A Big Old Coat for Little Old Me

When I was in Canada last fall, I had the good fortune to spend a few hours at Knit City, western Canada’s biggest textile, yarn, and fiber event. The marketplace was packed with Canadian vendors selling the most beautiful yarns.

Although it wasn’t my intention, I was seduced by Sweet Fiber hand-dyed Merino Twist Worsted and bought a sweater’s quantity in the awesome colorway called Woodsmoke. I don’t normally purchase this much yarn without clear intentions of what to do with it. I told myself that I would design something fabulous with it.

However, when I saw that a couple of friends in my Sunday knitting group were knitting Joji Locatelli’s Big Old Coat, I decided it was better than anything I could design on my own.

Because I don’t want an oversized sweater, I’m following the directions for the smallest size. I never would have thought it possible without trying on my friends’ coats in progress!

I have to admit that it’s pure delight to follow instructions without having to do any math or planning on my own! This design begins with the back collar, then the upper body (including the shawl collar) is worked from the top down to the base of the armholes. The back and front are joined at the armholes and worked in a single piece to the hem. Stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes, then worked in rounds to the cuffs. Other than weaving in ends and blocking, there’s no additional finishing!


I knitted a generous gauge swatch in the interesting texture pattern and managed to get the correct gauge on the first try. So far, I’ve completed the two sections of the k2, p2 ribbed back collar and have picked up stitches for the back.

You can’t see it in this photo, but the yarn forms a satisfying squishy fabric that’s going to feel like a comfy hug around my neck and shoulders!