WIP Update: Alpaca Coat

As you know, in my spare time I'm working on a big machine knit project - a grey Alpaca Coat.

I am so in love with this project, I just love everything about it! The yarn, the pattern, the fabric, how the greys are working together, making progress using my hand knitting machine, ...

Although I had some ups and downs in the process, I managed to finnish all the main parts during the past week. And right now they are blocking. :)

You all know, I LOVE alpaca yarn and working with it. Having a big project on the machine gave me a lot of insights and experience. Because alpaca yarn is always a little special. It has those tiny fibres sticking out everywhere (which of course makes it so great, but can also couse a little bit of trouble when machine knitting), it also has limited tear resistance as I came to know and it's incredibly light, which makes this project even possible in the first place.

In the picture above you can see the pattern I am using. It's a slip stitch pattern that is very pretty on both sides, which is very nice for a jacket or coat where one might see the inside as well.
I am also playing with two colors, light grey and pearl grey which makes things even more interesting.

Look at this fabric! I am sorry you can't touch this. It's so soft and fluffy!
Knitted on two beds, it's like a double knit fabric. Which makes it also thicker of course. But this is the intention, as well as quite some ease that I included in this garment. Because I want to wear it as a coat, meaning on top of a sweater. So, what I need is some space.
Bonus: More ease in a garment also makes it more comfy! :)

Here are some things that happended during the process of knitting this fab garment:
I had to re-knit an entire sleeve because one knot came loose during blocking. Rigth in the middle of the sleeve. On the right side. So, from now on, I am no langer using any knots to connect new yarn cakes. I've never really been a big fan of that in the first place tbh. But I had been told to use weavers knot to connect yarns when machine knitting and so I did it, never liked it though. And now it happened. And I feel like - I knew it! So, no more knotting for me. Instead, I simply start with the new yarn at the beginning of the next RS row. Works perfectly, increases the numbers of ends that need to be woven in at the end, but it's much nicer in my opinion!

But the worst thing was: When knitting the back, I was so occupied keeping track of the two color pattern, I forgot to shape the waist. About 100 rows in, I realized what I had done. I nearly cried a little. All those rows I knitted... all for nothing. I was in a really bad mood for the rest of the day.
I had to frog and do it again - on another day of course... Not my finest moment. But at least it went all smoothly the second time around ;)

For all these main parts (sleevs, fronts and back) I used 2791m (3052yds) of alpaca yarn. Pretty high number. But it is a double layer knit. (so it's not that surprising) It weighs only about 650g though.
What's still coming is the collar once everything is seamed up. It will be in light grey and in a ribbing pattern.
For the final finishing I intend to add i-cords to the fronts that form some loops on one side to fit around the buttons that will be on the other side.
But I am still button-hunting, it's so hard to find nice wooden buttons (which I would prefer). I ordered some about a week ago and they looked so very nice on the picture but turned out be total crap. One of them even had one extra hole...

So, that's how far I've come in the past month. I've been very busy working on different new patterns and other commitments, but I hope I'll find the time to keep working on this GORGEOUS coat!! Because I really can't wait to wear it, especially now, that winter's approaching fast...

Have a nice weekend everyone!!

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