Although I started this with a pattern, it has felt more like I’m winging it… The change in stitch pattern yielded a significantly different gauge so I drew out the schematic and worked from the measurements provided back to the number of stitches I would need based on my stitch pattern and gauge. This little sketch in my notebook has been my bible for this project. Whenever I reached a point where shaping was needed I would read the relevant part of the pattern to see if all the increases/decreases were done at once, evenly spaced, or whatever, and then I would translate that as best I could to my gauge and use the notebook sketch to double check the results. When it came time for the sleeve shaping I decided to just space them evenly over the length… and caused myself quite a bit of confusion when I noted down that 15 x 9 = 140 … it does not and it took a second pair of eyes to see why it wasn’t working out nicely when I counted up the boxes on my sketch which each represent 1 inch.
This jumper is knit in pieces and seamed together before finishing the neckline with ribbing. So it was only after 3 months of knitting and several days of seaming that I was able to get Mark to try his jumper on to check the fit… that’s quite late in the process for checking so I was glad that I had done the prep with blocking and measuring the swatch and always consulting my gauge notes and the schematic for measurements along the way!! Thankfully it fits well, however I’m not happy with how the saddle shoulder, sleeve and body all meet each other. The pattern has you seam along the straight edges of the rectangle that these pieces create, but that means you then turn a hard corner into the sleeve and this is making a bubbly pucker. Any suggestions on how to fix this would be gratefully received… my only idea is to try and stitch the corner into the inside somehow.
I’ve also decided to add elbow patches, knit in stocking stitch to echo the stitching on the saddle shoulder. As I was knitting the jumper I was also reading thoughts on Slow Fashion and I had thought to myself that if this jumper gets as much wear as I hope it will I better keep some of the leftover yarn to have on hand for repairs and I envisaged adding elbow patches as a repair strategy. But when we had the try on I saw that the ribbing opens up over the point of Mark’s elbow when he bends his arm so the elbow patches are going on right from the start so he doesn’t look like he has holey elbows! For the patches I started knitting one up per the Purl Soho pattern but they have you knit a few rows of stocking stitch before adding shaping with short rows, the flat part then rolls up to cover your running stitches which are holding the patch in place. Quite frankly this seems ridiculous to me and I ripped it straight back out! What I am taking from them is the idea of holding the yarn double while knitting – it gives a lovely beefiness to the stitches. After another false start, where I ended up with a patch that would be too wide, I’ve decided to draw out the oval, the increases and possibly even measure a small gauge swatch of the double held yarn – aiming for third time’s a charm!
Other than that, I just need to re-do the bind off on the ribbing on larger needles (as it no longer fits over Mark’s head!!!) and stitch it down as I went for the more robust option given in the pattern of knitting ribbing twice the required length so that it gets folded over and whip stitched.
Jumper for Mark based on Mount Robson Pullover
Yarn: Lang Jawoll
Needles: 3mm 32cm circular
My gauge in twisted rib stitch: 36 rows and 30 sts = 10cm/4″