I can go to it for reference, which takes me one step closer.  Seeing the finished projects is very inspiring too.  I like the pale green one in the longer length.  It looks swirly and flirty.  I had one question about some of the photos:  why do some of the projects have such a wide neckline, and others not?  Is that an adjustment that the knitters made?