The Christmas Jumper tradition

posted in: Finished projects, knitting | 14

Last Friday we had Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children. (Sorry if this post appeared early – I seem to have lost the ability to use WordPress properly at the moment).

Here are Katrina and Maddy from the HR team. It is interesting how staff choose jumpers that reflect their personalities. The night before we had our wonderful Christmas party – 600 of us came together at the Camden Centre to eat, drink, dance and celebrate a successful year of working together. I was surprised so many of the team seemed so perky the next morning. 

Lots of staff joined in so I asked if I could take some photographs. Katia, in the first picture organised the event and is standing by the poster with details about how to donate. She works for Folio, the team that let and manage our private rented housing. She is also (alongside another dozen or so staff) running the Marathon in April for our organisation. Katia’s Mum is a keen crocheter and Katia sells funny little cats and other creatures to raise money for her sponsorship.

This year we combined Christmas jumper day with our annual “cake walk”. To celebrate Notting Hill Housing’s birthday (we are 54 this week) senior managers treat all our staff to a cake, satsuma or mince pie. We walk around our offices with a trolly full of sweet things and thank each team for their sterling efforts over the past year. Each team is rightly proud of their work – looking after older people, recruiting staff, managing the repair and investment programmes, giving personal service to all of our tenants and leaseholders, making sure our finances are strong and well managed, selling and marketing new homes, running our market rent operation

Red proves to be a popular colour for Christmas jumpers. Rachel, is one of our reception and facilities team. She loves wearing loud jewellry and managed to drape a whole set of baubles over her chest on this occasion. “If you can’t push the boat out at Christmas”, she said, “when can you?”.

And some more!

Some had simple graphics – if you can call any of these tops classy I would say the BAH HUM BUG was the closest to it – but maybe the sentiment is not appropriate. Others just blended in with the person they sat next to and created interesting collages by standing close to their friends.

New this year were the jumpers with integral lights as shown below. And then two that had something to do with Captain America and Star Wars I think. Whatever will they think of next?

And me? I wore one of my EZ sweaters.

However I have got a new jumper for Christmas! I finished my Inspired by Helmut knitted T shirt. Eventually. This uses the same Elizabeth Zimmermann approach of three tubes, but the arm tubes are really short! I found this a difficult jumper to knit as it uses a very fine lace weight yarn (merino from Colourmart again), on larger needles (5mm). I dropped lots of stitches and found it relatively slow going. But I love the translucent effect, it feels like gossamer to wear, and the two colours look lovely against a white camisole. I didn’t do any finishes for the neckline, sleeve or hem – i just let the edges roll.

Although the Helmut T is a summer item I finally photographed it when it was snowing. Next to our Peony lamp.

Helmut Newton handknitted jumper
Helmut Newton inspired jersey

Do you have any special garments for Christmas?

14 Responses

  1. Marijana

    This Christmas: bobble hats. Next Christmas I’ll be proficient enough to knit a Christmas jumper, maybe even design a festive Space Invader (I’m dreaming big).

    How lovely to see all these photos: I got everyone to gather around my screen.

  2. ceci

    Your sweater is of course lovely, and the view out the windows behind you… soft and peaceful! The office festivities pictures make it seem like fun – the Starwars sweaters are certainly novel.

    Happy holidays!


    • fabrickated

      Thank you for your good wishes Ceci! The one day of snow is probably all we will get this year, although we are soon on our way up North to join my mother for Christmas. There have more snow up there, especially on the hills.

    • fabrickated

      I don’t think I could cope with the polyester myself! But the Nordic sweaters are both beautiful and Christmasy and I think this is the way to go for those of us who can knit. Marijana is now hatted and learning fast!!

  3. Michelle

    That’s a very colourful selection of festive jumpers, and the thing that struck me was how happy your staff look!
    The Helmut t-shirt is lovely, you must be pleased you persevered with it. And what a beautiful backdrop.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you for saying they look happy Michelle. Cynics might say that a Christmas party, genuine gratitude from their bosses, and cake is a winning combination. But most of our team are happy all the year round – they value their work and they get lots of autonomy and positive feedback.

  4. Polly

    Lovely to see all those colourful jumpers. It’s too hot for jumpers here at Christmas but it did bring to mind Mark Darcy’s jumper in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

  5. Ellen

    Sure seems like the ugly sweater trend gained momentum this year! We had some good ones at the office too, though no where near as well organized or comprehensive as yours. Maybe I’ll try that next year! Also, I really love how diverse your group at work is—reminds me how far we have to go in the tech industry.

  6. 1stitchforward

    I think this lat make immediately jumped to my favourite amongst all th other ones you have made K! I really really like it and it suits you wonderfully.

    As for the Christmas jumpers, they surely look cheerful! But my mind is in two places on the topic… I know lots of people (surely not all) who buy a different jumper every year, ad they only wear it once. It feels like such a huge waste of resources and energy. I am somewhat environment conscious and this thing rubs me the wrong way. So far I have resisted all Christmas jumper days, and now that I know colourwork I am plotting to make a icelandic sweater with definite christmas vibes for apres-ski and dreadfully grey days , so it won’t sit in my closet for 364 days a year.

  7. eimear

    a friend of mine gave me a 50s vintage ski sweater from australia which is too warm to wear indoors – it is a knit with a kangaroo ski-ing – and even though its a bit small – I love the look of it so it remains in my wardrobe still.

    There was a christmas jumper day where I work and I didnt join in as that sweater too warm and I dont really like the way that people buy them cheap here (Ireland), wear them for a ‘thing’ called the 12 pubs and then bin them, or just wear and bin without the pub part – as they are the cheap ones. I have ceased to be amazed/appalled when a colleague will tell me that they get a new one each year…..

  8. Sue

    Some epic jumpers in your office. What a lovely idea to raise money for charity! Your Helmut top is just marvellous. It looks classy and comfortable and I immediately thought I needed one! My usual Christmas outfit is a swimsuit and cover up. It’s much to hot here for anything more, although this year I have gold trousers for dinner.

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