And now for something completely different… (Aftur)

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… a man with three… Oh, no, hang on. Something that I finished in the last week. Instead of the usual “here’s what I finished a few months ago…” malarkey, this jumper literally came off my needles last Tuesday, and went straight down onto the cork boards for blocking.

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It’s Aftur by Védís Jónsdóttir, and it’s a free pattern. What’s not to like? Stranded knitting (a lot of places refer to all stranded colour-work as Fair Isle knitting, but I understand that the term refers only to specific patterns) is something that I haven’t done much of although I love yoked pullovers and cardis. I’ve been eyeing up some of Kate Davies’ gorgeous designs from her new book, which is definitely on my wish list, but to start with I definitely wanted something that Ravelry rates as fairly easy.

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I used Drops Nepal yarn: 65% wool and 35% alpaca: it’s one of those wools (like the Drops Andes) which leaves soggy fluff all over your hands when you’re rinsing the garment for blocking. I used the same colour-scheme as the jumper in the pattern: I find sometimes that changing the colours in a garment can detract massively from its attractiveness. Similarly, if I’m looking at a pattern on Ravelry that I’m not too keen on, sometimes looking at other users’ versions of it can persuade me that it can turn out well. Since I’m pretty inexperienced in colourwork, I didn’t trust myself to change the colours and still come out with an attractive result. I think the contrast of the neutrality of the main colour, the darkness of the main colour in the yoke, and the brightness of the other yoke colours come together really well.

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When I put it on before blocking, it was just a tad on the short side. I had thought about lengthening it a bit when I was knitting, and in fact when I’d finished knitting the  sleeves, before doing the yoke I went back and added a couple more rows to the body. But I’m glad that I didn’t lengthen it any more, because I pretty much ran out of the main colour wool just as I reached the yoke. This meant that I couldn’t do the neckband in the main colour (apart from two rounds right at the very top,) so I used the dark grey. Which also ran out just as I was getting to the top of the neckband. I finished the part that gets folded to the inside in red, which is a nice bright touch for my eyes only ;) The blocking sorted out the length, now it sits nicely at the level of my jeans waistband, just where I want it.

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Since it’s knitted in the round and the yoke is knitted as a circle, there’s no difference in shape between the front and the back, but the sort-of seam where the strands of coloured yoke yarn run up the side goes at the back, so when blocking I pinned the front neckline slightly lower than the back. And then I sewed a piece of green fancy ribbon in the back just under the neckband so that every time I put it on I don’t have to search for that seam.

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We managed to get out in the sun at the weekend up to the lake which still has a sheet of ice on it that’s thick enough to hold The Boy’s weight (of course he had to try!) It was a nice setting for some pictures of a jumper from a tradition of such iciness.

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Ravelled here.

P1190013And this one was actually taken from out on the ice. Shortly before he put his foot through it…

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