Here’s a jumper I knitted. The Offshore V-Neck by Bristol Ivy:
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:
- 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.
I started planning this one right after finishing my first Papercut Rigel Bomber. Or at least when I’d worn it for a while and realised that the low neckline wasn’t going to cut it in colder weather. It’s still not up to the depths of the Swiss winter, but it’ll be fine in autumn, and I’ll be able to wear it when spring finally decides to put in an appearance too.
The fabric is a black and white herringbone-weave wool blend (blended with what? I don’t know) with a pink stripe running up alternately-pointing zigzags. Pink isn’t usually a colour I have much to do with, but it’s subtle enough not to offend my taste and it makes the whole jacket a bit less boring.
I lined the jacket using the same bagging-out method that I used on my first Rigel, and I also interlined it with some soft fabric that was the victim of an accidental dying incident involving some red jersey. It took me a while to work up the nerve to start because I’ve never inter- (or under-) lined before, and I knew from the start that the main fabric was going to fray a lot. To try and counter the fraying I used a rotary cutter to cut each pattern piece out really carefully (no impatient tugging at corners when lifting the pattern piece away) and laid them on a large board with a sheet of newspaper in between each pattern piece so I could pick one up without having to handle every other piece in the process. It worked pretty well and I didn’t have any problems with frayed edges.
The main change I made to the pattern was raising the neckline by 10cm which I did by just extending the centre front line upwards and re-drawing the neck curve on the main front pattern piece and then using this as a basis for re-drawing the front facing and lining pieces. I shortened the neckline ribbing by working out how much shorter I’d made the neckline and shortening the ribbing piece by the same amount (and then a bit more to make it hug the neck a bit more).
I put a little hanging tab in there again, and a label, similar to last time – on a piece of lining fabric and the corduroy that the pocket linings are made from.
Another small modification I made is to make the pockets quite a bit larger so that I can get my whole hand in.
At primary school being seen with hands in pockets was a sure route to a telling-off, I remember one teacher threatening to sew up our pockets if we kept putting our hands in them. In reaction to this ever since I haven’t been able to stand pockets that you can’t get your hands into, like so many pockets in ready-to-wear women’s clothes. It’s just another reason to keep sewing my own.
The corduroy itself is a bit stiff in the pockets for the main fabric – the fabric at the front of the jacket hangs slightly oddly – but I’m hoping that they’ll soften with age and use.
I also wonder if I should have use slightly heavier-duty ribbing, but I could only find it in light grey and I preferred the contrast of the dark grey with the main fabric.
Go on Mrs Lobster, just try and sew them up!
So, I’ve made peace with the jacket’s imperfections, and I’m really rather happy with the outcome. I did actually take it home with me at Christmas and the English climate allowed me to wear a couple of times. This was before I finished sewing up the lining but I made myself finish it when I got back. If I’d started wearing it properly without finishing the last little bits I would have ended up wearing it like that for the rest of my (or its) life!
Inspired by Lucie’s post to get my versions of these up onto the blog. They’re from the book “Edward’s Menagerie” by Kerry Lord which my mum gave me for Christmas just over a year ago. I actually started crocheting from it pretty soon after receiving it, (it came at an opportune time, just as my friends and family started having babies) but didn’t want to a separate post for each one. Now I’ve done four of them, you can have them all in one nice, compact, easy-to-use blog post. Continue reading “Crochet Creatures”
I notice, as I leaf lazily (and metaphorically) through my blog, that I haven’t written anything about knitting since August. This came as quite a surprise, as I probably spent more time knitting last autumn than I did sewing. There was the purple cardi, which I sort of finished, and then decided needed the button band re-doing (it’s currently sitting on my sofa with the button band removed but not replaced), a couple of baby presents, but mostly this cardi – Bláithín by Kate Davies.
Two cardis, you think, that doesn’t sound like so much. Oh if only you knew, dear reader, the sorrows I faced. Perhaps I exaggerate. Not sorrows, then, let’s call it frustration. Continue reading “At Last: Bláithín”
Back last year, if you remember, I made this jumper for my sister for Christmas, and then completely failed to get a picture of her wearing it. My best persuasions and threats were to no avail. But eventually we found ourselves in the same place at the same time. So I forced her into it, frogmarched her outside and pointed a camera at her. Now you can actually see what it looks like in real life, being worn, rather than just lying on my floor.
Continue reading “Agnes again “
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”
… 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. Continue reading “And now for something completely different… (Aftur)”
One of the things that I do quite a lot of is mending clothes. I really believe in not throwing clothes away when they break, but mending and re-making whenever possible. It makes you realise how quickly the clothes that looked good on the shop hanger deteriorate – in our awful culture disposable fashion, they’re only meant to look good long enough for you to buy them, get them home and wear them once. Almost all of my jeans (apart from the newest pair) have holes in the knees, which I’ve mended over and over usually with a bit of fusible interfacing on the inside and machine or hand stitching to secure it, and
draw attention away from the hole make it look more interesting. Continue reading “Patching it up.”
This was meant to be a joint post about Christmas jumpers with the post about Guston, but unfortunately I forgot to get pictures of my sister wearing it, and my subsequent requests for pictures… well, blood and stones don’t come close, so here is the post sans modelled photo. The jumper is another Agnes, also in Drops Nepal wool, like the one I made for myself, this time in Old Pink, which I love. It’s not quite as boxy as mine, because I made some mods to the original pattern to make it a bit looser-fitting for me. Continue reading “The Remains of 2014 – Agnes”
Here are a couple of jumpers that were finished around Christmastime. The first is Guston by Anne Budd, which was intended to be for The Boy’s birthday, and officially it was, but it didn’t make it off the needles until shortly before Christmas. The cold season here has only really started since I’ve been back after Christmas anyway, so no harm done. Continue reading “The Remains of 2014 – Guston”