You Don’t Have to Be An Einstein to Knit This Coat

Quite a few years ago – well, four years ago, to be exact – I started knitting a coat.  It was the “Einstein Coat” found in “The Knitting Experience: Book 1: The Knit Stitch” by Sally Melville.

It wasn’t a particularly hard coat to knit.  In fact, it was pretty easy.  It just involved knitting row upon row of garter stitch and then picking up stitches along a section and knitting more rows of garter stitch.  

 The hardest part was figuring out what yarn I was going to use and what my color scheme would be.  I decided on a rustic wool from Beaverslide Dry Goods.   They are a family-owned business located in Montana.  They raise their own sheep and have a mill where they produce their fabulous mule-spun yarn.  This is a type of yarn that is produced using equipment and techniques from the 1800’s.  The yarn still has that lanolin feel to it, something that you don’t experience very much with modern yarns today.  Boy, does it produce a warm fabric, too.

When my yarn arrived, I spent hours laying the skeins out in different color sequences until I was happy with the way the colors would progress across my coat.  Once I was at that point, I wrote up a very rudimentary chart on a piece of paper reminding me in what sequence to knit up my stripes in each section of my coat.  Unfortunately, I lost that paper right about the time that I finished the bottom half of the coat so I had to wing it for awhile until I happened to run across my chart when I was about three-fourths of the way through knitting the coat.  If you try this, I would advise you NOT to lose your chart.

I started off making great progress on my coat.  It required mindless knitting and so it was perfect for those times that I spent sitting in front of the TV.  However, at some point I put it aside to work on more challenging projects and there it sat, in a drawer under our sofa for several years.

When I returned from Indonesia in January, I was so darn cold that I remembered my Einstein Coat just languishing away in that drawer.  “Man,” I thought, “that would be a really warm coat if only it were finished.”  That was all the impetus I needed and so I pulled it out and then spent about one whole evening just trying to figure out where I had left off.  Word of advice – if you ever set aside a project like that, be sure to also set aside VERY clear instructions detailing just where you were when you stopped and where you need to pick up when you begin knitting on it again.

Once I got myself squared away, the rest of the coat flew.  I did find that my fingers were getting pretty sore from pushing the needle through (I use the Continental-style of knitting) to form my stitches.  I ended up solving that dilemma by rooting through my sewing supplies and finding a soft, suede quilter’s thimble.  I stuck that on my “pushing” finger and the problem was solved.  Who knew?

I just had to make two modifications to the pattern.  The sleeves needed to be longer so I added more rows and then just turned up the ends of the sleeves to make some cuffs.  I also didn’t like how the buttonholes were turning out.  The pattern called for you to knit through the back loop when you came to the yarn over on the next row but that tended to close up the hole.  So I just knitted through the front of the yarn over.

A quick trip to my local yarn store and then I had buttons to sew on the front and I was ready to wear my Einstein Coat.  Thank goodness, too because the weather is supposed to get even colder this weekend.  Brrrr!  Thank goodness that I’ll be nice and toasty in my new knit coat.  It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Although most of this post is greek to me, it doesn’t take an Einstein to recognize a beautiful piece of work!



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