Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Wye Valley Jumper

It was a long and winding road (valley?) for this jumper. 

It started with a subscription to The Knitter at the end of 2015. Issue 95 was my favourite, and I immediately queued lots of the patterns. I made the Stride Socks first, but this jumper, Wye Valley, was always my favourite.

I even went ahead and bought the right yarn for the pattern - a first for me - Rowan Kid Classic. It is a lovely yarn. Kidsilk Haze sized up to an Aran weight. Since I love kitting with Aran yarn, and don't enjoy lace weight much, this is perfect for me. It is soft and slightly fuzzy and works up beautifully. Rowan do beautiful yarns, I'd have to say they are probably my favourite major yarn brand.

I chose this teal colour and ordered 10 balls, since the pattern called for 9-10. I used 5.5 for this project.

The reason I didn't come close to needing all that yarn is because this project came out way too small...

...I planned this for me! #fail 

Luckily, in my household, my girls are getting to the age that, if something doesn't come out quite the right size, there are plenty of other takers for it. In this case, Big Sis was happy to oblige. Luckily, teal is one of her favourite colours too. The model in these photos is Little Sis. (Big Sis was too busy.)

For sure, the sizing was my fault. Firstly, I went down a needle size. I did this knowing that in every single thing I knit, I have to go up a needle size. Had I done this, it would likely fit me. I went down a size because I liked the tighter, more saturated fabric that the size 4mm needle gave me. But my Ravelry notes tell me that I even knitted a gauge swatch and got perfect gauge with 5mm.

I made the back first. I wanted to make sure I was happy to knit the lace pattern before making the rest of the pieces. The bobbles didn't give me too much trouble, but there were no instructions for making them in the pattern. Just "MB": make bobble. Thank goodness for the internets and You Tube. As I got into the top half of the back, I sized down the bobbles by one stitch.

The rest of the jumper didn't cause me any dramas. But I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I hardly knit a stitch during the summer, and I didn't spend many nights on the sofa in the Autumn and Winter. 

But I did little bits here and there and eventually it was mostly done.

Since I made the sleeve length to fit me, but the rest of the jumper has come up child size, I was left with long monkey arms. They were comically long. I could have just rolled up the cuffs, but that is a waste of lovely yarn, so I looked up how to shorten the sleeves properly. Tech Knitting came up trumps. What a great website. 

I only had to pick up the sleeve side of the cut stitches. There is no cuff on this pattern. I used the Super Stretchy Bind-off to finish the cuff edge.

The hem and the neckline do roll. I know this is part of the pattern, but I don't think it is great feature at the front. The back is supported by the columns of lace stitching, so they only roll slightly. The front is a different story. I suspected this from the pattern photographs. The model is working hard to push the front hem down. I did a row of double crochet around the neckline and it worked to stop the rolling and bring it in towards the neck. I haven't done the front hem.

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