A few months ago I challenged myself at knitting my very first jumper, knitting a jumper was my goal, I felt if I could knit this, I could knit anything. I had only been knitting for two months at this point and I have seen in knitting groups that people would say they have been knitting for years and never attempted a jumper.
I started off my knitting challenge like many of us start anything new, I searched Ravelry, adding patterns to my favourites.
I settled on a pattern that I needed to purchase on Ravelry, however, this pattern was not for me, this was probably due to my lack of knowledge and experience, I struggled with the magic loop technique so I used a smaller cable on the collar, knitted the collar ribbing fine, but then I came to the short rows and I became confused. This was the first time I hadn’t seen yarn over in a pattern and I thought these were the result of a mistake, I didn’t realize there were intentional yarn overs! Feeling defeated and ready to give in and never knit again, (honestly how many times did we all say that when we started knitting?)
I decided that wasn’t the end and I picked up my laptop went straight back on to Ravelry and looked for a new pattern that I could knit using the yarn I had bought. This was when I came across Basic Raglan by Joji Locatelli, it was another risk, I needed to pay for the pattern before I could see if I would understand the instructions, but I am ever the optimist when it comes to knitting. I took the leap of faith.
Skip forward to after casting on and knitting the collar rib, now it was the dreaded short rows that confused me the last time, in the back of my mind I told myself ‘follow the instructions literally’ then it just clicked, there were no yarn overs to deal with and I learned how to M1R, M1L, K2TOG and SSK, these stitches just seemed to come to me as if I had been knitting for years and just repeating a natural process.
I enjoyed knitting the body of the jumper, even when I thought I would be sick of stockinette, I still enjoyed it because the jumper was forming in front of me and I could feel the sense of accomplishment grow. I needed to adjust the pattern to fit my six feet two inch stature, I knit the rib and cast off.
My next task was not only knitting the sleeves and picking up stitches, this was the very first time using DPNs, when I learned to crochet I never thought I would knit as I am quite ham-fisted and thought I would struggle with two needles let alone four needles. Knitting the sleeve and the decreases were simple surprisingly. My issue was the ribbing for the cuffs, I hate knitting a rib, it always turns out loose for me and the added awkwardness of DPNs meant the rib was a bit baggy, but when it comes to sleeves it’s not over until you have knit both sleeves. The second sleeve went along much easier and I had less issue using the DPNs, but the same issue with my ribbed cuff.
The finished product
I am immensely proud of myself for tackling such a pattern after only knitting for a short time. As stated earlier, this was my one goal and while I thought I wouldn’t be able to manage it in the begging I persevered. A few mistakes where I twisted some stitches I dropped and the ribbing is loose also the sleeves are a little tight and have diagonal lines where I swapped between needles, but it’s my jumper, knitted by me and for that its one of my favourite articles of clothing. I have only worn the jumper a handful of times due to it being incredibly warm, but the temperature is now dropping and I can’t wait to wear it more often.
Things I learned from knitting a jumper
- Knitting patterns are not subjective and you should follow instructions literally.
- DPNs aren’t scary I just need practice with them.
- I can successfully knit anything I put my mind too and so can you!
Things I wish I knew before knitting a jumper
- Using an eastern knitting technique when purling I can get a tighter rib stitch.
- A stretchy cast on and bind off is essential for ribbing.
The pattern used is Basic Raglan Pullover by Joji Locatelli.
I highly recommend this pattern to anyone wanting to make a simple top down sweater that looks great. The instructions are easy to follow and to the point. I can,t wait to try out more patterns by the designer.
Yarn: Stylecraft Life DK in silver
Needles: Knitpro Symfonie circular needles