The makenine challenge each year always feels like an almighty hill to climb. Perhaps I am too ambitious for myself, but including a knitting project in the nine, when I am such a novice, always makes the challenge hard.
The project I chose was a sweater using a vintage pattern. I hadn’t knitted a full sweater before, nor followed a vintage pattern: this really was a learning curve. Not to mention that this is only the second project where I had picked up stitches on a neckline, or used mattress stitch to seam. I laugh in the face of my ambitions! This said, it was no surprise that the process was slow, and I needed to consult youtube frequently to check on the techniques that I either didn’t know, or needed reminding about.
The only familiar aspect of the project was that I chose to use Lett Lopi yarn. I used the same yarn here and was so pleased with the result I wanted to used the same wool again. The yarn is extremely warm, perhaps because it comes from Icelandic sheep.
I had a conversation with my next-door neighbour recently where we talked about working from home and he shared with me his delight in a quilted gilet and fingerless gloves. This sweater is my equivalent and will help ward off the creeping cold that seems to penetrate your bones when you need to sit still for hours in a cold Victorian house.
One thing to note for those that have never used Lett lopi before; it has the very unusual property of being made of only one strand. Plyed yarns are stronger than a single strand of the same thickness so you do need to be careful when pulling on the yarn. I am quite a loose knitter so never have problems with this, but trying to seam my sweater together I did pull the yarn apart a few times.
My experience with my first vintage knitting pattern was better than I expected. I was nervous about diving into this project simply because I couldn’t tell what quantity of wool was needed, but after those initial doubts, following the instructions was simple enough and I used youtube to fill my knowledge gaps when I came across techniques or stitches I didn’t know. I learned a lot about different types of decrease and picking up stitches with this project. I was extremely pleased that I incorporate a beautiful alternating cable cast-on too.
My sweater is very warm; I would go as far as saying that I will probably only wear it inside at home or when it is very cold outside. My only regret is that it is quite tight-fitting and before you ask my gauge was spot on and I picked the correct size. According to the pattern, it is to be worn with no ease. I really should have read that, but somehow I didn’t. I think it fits with the seventies aesthetic, but I’m not convinced it looks marvellous on me with my lack of waist definition. I have been going through my wardrobe and experimenting with different looks. Here are my thoughts:
Look 1: Brushed cotton checked shirt (Lekala) with RTW low-rise jeans
The low-rise of these jeans meant that there was a definite gap between the bottom of the sweater and the trousers, so I wondered whether the untucked shirt would work. I’m not sure. I like the brushed cotton under the sweater though.
Look 2: Brushed cotton shirt with flared high-rise jeans
The colour of the shirt is probably not a great choice, but I wanted to see if this style fitted well under the sweater and it did. The high-rise jeans cover the gap between the sweater finishing and the jeans waistband.
Look 3: Floral liberty shirt with RTW Black velvet skirt
This was a surprise combination: I have never worn this shirt and skirt together and the sweater brings the whole look together. I like this! I have often seen dresses worn with cropped jumpers and this emulates that look as the skirt sits quite high on the waist.
November 27, 2021 at 2:23 pm
I agree the third look really pops! I think the proportions and colours are excellent. I could also see the jumper with a high waisted a line maxi skirt in brown or green, and boots of course.
November 27, 2021 at 2:39 pm
Good thoughts on the skirt. I haven’t got any long skirts really so that it definitely on my to-do list. It’s odd how sometimes just little things can make an outfit work!
November 27, 2021 at 2:42 pm
I’m thinking corduroy or even suede, although that’s perhaps not so practical
November 28, 2021 at 12:18 am
I’m with Catherine, and I do love the jumper-over-shirt neckline.
November 29, 2021 at 9:10 am
Don’t know if this helps but when I’m picking up stitches I divide the neckline of the garment into quarters and mark with glass eyed pins. I then divide no of stitches to be picked up by four so I roughly know how many stitches to pick up per quarter. After picking up first quarter I slide a round marker on my needle and then move on to the next quarter. This really also helps keep count of stitches too. I use it for bands on cardigans too.
December 2, 2021 at 10:48 pm
Thanks for the tip – good idea to use pins. I’m still such a novice that I learn so much each time I knit something! I think I was most worried about how many stitches to pick up. The pattern used so few, and then I saw a youtube video and I felt more comfortable going with the suggestion there.
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