Three and a half years ago, in mid February 2015, I started knitting myself a jumper – the first one since the Eighties, in fact, the first one in nearly thirty years.
Back then, I knitted lots of jumpers. All in mohair of course, as was the fashion, and all of which have long since disappeared into the ether.
Nowadays I favour a more practical yarn, one which doesn’t shed or tickle and one that washes well, so when I happened upon Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in “Oatmeal” in our local garden centre, I bought a couple of 400g balls. A nice Aran jumper pattern also caught my eye.
Sometimes I wish I’d gone for the green in the photo on the pattern leaflet, but I figured that “Oatmeal” (aka “Beige”) would go with more things and would get worn more.
5mm needles, Aran weight yarn and a simple cable design ensured that the jumper knitted up relatively quickly.
I can’t remember exactly when I finished it, probably later the same year, but it immediately got relegated to the bottom of the wardrobe until a few weeks ago when it reappeared during a clear out.
Here it is.
I remember loving the generous ribbed roll neck…..
….and the simple but pleasing cable running down the centre front and back of the jumper.
The yarn was so nice that I even used the plentiful leftovers to make a two matching hats, one for myself and one for a present….
….and a pair of fingerless mittens for a Stitching Santa present.
So why didn’t I like the jumper?
I had set in the sleeves too tightly using a basic oversewn edge and it was uncomfortable to wear.
That was it.
Biting the bullet, I carefully unpicked the sleeves, shoulder and side seams of the entire jumper and started again.
Taking my time, I used a more appropriate method of construction which resulted in more flexible seams and a neater looking jumper to boot. A simple solution that took just a couple of hours, but one that I had procrastinated about for three years.
I was impatient to wear it but I’m naturally a hot kind of person who rarely feels the cold and rarely wears a coat, let alone a jumper. So, as soon as the weather turned cold enough this week, I gave it a try.
A freezing cold, frosty morning with blue skies and no hint of a breeze – perfect for a walk through the woods.
Knowing that a T-shirt and jumper would be more than sufficient, I confidently left the coat at home.
Even standing still whilst The Boys worked up a sweat on the rope swing, I was as warm as toast.
By now, the temperature had risen to around 6°C and I was almost too warm thanks to that cosy roll neck!
Oh, and the handknit socks that you can just see poking out of the top of my walking boots:)