Project Notes » Mermaid Jacket


I saw this project discussed on a few other knitting blogs, and people raving about Falkenberg’s designs, so when I saw a link to her webpage, I took a look. And I loved the shape of this jacket, so when I saw there were different colorways, I clicked through them. And as soon as I hit #7 (Purples), I was hooked. An hour or so later, I had ordered the kit. While waiting for it to arrive, I must have looked at the photo a dozen times a day.

The kit is here and now I’m digging through the pattern. It’s pretty dense, a lot of overlapping directions. And it’s hard to tell exactly what the end dimensions are. So I decided that I should write out row-by-row instructions, as a spreadsheet. It took me a little bit of time and some head-scratching, but now that I have it worked out, the actual knitting is a breeze.

Errata, Modifications, and Tips

  • Spreadsheet: I have made a row-by-row spreadsheet of the medium size of the pattern, listing such things as which color you are using, which row you are on, how many ridges you’ve knit so far, how many stitches are on the row, and what the knitting instructions for the row are. It’s also color-coded for which color you are to be knitting with. Currently, it has instructions for the body, which I am the middle of knitting and proofing. I update it as I find issues (or as others tell me about them) and will be adding the sleeves soon. It is available as an Excel spreadsheet or as a PDF file to people who have purchased the Mermaid kit. You can see a sample of the spreadsheet here. If you would like a copy, e-mail me. I’ll reply with a challenge that can be answered by the pattern. Then I’ll send you your choice of Excel or PDF.
    Current Version: v1.80 (4/8/2006)
  • i-Cord Cast On: I did a few experiments in scrap yarn with the i-cord cast on and worked out that using a provisional cast-on which is later removed and replaced with an i-cord bind-off looks much more symmetrical. The details of this experiment are here.
  • 2-strand Cast On: After the armhole, it is necessary to cast on new stitches to work the body. The pattern suggests a long-tail cast on using 2 strands on your thumb and one strand on your index finger. I found a technique I liked a lot. I wound off a long piece of color C from the outside of the ball. I doubled it and tied a slip knot at the fold. I inserted this slip-knot between the last two stitches on my right needle. Then I used both tails from the slip knot on my thumb and the working yarn from the right needle on my index finger and cast on my stitches, remembering that my slip-knot was the first one. At the end, your working yarn is exactly where you want it to be to knit the RS row.


In progress: