Sunday, 7 September 2014

Knit fast, Die Warm

My completed jumper

I began this jumper in January last year (2013) and have finally finished it. I don't have a great track record with finishing jumpers in a timely fashion, I get distracted and do other things and so although this project has taken over a year and a half for the vast majority of that time it's been sat in my knitting bag doing nothing. I realise it is therefore somewhat contradictory to have 'knit fast' knitted on it but it amuses me, and it is very warm. Also, one cardigan took me seven years to complete so actually this was pretty speedy in comparison! Knitting is my therapy, I do it to relax and for enjoyment so I don't really mind how long something takes.

Knitted hot water bottle cover

Getting started

A few years ago I designed and made a hot water bottle cover with a very similar design on the front. I thought at the time it would make a good jumper but knowing the chances of me making it any time soon were slim it stayed as an idea for quite a while. Eventually, many projects later, I decided the time was nigh and I started to look for basic patterns that I could just add my chart to. I was going to design a pattern myself but decided that this would increase the length of time it would take me to complete the jumper by too much, I actually quite wanted to wear it.

Chart knitted, now all the black...

After a bit of interwebbing I found a free pattern on the Lion Brand website that I thought would work. It is knitted all in one piece and is nice and slouchy, which is what I was after. I'd never knitted a jumper that was all one piece before and I don't think I would again. Because the sleeves aren't set in (the jumper is a classic 'T' shape) it is a bit bulky under the arms but this is a minor niggle and I think I will get used to it. I also found that the sleeves were very short (or I maybe just have monkey arms) so I ended up extending the cuffs by about 30 rows. I used Fashion Aran by King Cole, a wool/acrylic mix. It feels very nice, hopefully it will wash well too. I also re-charted my design as the needles were a bit wrong on my first attempt for the hot water bottle cover. I used knitters graph paper and drew out my design in pencil, altering it until I was happy.

The jumper on

Monkey arms

One 'slight' mistake I made was starting the chart too soon, so there is quite a big gap between the neck edge and the design due to a slight mathematical miscalculation and being over cautious ( I didn't want to run out of space for the chart.) However, I have decided to embrace this space as my necklace space, and I shall just wear a pendant necklace kind of thing when I wear this jumper. I should also have worked backwards and done the back first because then I would have got my chart in the right place and had something to look forward to; because I did the chart first I then just had acres of boring black stocking stitch!

Cuff detail

Side detail

Overall I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out, I wanted a cosy casual jumper with a funky design and that's what I've ended up with.

Design detail

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