Relax by Ririko – lots of knitting!


This.never.happens.

I knitted a jumper… and we had a cold snap. I was pretty excited (and I hate cold weather) because I could wear my new jumper also straight away!

A elevator 'selfie' - the day the weather turned cold!

A elevator ‘selfie’ – the day the weather turned cold!

I don’t have much to say about this jumper except I do really love it – and am rather proud that I managed to plough through some much stocking stitch (which is also known as stockinette stitch) in a sport (5 ply) yarn.

There are similar designs on Ravelry in heavier yarns which would be much faster to knit up, however I had always lusted after a fine knit jumper in a neutral tone and decided to challenge myself.

Pattern

The pattern is Relax by Ririko, purchased on Ravelry (links at end of post).

I liked the wide boxy body with the fitted sleeves; a plain knitted & slightly rolled neckline; and the ‘eyelets’ running down the body from the underarms.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

A tiny thoughtful design feature. Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

It sat in ‘my favourites’ for some time before I decided I could manage to commit to sooooo much stocking stitch in a sport/5-ply yarn. There are similar styles in heavier weight yarns but I really wanted a drapey fine gauge yarn.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

A simple boxy shape. Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Yarn

Given the considerable time involved in the project, I decided that I would indulge myself with some quality yarn. So after much agonising over colourways, I ended up choosing MadelineTosh Pashmina in Fallen Cloud. It’s a merino/silk/cashmere blend (75%/15%/10%) and it’s truly divine to knit with. I really happy with the drape of the finished jumper and the lack of ‘scratchiness’ that I used to associate with home knits.

Needles

I also purchased Knitpro Symphonie needles from an Etsy supplier (links at end of post) as they are also lovely with work with (and to look at).

Time Commitment

I tried to knit ten rows most days… some days I would knit more… and some weeks I didn’t get a chance to knit at all. I did want to finish in time for winter and felt that having a finishing goal would inspire me to pick the needles up and get through it.

I cast on 31 January and finished on 14 May. I’m not a fast knitter and while I’ve considered changing my technique, my tension is extremely consistent. So I stick with my rather clumsy knitting style – I’m not seeking a gold medal in the knitting Olympics, I just knit to relax and create the odd garment that I want.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Back view: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Derp Moment

I had never done a ‘three needle bind’ off so I diligently followed a Youtube clip, beautifully cast off my shoulders, knitted my sleeves… and then realised I should have re-read the instructions as the ‘three needle bind’ off in this occasion is done so the seam sits on the outside of the garment. Derp.

I considered my options. 1) Plough on or 2) frog the sleeves, frog the three-needle bind-off and start again. I decided on option 1 after a few days of consideration. To be honest, it wasn’t the time involved that put me off. I had started this project at the end of January so another week wasn’t really a deterrent. While I think the external seam is an interesting design feature, the top also looks lovely without it and probably even more austere which I didn’t mind. So I’ve left it.

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

I did bind off the first sleeve – and then undo it and bind off again ribwise – the pattern doesn’t state to bind off ribwise (logical to a long-time knitter I guess) but it looks much better.

I finished the neckline and also didnt’ like my bind-off. So I ripped out the neck (only 7 rows) and started again. I bound off using a slightly larger needle and it ‘rolled’ in a much nicer fashion.

Techniques

I learn a few new-to-me knitting techniques in this project.

  • Three-needle bind-off
  • Frogging a bind off
  • picking up a dropped stitch several rows on (wow, that saved a massive heart attack!)

Youtube is an invaluable resource. When I get stuck knitting, I pop over to Youtube and search for the knitting technique that is causing me some bamboozlement (yes, that’s a technical word for knitting numpty moment) and I watch a few clips until I find one that makes the most sense to me.

While I’ve always used mattress stitch before (I learnt this very useful stitch when I made sculpted teddy bears), I watched a couple of Youtube clips specifically on mattress stitch and knitting and then made a special effort to make the side seams as invisible as possible. I was pretty chuffed with my efforts (I know, fat head).

Mattress Stitch: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Mattress Stitch: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Final Thoughts

I think I will knit this again, perhaps next year in a richer hue. I just adore the simplicity and positive ease of garments like these.

