The Tara Jacket, Finished Edition

One of my key knitting goals for 2014 is to make things with sleeves. While I made the lion's share of Ashley Rao's Tara Jacket (Knitscene Winter 2013) last year, I finished it in 2014, so I'm counting it towards my goal. Kathleen started a knit-along for this pattern, and it turns out I finished within her suggested time frame! This is also an accomplishment, as knitting deadlines almost always go wooshing by for me. But it's done now, and good grief is it cozy.

We've been getting a good amount of snow in Colorado this winter, which for me means lovely time indoors. I don't do, er, snow sports. Shoveling? Sure. Snowpeople building? Yes indeed. But that's about it, much to the chagrin of the numerous skiers in my life. Ah well. An afternoon in the lodge drinking hot cocoa sounds as delightful to me as freezing on a ski lift sounds to others. Anyway, rambling aside, I finished up this sweater on a cold Colorado afternoon, looking out on a snowy back yard, a full tea pot at my side.

I had never installed a zipper in knit wear before, and I used this amazingly handy tutorial Amy sent me from Splityarn. Blocking wires made an immense difference. I tried to pin down the zipper without them, and my zipper was not straight. I mean, I know it's asymmetrical, but it was not straight at all, it was wavy. Not good. So I took the time to put in blocking wires exactly where I wanted the zipper to lie, and shazam! Easy as pie. I then pinned the zipper and backstitched it in place. I removed the wires and tried the thing on (moment of truth!), and it was spot on! I call this beginner's luck. I went back with my sewing machine and did another seam on each zipper and voila. Zipper installed.

This was far and away the most challenging project I've ever tackled, and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. I'm also glad that there is still plenty of winter left so this sweater will get a lot of wear.

If you're doing the knit-along, how is your jacket coming? Are you liking the yarn (I really love the stretchy factor). I hope you're looking forward to wearing your masterpiece!

Knit happy!

P.S. – That last photo, obviously, is not me. I'm kind of uncomfortable with the number of photos of me in this post, so I decided to put someone else in there. My fiance Marc decided to take a break from shoveling and pretend that this icicle was a light saber…attempting to engage me in battle mid-zipper seaming. He is wearing a winter hat I knit him, so I thought I'd include a photo for grins/embarrassment purposes…

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