Meet the Sleeper Car Jacket

The spring Interweave Knits is packed with great designs for warm-weather knitting and wearing, and we’re especially fond of the Sleeper Car Jacket by designer Beatrice Perron Dahlen. It features our lovely, soft and drapey sport-weight yarn, Rylie, which is the perfect trans-seasonal yarn. Beatrice was kind enough to share her design process and how she came to create such a classic and wearable garment. Beatrice’s Ravelry group is called Thread and Ladle, so please join her there and post your FO!


Recently I have been pouring over traditional shawl and lace books.  Such sources of inspiration!  The elements of beauty haven’t changed much over time, particularly when it comes to lace.  My favorites are the traditional hap shawls of Shetland.  The stories about the lace shawls of Shetland, and how many women made an income through this delicate lace knitting is captivating.  But haps, the simpler, mostly garter stitch shawls with a touch of lace edging are what they wore everyday while working these extravagant ‘wedding shawls’ to sell.  And more than the elaborate lace shawls, they are what interest me most.  A simple shawl to wear while you knead bread, nurse a baby and work up finely spun lace yarn.

The hap is what sparked the idea for the Sleeper Car Jacket.  I applied a simple traditional Shetland lace border to the opening of a top-down, seamless raglan cardigan.  All in all a simple piece, all garter stitch but for the pretty lace down the front.  It is built with extra ease for a relaxed fit – notice how it comes right down over the hips- and the swingy drape of Rylie just adds to that feeling.

sleeper car picmonkey collage

I love top-down seamless construction for so many reasons, chiefly among them is how quickly they are finished, and that you can try it on as you go.  That can also make it more easily customizable.  Make it shorter, work it with less ease, make the sleeves long, the sky is the limit!

I was very pleased with how Interweave Knits styled this piece- such a great layering cardigan!  And with a pop of color it’s just what spring needs!  (Though with at least 3 feet of snow in the past week here in Maine, spring definitely feels like a long way off!)

When working with magazines, editors sometimes choose different yarns than what you may have submitted your proposal in.  That was the case with this cardigan, but I was very excited to work with Rylie.  It has a beautiful sheen and texture, and I am looking forward to working with it again!

I can’t wait to see your Sleeper Car Jacket’s popping up on Ravelry!  Do come by and share your finished object in my Thread & Ladle Ravelry Group!