Hemlock Ring Baby Jacket


hemlock-ring jacket

I don’t know about you, but I’m downright obsessed with Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. I made one of his Girasole shawls back in 2009 and was so impressed with the pattern, I knew one day I’d be back for more.

So when my little niece was about to have her first birthday, I knew I wanted to knit her something special. I had this beautiful Julie Asselin superwash that was just begging to be used up.


I didn’t think I had time to design something from scratch, so I headed to Ravelry for inspiration. Of course, I fell down the Ravelry rabbit hole and started looking at blanket patterns, even though I knew I didn’t have enough yarn to make a blanket for my niece. This is what happens every time I go on Ravelry—it is the ultimate time suck. Too much pretty yarn! Anywho, I eventually found Jared Flood’s Hemlock Ring Blanket pattern, and it occurred to me that I might be able to convert the chart into a circle jacket.

Anyone who thinks the Pythagorean theorem is only for schoolkids clearly never got into knitwear design.

chicken scratch

That barely-legible drawing was my method of figuring out where to place the arm holes. Since you’re knitting from the center out, you just need to know at what length from the center you’ll stop and put in the armholes.

I figured the best way to do this would be to work backwards from the cross-back measurement. The Craft Yarn Council says this is 8.25 for 12 months and 8.5 for 18 months, so I went with 8.5 so I had a little wiggle room.


Using ye olde Pythagorean Theorem, and knowing both sides of the “triangle” would be the same length (hello, Mr. Isosceles), I figured out the length I’d be knitting to was approximately 6″. (I know there’s a faster way to do this – cross back divided by the square root of 2, but I’m showing my work!)

So I started the chart and knit it even until the piece measured 6″ from the center, or 12″ across the whole piece.

At this point you have to figure out the number of stitches to hold for the sleeves. I unfortunately don’t remember my gauge for this project, but let’s just say it’s 6 stitches per inch for the sake of calculations, and let’s say at this point our jacket has 228 stitches total on the needles.

Armhole depth = 4″ or 24 sts (as suggested by the Craft Yarn Council for this size)


So, to make a right angle, you divide your circle by 4. That gives us 57 sts. But we need to account for the number of stitches held, so we subtract the armhole depth from that number and get 31 sts.

So for this hypothetical sweater, I would knit 26 sts with scrap yarn (this acts as a holder and keeps two rows of stitches live for picking up later), then knit 31, then put the next 26 sts on another piece of scrap yarn, then knit to the end. On the subsequent rows you just knit with the main yarn until you’re ready to bind off. Here’s how it looked on mine:

Picking up sleeves

I used DPNs to pick up the sleeves, and then knit in a rib until the desired length.

sleeves ready to go

My main regret is not making the sleeves longer, but they’re still pretty cute as 3/4 length!

2014-10-02 16.08.25

Not as cute as my niece, though! She’s just adorable.

cutie pie!

Have you ever used a non-apparel knitting pattern to make a sweater? I’d love to see it!

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