knitting in blue

It's been a while since I posted anything here, but I have been making things. Or, at least, finishing off things, which is just about the same. Around here, it's even better, because it means I'm getting stash reduced.

The biggest and most recent Finished Object is the blue assymetrical jacket I made for myself, sort of as a Yule present. I finished it just in time to put it away for the summer. That's okay — it's better than having it 90% done all summer and lying around. Here's the finished jacket:

The pattern came from the Fall 2012 issue of knit.wear, and has a really cool construction method. To wit:
  • Knit the back flat from the top down, using short rows to shape the back neck. 
  • Knit the fronts from the top down, also using short rows to shape the neck. This was the first of the two mods I made to the pattern: instead of knitting the pieces separately and seaming them to the back, I picked up the stitches and knitted down. This made for a still-firm but less bulky shoulder seam, and a nigh-invisible one too. I am all about the firm, non-bulky, nigh-invisible shoulder seams. I've probably spent more time figuring out how to achieve this than any other finishing in my 30+ years as a knitter.
  • Pick up the sleeve stitches from the armholes and knit down, using short-row shaping to fit the set-in armholes. This was my second mod: I made full-length sleeves instead of the half-length ones given in the pattern. Who wants to wear a heavy worsted jacket with sleeves that only go down to the elbows? If the rest of you isn't overheated, it means your bare forearms will be freezing.
  • The sleeves are finished by casting on new stitches and knitting the cabled cuff around the bottom edge, domino-style. Then the edges on the body are done the same way. The last part involves I-cording across the top of the cabled border and then I-cording around the neck.
It's all a rather neat trick. The whole thing is held together by a single button near the neck. I haven't found the right button yet.

Here's a loving close-up of that nigh-invisible shoulder seam:
And because it has the back cast-on underneath, it won't stretch out easily. So there.

Just as I'd promised myself, I went back to the Knit That Shit meta-project once I'd done the jacket. I thought I'd line the summer purse that's been languishing, or work on the socks or the doily, but for some reason I grabbed the Estonian stole that's been sitting in its own project bag for months:
I think I know why I got discouraged about this one. It's become very evident that it will take every last centimetre of yarn to make this thing as big as the pattern book says to, and I was hoping to make it a bit larger (as with her sock books, Nancy Bush designs gorgeous stuff for short people). The ever-resourceful J-A suggested going back to Americo and buying one more ball of yarn, assuming they still carry this colour. There's absolutely no hope in matching the dye lots since I bought the yarn about five years ago, but if I use something close for the border, then I'll have plenty of yarn. It's a good idea. At this point I'd even consider a different-coloured border that looked cool.