The last and probably the only occasion where I was really creative was when I knitted the cut-away boucle jacket in 2005. I had this beautiful Noro Shinano yarn in mixed green and ivory which I bought on sale with no dedicated project in mind. I just loved the color and feel of the yarn which is wool/silk blend.
I swatched with different patterns but I was not happy at all even after using up entire ball. Then I realized that it needed some more colors, fuzzy colors. So, I bought several worsted weight mohair yarns in orange red, greens, and blues, some of them were heathered colors. One of them was a mohair loop yarn. Instead of striping mohair yarns with Shinano, I made a magic ball: a ball of yarn made by cutting and knotting lengths of yarns. I think I cut the mohair yarns in about 15” long pieces. I did not measure them. Just cut them approximately. Then tie them into a ball of yarn by selecting different yarns randomly.
I began swatching with the following stitch pattern:
With Noro Shinano cast on, and knit two rows (garter stitch). Third and forth rows are knit with magic ball *knit 1, slip 1 as if the purl with yarn in back *, repeat * to * on row 3. On row 4 slip all the previously slipped stitch with yarn in front as if to purl and knit all the knitted stitches. Rows 5 and 6, garter stitch with Noro Shinano. Rows 7 and 8 are similar to rows 3 and 4 except slipped and knit stitches are reversed so that the mohair yarns show in staggered pattern rather than lined up.
Initially, making the magic ball made me feel so wrong: Cut up yarns and then tie them up every 15”! But, when I saw the swatch, my feeling of guilt went away.
The pattern I selected was design #1 from VK magazine Winter 2004/2005 issue, without the back pleat. I reversed the right and wrong side of knitting along the lapel line in the front bodices. To finish it up, I added a braided trim along the edges and cuffs. I used the orange red mohair yarns and a bright red angora yarn I had in my stash for the braid. After a few wearing, I noticed that the jacket was losing its shape and thought it needed a lining. I bought beautiful lightweight polyester fabric in hand-paint like print in greens and blues, lined the whole jacket except for the lapels and the collar, and hand quilted throughout. The lining pattern was made up by simply placing the jacket on a blank sheet of paper and traced it. I had to make certain that the pattern is symmetric. That was all what I did.
This was such an organic project and I love the result.
The only problem is that it is an orphan at this point. I had a dark green knitted short skirt, but I have grown a bit since then. All I could come up with in my wardrobe was the tweed skirt. It is not too bad together, but not good enough. So, I should dig up my stash in search of dark green fabric!