Tag Archives: jumper

Sing A Rainbow

Here are a few pictures of a recent(ish) jumper that I knit for Baby Awesome. It has everything I could want in a baby jumper: Squishiness, rainbows, and a smiley miniature person wearing it.

These photos were actually taken all the way back into September. I’d actually been sitting on them a little while as I did think about writing up and releasing this as a pattern, but I don’t know if the practicalities would be worth it. The sweater came about as I had bought the yarn to make a rainbow yoked cardigan that I had seen one grey day. Foolishly I did not read into the details far enough as though it was a raglan shaped cardigan, each of the two front pieces, back and two sleeves were knit separately. Each of the pieces carried each of the six rainbow colours and the base colour, so:

7 colours x 2 ends x 5 pieces = 70 ends, plus the need to seam up all those raglan shapings, lining up the different colours, in garter stitch. Ha ha ha ha no. It’s not that it would be difficult, but then reading the phone directory isn’t difficult. Deciding that I didn’t need something so soul-destroying in my life I instead decided to design a sweater, with a good sized and styled neck for adorable giant toddler heads, still using raglan shapings but (crucially) knit in a single piece. Seven colours, two ends each. Easy peasy. Actually, I then added a rainbow garter cuff to each sleeve to give myself an additional; 24 ends because I secretly hate myself, oh, and the garter border at the hem, but these were both completely optional, and at least added to the goodness to brilliance awesome rainbowy-ness of it. Frankly, we need more rainbows, and I sewed those ends in for the good of us all. If I had stuck solely to the rainbow yoke (as the pattern I had first intended to knit) then I would have taken the sweater from 70 to 14 ends, saving 80% of end weaving and eliminating all the seaming, and that was good enough for me.

Since finishing the sweater I have started on an accompanying blanket with the remaining yarn, and my erstwhile friend Mr Crochet Hook has come to visit. I don’t crochet very often (because my wrist clicks so much that it sounds like someone has lost a very confused tap dancer in the vicinity), but for a quick and satisfying way to whizz through your embarrassingly large quantity of leftover yarn, it’s perfect.

Once the blanket is complete I will get a picture of both the sweater and crocheted throw together, and bring more rainbows into the world.

FO: Bumpy Baby Jumper

I loved the Drops Designs McDreamy Baby Jumper from the first time I saw it. It looked to be a sturdy and yet soft jumper, with all those little things I had been looking for in an early sweater for Mr Bump: a buttoned shoulder opening, nice length and a bit of detail beyond the plain.

Because my time spent knitting has been so reduced due to the problems I have had during pregnancy, I wanted to try to spread the few things I thought I might be able to make a start on throughout baby’s first year, therefore I knit the 6-9 months size of this pattern in the hope that he would not be out of those few precious hand knits within the first few weeks.
Knitting this sweater felt relatively straightforward, though there are many comments attached to other projects on the associated Ravelry listing where knitters found the pattern difficult to follow or interpret. It may be down to how individuals interpret instructions, or where knitting experience may allow a knitter to make certain assumptions around instructions, but much of the confusion appears to be around the point of the instruction where the knitting of the body of the jumper in the round transitions to knitting back and forth to begin the raglan shaping, which is worked flat to allow for the button placket at the shoulder.
I knit the pattern pretty much as per the pattern instructions, with the small modification of leaving the underarm stitches held live to knit from (rather than binding off and picking up stitches on the bound off edge, which I did to reduce underarm bulk in seaming). The only other change I made to the pattern as written was to omit the doubled-over neck edge, to produce a less bulky finish to the neck edge.
Little Mr Bump’s first handmade sweater is now packed safely away in the drawers of the nursery (which is slowly coming together) , and I can’t wait until he gets to wear his first hand knits!

Pattern: McDreamy Jumper by Drops.
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Baby Merino in shade Lavender.
Size: 6-9 Months.

A Tale Of Two Knitties (Sorry)

Well, it’s quiet here, so if there’s anyone reading I shall make a small and almost imperceptible wave of shy thanks.

Joy and creativity have been a tad sparse on the ground of late because I have been suffering a few health challenges this new year. I shall not go into detail as it is not very interesting and recounting it actually upsets me a tad, but I’ve had to step back from a few things that were detrimental to my health for a while and have been instructed to take some time off of work.

