New Design: Helka

XT1A7030I was instantly captured by these intricate cables that look woven with such a sculptural feel to them. They needed a lot of space so I decided to make a long straight jacket with those diamond shaped cables covering all central parts of the jacket. I loved the idea of the cables vanishing first into a rib then into stocking stitch in the sides of the body and into a rib on the top of all the parts. The sleeves are made in cables and rib, but the increases could easily be made in stocking stitch if preferred. Named after Helka the prosperous one, the jacket has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Of course, I wanted bespoke buttons and Siri Berrefjord obliged. I initially planned to make this long jacket to go with a wedding gown with a straight skirt hence I choose white Dreamline Soul from Du Store Alpakka and held it together with the Huldra Kamgarn from Hifa for a slight tweedy structure to it.  With cabling on every second row and round, I need help to knit the sample and Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry, was ready to assist and knitted it to my utter satisfaction. The Norwegian pattern will be published in the special magazine: Familien Håndarbeid out in March, while the English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group late spring before it is released.

XT1A7034The jacket is knitted with the 2 yarns held together using a 4 mm/US 6 with a gauge of 20 stitches and 28 rows in stocking stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square. The body is knitted from the bottom and up in 3 parts, back and forth, while the sleeves are worked in the round. The Woven Cable pattern ends in a rib at the sleevecap and at the v-neck shaping on the fronts, as well as on shoulders at the back. I have graded the jacket from size XS to 2XL, with bust circumference from 84 cm to 124 cm/33 to 48.75″. The length is from 79 cm to 84 cm/31 to 33″, but it can easily be adjusted to preferred length. I am wearing size S (sample size) in these photos taken by my husband on our terrace on a cold November day. Both yarns were generously sponsored by Hillesvåg and Du Store Alpakka.

XT1A7039I was uncertain how many buttons I wanted. Personally, I would probably only use 3 around the bust area, but also loved the idea of of filling the double button band with Siri’s jewelry buttons to adorn the jacket even further. In the end I reasoned that it was better for me to calculate too many buttonholes and for the knitter to remove those not wanted. First, I thought 13 buttons would be enough but ended up adding all the 14 buttons Siri had made. The rib at the top of the back also required that I decrease the number of stitches of the button band at the back neck. This was not done on the sample since I was knitting the button band the evening before the photo shoot and had no time to undo the more than 400 stitches and re-do. The pattern has been corrected to decrease 8 stitches, and is now in a queue with my American tech editor Corrina Ferguson of Picnic Knits. I ended up choosing 5 of Judith Bech’s wedding gowns for the photo shoot and which one suited the Helka best? The tulle petticoat/underskirt which I preferred to use on its own and not under any of the wedding gowns…


5 thoughts on “New Design: Helka

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