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!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.
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.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. 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.
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).
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.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.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.
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).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.