I thought that maybe I would be able to re-set myself in this time, to try to re-kindle those small embers of what I felt I had let fade, but it has been incredibly hard. I can’t seem to think or operate properly, perhaps because my mind is still busy sorting through everything that has passed and it will take time to clear the room in my head to let the ‘me’ things back in. Due to this my creativity has ebbed and my hands have remained idle. I have not been able to read, or watch TV – it’s like nothing has quite sunk in. Things are eased somewhat when Mr Awesome returns at the end of the day and I feel as if I am being loved and protected from the world, but I am having trouble with trying to regain the sense of calm self-understanding.

This all sounds quite negative, but I think it is sometimes part of the healing process, and yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough. Jen of Jen A-C Knitwear had recently blogged about a sweater that she had fallen out of love with during the knitting. It was yellow, it had stripes and a kangaroo pocket, and looked to me to be all sunshine and happiness. There were a few elements of the sweater that she was unsure about and this brought about a reluctance to finish it, despite only being a sleeve and a half away from completion. Part of the inertia seemed to be driven by the uncertainty that Jen would wear and enjoy it. Ever helpful I spurred her along by very selflessly naming myself as a definite wearer of stripey yellow things should she not re-kindle the romance with the jumper of sunshine. In the end, though, Jen did not feel she had retained enough love for yellow stripes to finish, and actually asked me if I would like to finish knitting the jumper, if I’d wear it.

Duh.

Sometimes, when life is challenging, every finishing line seems to be so far away as to be out of sight, and it is never more distant than at the outset. There can be a reluctance to start anything as with it comes the feeling (which feels almost assured when the world seems to be pitting its wits against you) that you will fail. But what if life could just drop you into that journey with the goal in plain sight?

So it is with this jumper. It would have been a mountain taller than I could dare to start with even a foot on the path to begin such a project, but the Jen A-C Helicopter of awesome (which is bright yellow) has dropped me with the summit in sight with a packed lunch for energy.

Somewhat surprisingly, the sweater Jen was working on is knit in 6 finely graded shades of yellow. From what I can tell the top starts with the extremes of shade (darkest and lightest) and moves through to the mid tones near the hemline, where the stripes blend closer together. I’ve studied the shades closely and the points at which they subtly change, and I have knit the second sleeve to the point where Jen left off the first sleeve to make sure that everything remains equal and closely matched. Now I have two half sleeves to finish, and that doesn’t seem like too strenuous a hike. It seems achievable, and it’s the first thing in a very long time that I can say that about.


Obviously Jen is very special and dear to me. She has been a kind and generous faraway friend throughout some great difficulties in my life, and is one of the people who I owe a great deal to for their support through a difficult period in the past. She is talented, and inspiring and wise. And she has awesome knitted things.

She has recently written a couple of posts about the yellow jumper above, and in the most recent: Letting Go, she has also decided to let go of something else: 4 skeins of 100% brushed suri alpaca from Frog Tree yarn and the Lingering Doubts shawl pattern to go with it. It looks beautiful, and would make someone very happy. If you think that person might be you, pop along to the blog post Letting Go and a Giveaway and leave a comment on Jen’s blog that will make her happy. The details are in the post, it is open worldwide and you have just under two weeks to help spread some happiness in the comments.

Twisted Cable Sweater: A Long Term Affair

A week or two ago I was sifting through my contacts’ new uploads on Flickr when a favourite knitter of mine who produces some of the most amazingly beautiful knits had a new set of pictures that caught my eye. The sweater that she had recently completed and modelled was the Twisted Cable Sweater from The Designer Knits collection by Sarah Hatton & Martin Storey.
The cabled sweater in question is actually used for the cover design of the book, sitting about the frame of a particularly sullen-looking model who may have just been stood up by a prospective date whilst waiting in the cold before being told by the photographer ‘cheer up love, it might never happen’. Every time I look at the picture the model looks a bit more angry, so I’m glad to have seen my knitter-friend’s jumper warming up someone with a smile on their face. Perhaps it was the original joy that encouraged me to want one of my own – I wanted to have my own happy-making knitwear, and added it to the mental list of things I might fancy making, one day.
It was only a week or so later, however, when enjoying a day-trip to Chester to visit Black Sheep Wools that I happened across the book that bore the sullen looking lady with the gorgeous cable work glaring at me from the racks of pattern books. I had a flick through the designs and decided that as I was in a yarn shop I might as well just go with my fancy, and I picked up the book and the yarn to go with it and made my way home. I already have a knitting project on the needles and a sewing project blossoming in the forefront of my mind, so could I really cheat on those current projects by casting on something anew?
Of course I could. My knitting needles cannot get jealous, and this is a love affair that I was too strongly drawn towards to ignore. In a rush of emotion at starting something new and exciting I cast on this exciting new project and into the ribbing.


