Sunday, February 13, 2022

Starting a new Jumper

There is no time, and I write this as a woman searching for a wedding dress when I more regret extra weight than when casting on a jumper. So many stitches, that will turn into so many hundreds of thousands of stitches and maybe a kilometer of yarn knitted up - it's a daunting prospect, especially when a pattern calls for negative ease and smaller gauge needles.

You have to be in the right mood for this kind of commitment, and currently, I am, I also have a few cones of yarn that are calling out to be used - my yarn stash has far exceeded problematic proportions and is now the equivalent of a wooly tsunami threatening to take over my flat. The cones take up relatively little space but have a certain presence about them which makes me feel a little defensive. Buying one is a serious statement of intent; a big project is going to happen... And then for ages, they never seem like the right colour, or they're not the right weight yarn, or they're not portable enough.

Anyway, contrary to the all-over jumper I'd carefully planned and spent hours picking colours for I've started a Lower Leogh from Mary Jane Mucklestone's 'Fair Isle Weekend'. I'm adapting it quite a bit - I need it much longer than the original pattern - I'm long in the body and round enough not to suit a cropped jumper at all, and I want something very lightweight so I've changed the gauge of the needles for something a lot bigger. 

I started this very much on a whim so haven't swatched, taken proper measurements, didn't think through the colours very carefully, and am keeping my fingers crossed. The colours for the fair isle strip came out of my scrap bag, I wanted blues to go with the dark brown and these fitted the bill, the very pale shade is actually a very pale green (rye) which I like a lot but doesn't necessarily play well with other colours, fortunately, I'm happy with what it's doing here. 

Increasing the needle size, but not the yarn weight, for fair isle patterns means losing definition in the pattern. I could have got around this by using high contrast colours, or I can embrace it. The muted palate here has created a painterly/impressionistic feel to the pattern which I like, and I think works well for the kind of jumper I want. The stockinette section I've knitted so far has the lightweight feel I wanted.

I chose this Jumper because it's going to make me learn a lot about shaping and construction - the only other jumper I've knitted was just a tube with sleeves attached (I like it, and it's shaped itself to me much better than I expected), and doesn't call for any seeking. It's slow going at the moment with a lot of increases to look forward too, but so far I'm happy with how it's shaping up. 

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