I quite enjoy knitting, and while I love a challenge of lace and cables as much as the next, just being able to pick up the needles and mindlessly knit was more enjoyable and relaxing than I imagined.

This project was a pretty big indulgence for me (considering exchange rates and postage!) but worth every cent spent and minute creating every little stocking stitch.

Pattern: Relax by Ririko, Ravelry
Yarn: MadelineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. Purchased from yarn.com
Needles: Knitpro Symfonie Wood Fixed Circular Needles, from CollieCraft1 on Etsy

Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Just in time for winter! Relax by Ririko, Ravelry

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “Relax by Ririko – lots of knitting!

  1. Gorgeous jumper, looks professional and really nice on you. I’d love to have a go at knitting but I think it looks way more complicated than sewing. Might do it one day. Quite envious of your talents. Xx

    • Thanks Sarah. I’d encourage you to have a go & be persistent. Don’t start on something like this as while it’s quite easy it is quite a time investment which can be frustrating while you learn. Beanies, hats, cowls and scarves are a good place to start – in a worsted weight or something similar as you get a result in a shorter time frame which is encouraging.
      I was pretty ordinary when I started – my first jumper (years ago) I cast off the neck so tight that I couldn’t get it over my head lol.
      YouTube is amazing. I don’t know how people taught themselves before that! I think it makes the craft much more accessible to people.

      • Thanks for the encouragement. I always feel more inclined to knit in the winter whilst sitting in front of the TV or something. At least I see it as something that I can do in my living room in the evenings. Might have to start with a scarf this winter then. Xx

  2. Great top – I am a you tube knitter too with a touch of craftsy class… It is well worth the while to use great yarn is my number one discovery… Love your top.

  3. Really gorgeous. I too am highly soothed and satisfied by endless stocking stitch but only in the round! And knitting is absolutely too slow to compromise on yarn – the madelije tosh sounds superb.

    • So true – I don’t understand investing so many hours in any garment without purchasing quality yarn!
      In this case, the front and back are knitted in two pieces…. although the sleeves are knitted in the round… however I confess I prefer flat sleeves – knitting ‘magic loop’ for such narrow sleeves drives me crackers and I kept thinking ‘imagine if I was knitting both at the same time… flat!’

  4. This is a lovely piece ;o) I aspire to knitting my first cardigan this year, I’d better get a wriggle on! Thanks for the needle link, postage seems very reasonable (I might need a few more sized tips for my knitpro circular interchangeables).

    • I knitted quite a few Andi Sutterland ones a few years ago. They knit up quickly in worsted weight yarn.
      I’d love to have an interchangeable set – it’s on my wish list!
      Sew Jillian also sent me a link to an Australian supplier for these needles. I’ll dig it up if I can for you.

  5. Knitting is such relaxation (in my opinion!) And it is wonderful that you get something as gorgeous as your sweater at the end. The yarn looks gorgeous, I will have to check it out.

  6. Lizzy can you advise on where to learn to undo a bindoff in order to redo it? I’ve been putting off learning this because it’s my first ever knitted sweater and seems too possible to ruin permanently…

    • You can easily just undo you slip knot & rip out the row & pick up the stitches BUT that always makes me a little nervous as I may miss a stitch or pick it up twisted. So I found a YouTube clip called ‘removing a bind off’ by Whiletheyplay

      I found it really helpful.
      Good luck!

  7. I’ll admit that this has made it to my “to make” list after seeing your version. It’s glorious. I’m not sure my budget will stretch to that sublime MadTosh but I’ll have fun finding an alternative!

  8. Wow! superb knit&post. Am actually knitting Relax right now. From camel&merino (dark blue). Still got a few weeks to go. I decided to give the pattern my own lazy twist and knit in round for the body, just before the increases start. It’s a risk.. but i hate purl-stitches (if not in cable or lace) so so much 😀 if it comes out all wrong.. i won’t start-over, i’ll just wear it like a pro 😀

    • I’m not a huge fan of purl rows either… especially such long ones! I considered converting it to a knit-in-the-round but I’m never confident enough of my skills to change a knitting pattern.
      I’ve worn this quite a bit, it’s such an easy jumper to wear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s