So here it is, a close up of my jumper from Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas! It is definitely not to everyone’s taste so I am not going to put up the full pattern … also, the notes I made while making it are more than a little untidy (read: a complete mess)! That said though I was pleased with how it came out. It is the first garment that I have knit without a pattern and designed entirely for myself.
The original submission was for a Christmas tree completely in loop stitch but I was probably only about two or three inches into it when I decided that I would a) never finish and b) well, yeti in a bath mat!
I started by not quite calculating the number of stitches required to cast on … using the standard gauge on the ball band… which was not quite but almost completely the wrong thing to do for loop stitch but I just wanted to get on with the jumper. Luckily the stitch count wasn’t too far off but the row count definitely was … I thought it was going to be 6 rows per inch, it was 8! 33% extra rows of loop stitch, so jolly ; )
Almost but not quite bathmat ; )
I knit and knit and knit loop stitch in the round and while doing that I fretted about the transition to the waist. It came to me at about midnight one night … the simplest solution of all, a garter stitch band!
Garter Stitch for the win (always!)
After that it was quite straightforward - the top is a standard shaped body to the under the arm and then split for back and front. I didn’t do a lot of arm hole shaping … I may even have done it in a single row for each side. The neck shaping was only a couple of rows, leaving the shoulder and neck stitches live. The shoulders were three needle cast off and the neck line picked up and finished with iCord cast off.
The sleeves I am particularly delighted with – they could have been a bit less tight & they did give me a quintessential American football line backer look but that doesn’t get in the way of my being pleased with the knitting ; ) the sleeves are picked up around the armhole and shortrow shaped from the top. To get the puff sleeve effect I picked up a stitch for every row in the arm hole whereas to get a flatter sleeve it would be 2 in 3 or 3 in 4. After the puff sleeve, I just did a k2tog all sleeve around and knit down to the elbow, leaving the stitches live.
Puff Sleeve (or line backer ... depending on your view point!)
The loop stitch cuffs are knit from the cuff upwards as loop stitch is uni-directional and if I had knit it down it wouldn’t have looked right. I grafted the loop stitch cuff to the live stitches of the sleeve.
Spot the graft!
The fairy light pattern I fiddled about with for quite a while to get the right increases and the mini socks are based on my mini sock pattern but are 24 stitches rather than 36.
The yarn is Croft Aran in Fetlar from West Yorkshire Spinners, the mini socks are in Jamieson’s of Shetland and Jamieson & Smith and the iCord is in West Yorkshire Spinners signature 4 ply. The iCords are actually those used in the photos for my Sockmas book that got butchered for the jumper : )
I’m very unlikely to ever release the full pattern for this but I do have plans for little dresses with loop stitch skirts for Spring Summer next year … although it might be completely impractical so we’ll see.
I think my favourite thing about the experience, apart from the people I met, was making something from scratch and shaped just for me. I would encourage everyone to design and knit a garment just for themselves. It taught me a lot about constructing a garment ... I may even try to design a basic jumper at some point!
Now … after all that talk of loop stitch, I’m going back to sample 2 of 5 of my garter stitch shawls ... phew!
Should you like a copy of the '90 minute knit' hat. If so, you can get a free copy by signing up to our mailing list. (If you are already a subscriber there is no need to subscribe again, as we'll be sending a link in our next newsletter!) The pattern is also available to buy on Ravelry.
Next on the blog: hopefully an aran weight Christmas stitch with a loop stitch cuff but we'll see how the week goes ; )