I had been meaning to buy a camel hair coat for years and never could seem to drop all that cash. They were all so stiff and formal. Then when I found Aspen by Muench in Camel on special a few years back, I thought I'd buy enough to knit one, 30 balls, to be precise.
This fluffy and warm blend of merino wool and micro fiber knits up quickly and has a lively spring to it. I thought I'd emphasize the latter by knitting garter stitch sideways so the coat would bounce when I walked. And boy does it! This coat demands to be worn with a high heeled shoe or better yet, a tall boot, and most importantly, a supermodel strut.
This coat demands to be worn with a high heeled shoe or better yet, a tall boot, and most importantly, a supermodel strut.
Zips at both ends leave room for your stride. The sleeve? Flared and over-long. A simple purled welt conceals a fabric pocket and maintains the clean line.
I started out by garter stitching one whole ball of Aspen so I could see how much area it covered and make sure the fabric had a nice bounce. I concluded that a size 8 needle, surprisingly small, gave the nicest hand to create the fabric I had in mind. Then I laid out a coat that fit me well and took its rough area. Armed with that data, I figured out I could make the coat about 40" long with the yarn I had.
I cast on at the center back and knitted around to each side front, casting off for back armscye and on again for the front armscye. Then knit around to the center front, with some casting off in between for the pockets. I knit a very narrow sleeve cap to keep the shoulders close to the body. I made the sleeves a tad long, because I love having sleeves that are long enough, and flared them subtly with a short row at the cuff every 10 rows. In fact, I did all the shaping with short rows.
I was very pleased with the knitted result. When I put the zipper in, it really showed its spirit. The only camel zipper I'd found that was long enough (36") was a sport zipper with a pull at each end. This happy accident turned into a real design feature, since I could unzip from the bottom for more freedom walking and a sexier look.
All it needed was a little support in the form of seam stabilization, and some sewn in fabric pockets. Aspen is so fluffy that pockets knit from it would have ruined the lean line of this coat. It took me awhile to complete the hand sewing of the pockets and fabric stays at the shoulder seams, but these finishing touches really brought the coat together.
Find the pattern for this and the Mod Coat in the DomiKNITrix book. The Mod Coat has button tabs and a longer collar with silver buttons for a very different look.