I’ve always enjoyed learning and for me nothing ever remains interesting or fascinating if it never changes or remains stagnant. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t challenge yourself you don’t improve and won’t develop your knitting skills further any time soon.
My weekend morning routine tends to consist for me to wake up properly around 9.30/10 am (I love my lie-ins), have breakfast in bed with coffee in hand and browse all the knitting and crochet Facebook group posts I subscribe to on my Facebook account. The photo below shows which groups I currently subscribe to.
I can spend up to 1.5 hrs browsing and getting inspired by everybody’s lovely knitting! There is so much expertise contained in these Facebook knitting groups and it’s a quick way to get a tried and tested answer to a knitting question as people are always happy to help and share the knowledge (they are often referred to as “the hive” when people post questions).
Despite not being an experienced knitter, the first jumper I attempted at the start of 2018, only after having knitted very little – mostly unsuccessful (I kept on twisting my stitches for the longest time which didn’t make me enjoy the process of knitting much, nor did I knit much until I attended a basic knitting course at Loop in January), was the “Humulus by Isabel Kraemer” and was just super easy to do. I already knew that my gauge swatch had to be knitted circular if the knitted piece is knitted in the round, and with the colour work, I just had to take it 1 stitch at a time.”You’ve got this!” I said to myself.
In addition to my circular swatch I also knitted a small coloured piece in the round to try out working with two colours. Turns out it really isn’t that difficult. It was just slow. But even Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I managed to create an entirely wearable hand knitted jumper that I can be proud of. I didn’t record how long it took me unfortunately but at a guess it was maybe 2 months? The Aran yarn helped speed up construction!
I was super chuffed with how it came along and kept on showing my progress to my husband, my sister and my mom. By the time it was finally finished I wore it with the bare minimum of strands woven in, and I wanted to wear it ALL. THE. TIME. I finished it just when we had really cold weather around February/March and my new jumper kept me incredibly warm and snug as a bug in a rug. Evidence below when I first wore it out!
The yarn I used was the ever affordable Drops Alaska in colours Light Grey (colour #03) and Mustard (colour #58) (same colours like the Humulus original).
I made a few mistakes on the sleeves and my floats were sometimes a little tight, but I know now to move knitted stitches along my right hand needle so as to give enough yarn to the floats (rather than keep them crowded on the needle and their floats thus being shorter than actually required for wearing). I might also try a smaller size next!
The next jumper I wanted to knit was The Ninilchik Swoncho by Boyland Knitworks using Drops Lima yarn which I already had in my stash (large volume purchase of yet another Drops Sale of Drops Alaska and Drops Lima). More colour work, more colourful but after about 30 rows I decided that I’d much rather make it in Mohair! I had seen so many great light and floaty but elegant examples on Ravelry’s project pages I decided to park the Swoncho for another time, all the time being mindful that I wanted to knit more from my stash.
I had a large number of lovely colours of fingering yarn available to choose from to make up my final design. Below you can see a sketch of colours I decided on. The main colour I chose to be a gorgeous reddish-rust-brown from Countess Ablaze in colour
For accent colours I had a light pink and light greyish-blue fingering yarn from Madeleine Tosh (gorgeous yarn and first time for me knitting with this!).
I have another 6 inches to knit on the body until I start with shaping rows but I might start on the sleeves as I want to see more of what my final jumper might look like ! I think i will to TAAT with the sleeves switching between sleeves every so many rows (a method the lovely and ever so talented Angie uses and mentioned in Everyday Knitter. )
I’ve been mindful of not rushing this jumper – it is such a gorgeous design, the yarn being fingering weight makes any mistake show up more (first time knitting something with fingering weight for me also for this jumper) so I tried to knit in the same rhythm and not rush in an effort to keep tension even. I *think* I have succeeded in this (so far).
I’ve now made some serious progress on the first sleeve but to be honest the size needles I am using for the sleeve are bamboo, needles themselves are a little too long and this makes the sleeve knitting a little frustrating, especially doing colour work. When I purchased needles for the sleeves just before casting on, in a desperate effort to have everything in place before I start, I purchased what was available when I was at Loop London – which were Bamboo knitting needles. The joins between cable and needles are not great at all. I think at some point I will try out Flexi needles Addi CraSyTrio dpns, and Chiagoo circular needles to decide which way to go and then purchase a full set!
To get a break from colour work, and because I am now all over this knit-my-own-jumper sh*t like a rash, I cast on Heidi Kirrmair’s Daydream jumper. But more on that later!
What was your first foray into knitting a jumper? What pattern did you chose and what hiccups did you encounter?
Happy Knitting from Made & Loved by Miriam