I have really fallen for the New Zealand sweater, which I wrote about here.
I have now made up two of these delightfully simple but fantastically elegant tops. Not so my teeth, smeared in raspberry flesh. (One day I will learn how to use Photoshop).
I have already posted about the green one. When I was making that one up I put pictures on Instagram and several people urged me to make a sleeveless version.
I like a sleeveless jumper. I am not sure about you but I have found that the flesh on my arms has held out a bit longer than other areas so I don’t mind flashing them. The little cap sleeves are cute, and with a high round neck we have a little top that is not too revealing. I knitted this in cashmere DK – from a range of small remnants, more or less matching; a reduced cost “set” from Colourmart. But it might be ideal in cotton or linen or silk. I also had an idea of buying white yarn and then dying it before knitting knitting it, or knitting it in white and then dying it to create an ombre effect. This would be a very exciting project for me and a little top in silk would be a nice summer project.
To make the short sleeve T shirt I used only 130 stitches cast on in the round, and I finished it at the waist so it is a neat little summer top that can go under a jacket or even over a shirt for an extra layer of warmth in autumn. In linen, silk or cotton it might make a top cool enough for people in the Southern Hemisphere.
I think this is a sweater that would be great for little kids and huge men too. Here is Wyeth in his. It seems that his wife Betsy has use a piece of I-cord to trim the yoke, and I believe she has used Quaker stitch for the cuffs. I would like to have a go at both techniques. Wyeth refers to this jersey as “like armour”.
As well as knitting nice new things I have been tidying up at home and finally uncovered my two unfinished knitting projects.
When I first conquered knitting a jersey I admitted I had tried to make a garment twice before. Once to make an owl sweater by Kate Davies, and a second time to make a cardigan by Lisa Richardson in Kidsilk Haze (!). I couldn’t do the shaping on the owls jersey and as for the cardigan – you can see how I got hopelessly lost in the pattern and my front and sleeve are all wrong (probably the back too!).
Both these projects had saddened me as I had got lost and gone wrong and didn’t have the knowledge or experience or energy to sort them out. So, with a sense of shame (for the cost of the materials, for the embarrassment of failure) I did what I do with my UFOs – I squirreled them away in a dark cupboard. I am pretty sure I started the cardigan in 2012. The Owls jersey before that – so probably before Ted was born and he is six next month.
So this weekend, after unpacking and photographing them, I unravelled them so I can repurpose the yarn.
The Owls sweater was knitted in soft roving British yarn made from a blend of 80% merino wool and 20% kid mohair – Rowan Cocoon in a very light grey. I showed this yarn to my husband, who assumed it was cashmere (know nothing, men, eh?). He loved it which helped me decide I will finally make a sweater for him (I made a sweater for my son Gus and knitting for tall men is a labour of love).
I thought I might turn him into a great artist if I knitted him one like Andrews! If not an artist, I might encourage his carpentry efforts which are getting more professional and splendid by the cupboard. Nick likes to wear a warm sweater when he is working in his shed as it can be a bit cool in there. He often expresses frustration at the lack of length of his RTW jumpers, including the sleeves, and believes that wool always shrinks (hmm.) He let me measure him this weekend. For future reference I found he would need a width of 42″, length from back neck of 27″, length from underarm to hem of 18″ and a sleeve of 24″. The nice thing about this rather chunky yarn is that it can be knitted on 6-7mm needles which would mean I could create the comparatively huge amount of fabric relatively quickly. However I will need to buy quite a lot more yarn, and it won’t be exactly the same shade, I don’t personally think this matters much. (Actually when trying the jumper on he wanted a further four and a half inches of length! This means the back neck length goes to 31.5″, underarm to hem increases to 22.5″. The sleeve will be tried on later).
Anyway I have been thinking of another Knit A Long as I can explain this pattern to you with ease. You will find it in Knit One Knit All, but the book is rather expensive and I would not recommend it. Too many of the items in there are clever without being very nice, in my opinion. If you like rustic 1980s styling then you may love it, and there are some cool slipper and glove patterns, but the tops are ugly is you ask me. Also I have made a few modifications to the NZ that I could share with you as we go along. At the moment I have an issue with how best to do the short rows that create the very nice shaping across the yoke. I can’t help create a sort of lacey effect. I quite like it but I am not sure it is what everyone wants.
So I am going to do a third one, and then if there is any interest I could organise another knit along (the last one was lots of fun and soon I will show you the second round of results), maybe in November so one of these could be a Christmas present for a loved one?