Offshore V-Neck

Here’s a jumper I knitted. The Offshore V-Neck by Bristol Ivy:

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I picked up a bag of lovely Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed in a Brocki for pretty cheap, and started looking for a project. Since my last big knitting projects had been all about colourwork (Aftur and Bláithín), I wanted a bit of the other one: cables. I loved the Offshore jumper as soon as I saw it and dived straight in.

This was all nearly two years ago. The process was a bit of a slog due partly to my own indecision and mistakes, and partly to the confusingly-written pattern.
I started in the smallest size, and after I’d knitted the bottom ribbing and a fair chunk of the cable pattern I realised it was going to be too small, so I ripped it all back and started in the next size up. I hate the idea of knitting something and it being unwearable.
I also made a few mistakes in the increasing and decreasing along the way. In the past  would have left some of these in, thinking it added to the charm of a hand-made piece, but these days I’d rather put in a bit of extra time and do it properly (it’s one of the things about me that winds my boss up).

Here are some pictures of the jumper before the nitty-gritty:

So, the pattern problems. I’ve put these on my Ravelry as well, but for anyone who doesn’t have an account / can’t be bothered to click through / isn’t that interested in knitting pattern notes but will read them anyway if they’re there, here they are.

  • Other knitters have noted that the yoke, as written, is far too small and therefore the armholes and neckhole are very tight. As other knitters did, I added depth to the yoke by stopping a number of rows early, as if for two sizes above the one I was knitting, and spacing out the raglan decreases correspondingly.
  • Something that it would have been nice to mention in the pattern is that it is VERY IMPORTANT that the body and sleeves are both stopped on an odd-numbered row of the cable chart, bound off on an even-numbered row and then joined on an odd-numbered row. Otherwise you will find yourself trying to cable from the wrong side.
  • The “at the same time” section of the pattern is complicated, and even more so if you’re trying to re-write it to make the yoke deeper. I drew out a chart to help me keep track of the neckline decreases and raglan decreases as well as the stitch counts for front, back and sleeves. Here is my chart:
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  • It’s also VERY IMPORTANT that when you get to the end of the neckline shaping you have 25 stitches left for each sleeve so that the saddle section works.
  • I added an extra 5 rows at the end of the neck cable chart to increase the size of the neck hole. I should have added an even number, because I ended up with my cable row on the wrong side for the saddle. This was manageable, but annoying, and a silly mistake to make.
  • There are 2 major actual mistakes that I can remember in the pattern:
    One is on the cable A chart, there should be a purl stitch at the end of the chart (before you go back to stockinette stitch).
    The other is in the right saddle decrease instructions. They should read:
    Row 1: Work 24, p2tog, turn.
    Row 2: sl1, work 23, ssk, turn.
    Row 3: sl1, work 23, p3tog, turn.
    Row 4: sl1, work 23, sssk, turn.
  • The pattern says to pick up 67 stitches around the neck. I’d increased the size of the neckline so I picked up 83: 18 for the back, 13 along the vertical of each saddle, 19 down each side of the front and 1 at the centre front. I picked the stitches up in the 2×2 rib instead of just straight.

I don’t want to put anyone off knitting this pattern. It’s really lovely and I’ve been wearing it almost daily ever since I finished it. It just needs a bit more thinking through than other patterns.

On my version, the beautiful cable pattern gets a bit lost in the tweedy wool, so I’d probably recommend knitting it in something a bit simpler, but I also don’t turn down cheap, good quality wool from a second-hand shop, so I can’t complain.

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Brocki Love and Decisions to Make

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It’s been a while since I posted about my brocki (second-hand shop) finds, but that’s no indicator that I’ve let up on my brocki perusing. I probably have become older and *ahem* wiser about my brocki habit, partly because my little flat is fairly full as it is, so the search for furniture has pretty much tailed off, and that was what I used to go in search of. But I still find them pretty hard to resist, and last weekend The Boy found himself, once again, watching me riffling through the drawers of sewing bits and bookshelves (hey, they usually have an English-, or at least foreign-language section!) Continue reading “Brocki Love and Decisions to Make”