Amana Jacket

3 years ago, or was it 4, no matter, several years ago when Idaho flooded so terribly, I was part of the emergency response crew to the area.  While there I visited the Amana Colonies.   They are all that is left of an important piece of US history and one of the few successful attempts at c0mmunism. (No I”m not c0mmunistic.  I totally oppose the philosophy.)  Even this successful attempt eventually failed.  The young were not interested in sacrificing all for their fellow man.  As I said it’s an interesting bit of history.  I provided the link for you to read and I encourage you to visit if you are ever in the area.  We visited the museum and several building preserved from the original colonies. We drank the beer. Oh and carried home a case of assorted beers and about the same number of wines all grown and brewed right there.


Amana is mostly to know to Americans for their refrigerators and freezers manufactured in the colonies and shipped throughout the US and I believe into Canada in the 50’s and 60’s and later.  But my favorite thing was the working fabric mill.  I did not see any of the spinners or processing.  Only the electronic looms (weaving machines). They were electronic but not computerized.  It was interesting to see the looms with a device which read the holes in a paper punch tape.  Does anyone remember these?  Early in my career, I remember telexes and twixs that used the paper tape.  Early computers read 8080 cards. But these are such dim memories that I was transfixed watching the warping process, the looms and weaving.  The mill produces a number of items which are sold in the visitor center in the same building.


Besides the wine and beer, 2 of the bed throws came home with me.  The bed throw is quite large.  It’s 48′ x 72″.  I used one as an Afghan on the chairs. But the mill was using an incredibly loose weave.  My cream/camel afghan acquired several ugly snags and was removed.  The navy/blue afghan has been marinating in the stash every since. Finally I think I know what to do with it.



Yes Louise Cuttings “Of the Moment” pattern.  The loose weave makes for a very softly draping fabric. However the numerous yarns make for a heavy fabric with some body. I would prefer to do the jacket, but honestly, I think I might be short on fabric and so I’m planning to do the tabard.


The tabard reminds me of a Ruana, but there are some important changes.  A Ruana is basically a big rectangle with a slit up the front.  This tabard is 2 pattern pieces but 3 garment pieces.  It’s drafted and cut with a shoulder slope and a back neck line.  A Ruana can actually rub against the back of the neck and be a little irritating.  This tabard should snug the neck and be comfortable.


Despite it’s simple shape, I’m anticipating several alterations.  Louise, or Sandy or somebody included a handwritten note warning me that the pattern was over sized.  So first off, I’m anticipating removing a little ease from No Man’s land. But I do want at least the “sleeve” length shown on the envelope face.  That could be easily accomplished by adding a rectangle of fabric in that area. I would also prefer a front closure. So where the pattern comes straight down from the front shoulder/neck point, I’ll be trying to add a little more fabric.  We’ll see.  I’m just in the beginning of the planning.  There is still lots to think about.


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