Design Focus – Venus Coat Knitting Pattern and Kit
Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you have had a fabulous holiday and are springing into the new year feeling refreshed and energised.
Did you get any yarn related gifts this year? Any Purl Alpaca Designs’ products under the tree? We hope you have a long list of knits lined up and that at least some of them are for you to wear and love!
One of our most indulgent knits is the Venus Coat knitting kit. Since its launch it has become one of our most favourite designs, it always does well at shows and workshop were knitters can try the coat on and see the beautiful fit and flare for themselves. The design might look daunting, but in this blog post I will go through the pattern in detail and provide you with some handy tips to make it more manageable.
The cast on for Venus Coat ranges from 353 sts for X-Small to 543 sts for X-Large. We recommend using very long circular needles of at least 100 cm, and potentially two lengths put together if you are working on an interchangeable set such as the Addi Click Bamboo. to deal with the amount of stitches and ultimately as you knit, the weight of the work. Using stitch markers for your cast on is a great idea. Inserting a marker every 50 sts prevents the need for going right back to the start every time you lose count.
Once you have started working on your edging it can also be a good idea to go back and check your stitches on the first row every once in a while to prevent having to go right back to the start again once you realise the stitches don’t add up!
When you have completed the border you go onto setting up the stitches for the lace pattern. At this point it can be helpful to move your stitch markers to the points in between the pattern repeats. This way you can easily spot if you have gone wrong somewhere and hopefully not have to go back a row or two. Ripping out your knitting can be heart breaking, especially when we are talking hundreds of stitches!
One of the most common mistakes made in the lace pattern of the Venus Coat is forgetting a yarn over. Don’t worry, this is actually very easy to fix without having to undo any stitches at all! Check out this really useful video from Knit Purl Hunter on You Tube.
The skirt of the Venus Coat is knitted in three main sections. After each section you work a row of decreases to reduce the flare of the skirt. Should you wish to shorten the coat, the ideal way to do it would be by removing one or more repeats from each of the three sections. This way you would still keep the beautiful flare of the skirt and not disturb the balance between them.
After the lace section of the coat is finished you move on to the 3 x 1 rib making up the top section of the coat. The waist line on this design sits just under the bust to create an A-line shape. Should you wish to have a more fitted waist on your coat, the easiest way to do this would be to work a longer rib section before splitting for the armholes. This way you would move the waistline lower and because of the rib it would naturally pull in to fit. Remember that this would make the coat longer overall, so it may be an idea to do this in addition to shortening the skirt slightly. Isn’t it marvelous how you can alter the design to make it just right for you when you knit it yourself?
From here on the design is pretty straight forward. The sleeves are knitted in the same 3×1 rib and have a slight gathering at the top to create a puff sleeve. The front bands are knitted in one with the rest of the coat so there is minimal finishing.
One popular design hack with the Venus Coat is to make it sleeveless. You can take 3 balls of yarn of the total amount needed for a coat with sleeves and to finish off the armholes, add a row of single crochet. This creates a lighter garment, ideal for wearing in summer or spring. Check out Karen’s version on Ravelry!
Knitting the Venus Coat using our luxurious alpaca yarn creates a warm yet lightweight garment. Our alpaca yarn is woollen spun which makes a lighter and loftier yarn ideal for big garments. The coat will have drape, yet it will not be so heavy you will end up with it draping on the floor behind you after a few wears! You can buy the complete kit with yarn by clicking here.
If you have a different yarn in mind for knitting the coat, you can buy the pattern only by clicking here. You can also buy the pattern over on Ravelry. I have also written a handy blog post on substituting yarn. There are a few things to take into consideration but I do not see why it wouldn’t turn out just as lovely if you make the right choices! You can also check out which yarns other people have knitted the coat in by clicking here.
If you are not a knitter, fear not, there is an option for you too. We have a team of experienced knitters ready to create your perfect garment. If you would like to go for this option, click here to place your order.
I hope you have found this post informative and maybe through reading this you have found the confidence to cast on your own big project, whether it is our Venus Coat or another daunting design, and do remember; you are not alone, we are only an email or a phone call away and are always happy to help you back on the right track!
Do make sure to tag any photos on social media using #purlalpacadesigns. We love to see what you are up to!