Wednesday 20 March 2019

How not to finish a jumper (Yarn Along March 2019)

Last month I wrote excitedly about my Edinburgh Yarn Festival jumper - Bright Above Me. After I posted, I sat down and knitted a few more rounds, and with each stitch I fell more and more out of love with the project. I found the combination of increases and long floats really tiring, so I wasn’t picking the project up enough to make any significant progress. There was also the small issue that while I can knit colourwork with a baby on my knee, this colourwork was just too complicated. So I unravelled it, with precisely no regrets.

Once I had unravelled the star jumper, I looked through my Ravelry queue to choose something new to cast on. I knew I wanted to knit a colourwork sweater, ideally from the top-down (I have issues getting the length right when knitting from the bottom up). I had quite a lot of jumpers by Jennifer Steingass in my queue, but my favourite was Starfall, which has a beautiful colourwork yoke that makes me think of jewels. The pattern is written from the bottom-up, and I did briefly consider knitting the jumper as written, before having a revelation: I could cast on the yoke provisionally, then knit the whole yoke before picking up the held stitches and knitting the rest of the jumper from the top down.

A bit of knitting later, I have a completed yoke. It is glorious! I enjoyed the colourwork so much more than the stars, even with the three-colour rounds (those rounds had to wait for uninterrupted knitting time - I couldn’t do them while feeding the baby). I’ve also realised that I much prefer working decreases when knitting colourwork than increases - if I’m working increases I find my floats end up a little tight.

While I won’t be wearing my jumper at Edinburgh this weekend,* I hope to have the yoke back on the needles by then, ready to work the body and sleeves. If I’m really organised I might be on the body, ready for some mindless stocking stitch rounds on the train journey.

I’ve dedicated more time than usual to reading this month. Partly for a rest, and partly because I’ve really enjoyed the book I’ve just finished: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. This is a beautifully written autobiography, written by a self-confessed party girl, covering her years of partying, then her years recovering (she’s only 30 now), all within the framework of ‘love’. I don’t have a lot in common with Dolly (we’re both tall, and some aspects of her struggle with being seen as different as a child and teenager resonated), but I loved her writing style, and her depictions of non-romantic love were very emotive at times. Definitely worth a read.

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along, a monthly crafting and reading link-up.

*I’ll be there on Saturday. Say hello if you see me.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Lots of Socks KAL update!

Thank you to everyone who bought patterns last month on my Lots of Socks sale day. All proceeds from sales of my sock patterns on that day were donated to Down Syndrome International, and we raised a phenomenal £710! Between all the designers, we were able to donate $18,175.67 directly to Down Syndrome International, which is just staggering.

The Lots of Socks KAL runs in the Paper Daisy Creations Ravelry group until March 21st, which is this Thursday, so don't forget to finish off your socks and post a photo of them to the finished objects thread.* I've finshed one pair of socks and three lone ones, so shall be posting them to the thread once I've published this post!

Don't forget to wear your mismatched socks on March 21st (World Down Syndrome Day) to help raise awareness about Down Syndrome. Follow this link for more information.

*Ravelry link. You'll need to be logged in to follow this link. Membership is free.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Another chance to get your hands on my Sooty children's jumper pattern!

I'm sure many of you recognise Sooty, the distinctive yellow hand puppet who has starred in various incarnations of his own show over many years (apparently he first appeared on TV in 1952!). Several years ago, I was asked by Knit Now magazine to create a children's jumper pattern featuring the character, and the pattern appeared in the Baby Knits supplement included with issue 57. Obviously, that was quite a long time ago (February 2016), but if you missed the pattern then, you have another chance to get your hands on a copy as the pattern has been republished in Issue 99 of Knit Now, which is on sale now.

The jumper is knitted flat and seamed, with the Sooty motif knitted in to the front using the intarsia technique. There are quite a lot of fine details in the picture, and I added a lot of these at the end using duplicate stitch, so feel free to combine intarsia and embroidery if that makes it easier for you to work. The collar is knitted in the round at the end after the jumper has been seamed.

The pattern is written for 4 sizes: 2, 4, 6 and 8 years, with finished chest sizes of 60, 68, 72 and 74 cm. I recommend choosing a size approximately 7.5 cm larger than the recipient's chest measurement.

The original sample is knitted in Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK,* which is lovely and soft and real treat to work with. If you fancy using something a little more budget-friendly, why not try Stylecraft Special DK,* or Paintbox Yarns Simply DK,* both of which are 100% acrylic and come in a fabulous array of colours. You'll only need very small amounts of the contrast colours, so this could be an excellent opportunity to use up some of those oddments of yarn you might have lying around.

Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? You'll need to pick up a copy of Knit Now issue 99, which is available now in the UK, or can be ordered online via the More Mags website. The pattern is also avaiable in digital copies of the magazine.

*Affiliate link.

Images copyright Practical Publishing.