Sunday, February 12, 2023

Peerie Leaves Jumper - Donna Smith

I've had it in mind to make this jumper for a while, so after getting a cone of DK yarn (Dusk from Jamieson's of Shetland) I knew that's what it was going to be for. I started on this between Christmas and new year, so to have finished already is fast for me. 

This is the fourth jumper I've finished and a clear favourite so far despite still coming out a bit bigger than I intended. I did try swatching this time, but either my maths was out, or I radically changed my tension when I started working on a larger scale (probably both happened). At least it's the kind of too big that I can get away with, and next time I knit one (there will be a next time just as soon as I can find another yarn I like as much) it'll be sized down a little. 

Knitting with DK rather than a Shetland jumper weight was a treat - thicker yarn, bigger needles, faster progress, which is very encouraging. I like the fabric it's made as well - chunkier than I'm used too and squishier. It's very pleasing. 

I really liked Donna Smith's pattern which is available on Ravelry, and in the 2020 Shetland Wool Week Annual (volume 6 - it's got some cracking patterns in it). The Peerie Leaves jumper design is well written, easy to follow, doesn't have any nasty surprises in it, and has come up as a useful sort of jumper that I know I'm going to wear a lot (I've been wearing it all day at work already). One small quibble would be over the photographs that go with the pattern - they're beautiful, but they don't give the clearest idea of how the jumper will look - the close up shots have the model in a closer fitting version, the pattern suggests quite a lot of positive ease. 

I added one and a half repeats to get the sort of length I need and made the rib at the bottom a couple of rows longer too. I actually judged this about right for the first time so don't have a jumper that almost hits my knees again - this may be the single thing I'm most pleased about. 

I also kind of wish this had been the first jumper I tried to knit - I think it's an ideal place to start. The speed with which it knits up is great, the lace element is a simple pattern that has a nice rhythm to it, and you can see within a couple of stitches if you've gone wrong which is definitly a bonus. The rest is stocking stitch which is relaxing. The finished jumper feels like more than the sum of it's parts (that's definitely a hallmark of an excellent design). 

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