Sporty Cool: Moto Style

Moto style is all the rage right now, and although I'm not one to slavishly follow fashion trends, this is one that I really like! A zipper here, a leather accent there . . . it's a good look!

The Sport Zip Jacket by Vicki Square

I was looking at knitting patterns that embrace this style and I came upon Vicki Square's Sport Zip, from her book Light and Layered Knits. This zip-up jacket is super stylish and cool.

In the Sport Zip, Vicki uses alternating textures of stockinette and reverse stockinette define the vertical shaping and accent the triangle detail at the center back yoke. The lower edges of the body and sleeves are hemmed with facings (which are joined along the way) that create doubled fabric for stability and are reminiscent of well-tailored garments, complete with faux seams. The zipper provides a bold contrast to the tailored look and is topped off with a ribbed collar and a tabbed two-button closure.

Knit hem on the Sport Zip jacket by Vicki Square, from Light & Layered Knits
Know Your Yarn:
Mercerized Cotton

John Mercer of England invented the mercerization process in 1844, but it was nearly fifty years before H.A. Lowe improved and popularized the treatment. Mercerization increases luster, strength, and affinity for dye on long cotton fibers. During the process, a chemical structural alteration causes the cell walls to enlarge and have a greater reflecting surface. Knitters enjoy the resulting softer feel and the more radiant color.

I especially like the hems at the bottom and cuffs. Here's how you work a knitted hem:

1. Cast on provisionally (I like the crochet chain method) and knit several rows in stockinette.

2. Work a turning ridge on the right side, which is just a purl row.

3. Knit the same amount of rows in St st that you knit before the turning row.

4. Remove the wast yarn from the provisional cast-on and place the live stitches onto a needle (usually one or two sized smaller than the needle you're using for the rest of the sweater).

5. Fold the fabric so the wrong sides are facing and your needles are parallel, and knit the live stitches together, as if you're doing a three needle bind-off, but of course, you don't bind off!

Easy peasy.

The Sport Zip is a beautiful sweater. Because it's knit with mercerized cotton, it's soft and it's got that nice sheen to it that reflects the light. Read more about mercerized cotton in the sidebar at right.

Detail of three-needle-bind-off
on shoulder seam

We're having a book sale, and Light and Layered Knits is part of it. Get your copy now!


P.S. What do you think of the moto style—yay or nay? Leave a message and cast your vote!

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