Oh my goodness the ribbing lasts forever.

I think that time had actually started to move backwards by the time I reached the increase row to begin the cabling. It’s not that the rib section is particularly deep: about 7cm – but the knitting to get the desired gauge is very dense, so the row height is quite compact.

Looking at the projects listed on Ravelry, I can see that I am not the only person who has had trouble hitting the correct gauge with the given needles. In fact, every project listed seems to have used a needle size 2-3 sizes smaller than that given in the pattern, so maybe the pattern gauge needs to be revisited to give a more ‘average’ needle size for initial gauge experiments.

Nevertheless, I am now past the ribbing and into the exciting cabling areas. I have decided to knit the body in the round rather than flat as given in the pattern, because then I only have to do it once, because some love affairs should never be repeated.

This Is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes for our wedding and marriage! Everything went perfectly and the day was a dream. We are yet to receive our official wedding photographs so we still have that excitement to come, but my bouquet was very well received and admired by guests, and was a lovely talking point for many people on the day, as was our very special ring bearer Giantmonk, who looked so smart in his waistcoat, top-hat and boutonniere.

Two weeks have now passed, we have returned from honeymoon and things are returning to a state of normality as we get back to work and busy ourselves with a mixture of the humdrum tasks of day-to-day life and more exciting ventures like plans with wonderful friends and decorating our guest room.

Whilst sorting out all of the things that we needed to move and re-organise on our return from honeymoon before we could begin our guest room makeover, I was reminded of an item that I had put to one side with the hope that one day I might be able to salvage something from the hours of work that I had invested in it. My New Things jumper was once a thing of lightness and airy beauty. This is the jumper after it had already taken one trip through the washing machine and felted a little to make it neither so airy or light, but still slightly fuzzy but beautiful item before it was even worn for the first time:

But never one to do things by half, Mr Awesome decided that this wasn’t anywhere near as tiny and lumpen as a really ruined sweater, so decided to help it on its way by sending it back through the wash on what I can only imagine was a boil wash full of bricks, to present me with this:

Amazingly, the sweater still fits me, though shows off a stretch of midriff that should only be visible on people under the age of 22, or who don’t count macaroni cheese as a staple part of their daily regime.

But in every lumpen, misshapen form there is potential beauty, and neither Mr Awesome nor the piece of ex-knitwear were completely lost in my affections.

I have put the sweater to one side these last few weeks to concentrate on all things lace and ivory-coloured, but in starting a new beginning of sorts and finding ways to enjoy the things that we already have I decided to see if I could find a use for it in our new guest room. The sweater’s newly acquired boxy and tough, hard-wearing qualities seemed to suggest a simple cushion, however, the length of the sweater did not suffice to fit a cushion, so I had to improvise with an off-cut of upholstery fabric that I thought would work well alongside the soft, muted wool: complementary in colour bit with some interesting contrast in the structure of the fabrics and the lustre of the almost industrial-looking distressed houndstooth pattern which has a slight metallic sheen.

I decided to keep the feature of the original asymmetrical hem on the cushion and haven’t attempted to hide what the piece of fabric originally was so have kept the pocket detail. I will probably change the buttons for some dark brushed metal ones once I find some that I like, but I am glad that I didn’t have to throw away the result of so many hours knitting, even if it is no longer performing its intended purpose. I shall also try not to let this put me off investing time in my knitting, entrusting Mr Awesome with the laundry or allowing myself nice things in the fear that they will get ruined. And I did forgive him, immediately, because look at that face…