SWAP #2 Yellow Rocquaine sweater

posted in: Finished projects, knitting, SWAP | 22

I have started on my 11 piece “Sewing with a Plan” wardrobe.

Last week I made a grey pencil skirt, that needs some alterations. Many thanks for giving me the confidence to have a raw edge at the hem. I am just dithering about the length at the moment,  but will bring an update in due course.

In the meantime I have been knitting. Only two knitted or crocheted garments are allowed in the SWAP. And between now and May I am likely to create more than two knitted garments, I may or may not end up including this jersey, but I admit I just needed to make it. Here is the pattern.

Why did I “need” to make it?

  • Yellow

Yellow, to me, is like pink. It just changes things. Put it with grey, or navy or black, or something quiet and suddenly we have a dramatic change. It lifts the mood. It gets noticed. It brings joy. Spring time is yellow time – crocus, daffodil, tulips. I admit I would not have looked at this sweater if it had been photographed in traditional navy. I need more yellow in my wardrobe, so that is why I made it.

Yellow can be a hard colour to get right – many people lack confidence in picking their best yellow and often pass on it (Demented Fairy) rather than take a risk. But anyone can wear yellow if they find the right one for them. Maybe this article would help.

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto in Banana. Also I swapped to a new supplier after having been badly let down by Love Knitting. I am now using Zarela via eBay. Their prices are keen, they have good stock levels and helpful customer service. Although I still love Colourmart you are restricted by what they have in, and they don’t have the full range of colours. The Rialto yarn from Zarela is nice and thick and comes in some great colours, at just under £5 a ball for nice, soft wool. It gave the stitches good definition.

  • Gansey style

This is a quintessential British style of knitting, where jerseys were knitted by women for their seafaring men – from fishermen to members of the royal navy. It is really part of our national costume and I love the look of them. I love the patterning and the shape, and although the Roquaine is a modern take on the traditional look I found it had a resonance and truth to it and I enjoying making it. Maybe I can try a more traditional pattern – the problem for me is that I hate the scratchy traditional yarns.

Gansey knitting
Yorkshire Fisherman in a gansey, with a medal

The name of this particular pattern comes from Guernsey, where there is a bay with the name. If it sounds French that is because this small island is a very southerly part of the British Isles, close to northern France and it has been in different ownership over the years.

Rocquaine Bay Guernsey
  • The pattern

The pattern is by Christine Danaee, and it appeared in the Autumn 2016 Pom Pom magazine. I first saw it mentioned by Marilla Walker and thought “one day I may be able to knit that”. The magazine is out of print but you can download it. I love the photographs, and of course the beautiful grey haired model and her stylish blue-grey trousers and lovely necklace. It is knitted in the round up to the armhole, where it separates. The pattern is not difficult. I followed the instructions rather than the chart, but the choice is yours. I have been interested in making a pattern with a stitch pattern since i first discussed this idea with both Sue Stoney and Aida. So three great bloggers have helped me get to this stage.

I joined the shoulders with Kitchener stitch – again thank you all of those for suggesting this approach to joining seams, and ever thanks to Mrs Zimmermann for holding my hand.

It’s a bit of a boxy look, with the bottom of the jersey hitting the waist, and the ribbing coming down a bit lower. I was happy with this shape, but you could make it longer if you don’t want this style.

Others have said the sleeves are too long. And I agree. I have created fold back cuffs, which I don’t like. So this sweater will probably get an alteration before the end of April.

  • iCord bind off
    iCord Bind off
    i cord bind off

Mrs Z invented the iCord I think. I had never tried it before. But this jersey uses it and it has created a very nice finish around the neck. I love this and would do it again if I had the chance.

Overall I am very pleased with this jumper. I have worn it for work, and here for the weekend. I think it will stay in the SWAP as I know yellow is a great fit with grey and navy, so we shall see what happens next week. I think I will go for a navy item next – a skirt, trousers or a jacket.

Rocquaine sweater
Rocquaine sweater


22 Responses

  1. Elle

    Love everything about this: color, stitch pattern and fit. It’s wonderfully cheery and it does say spring! (Or perhaps it’s my wishful thinking from the soggy U.S. Pacific Northwest.)

  2. Jená

    This is lovely, and you ispired me to purchase the pattern!
    I agree about the color yellow – it’s tricky but worth it. Once I complimented a fellow knitter on the beautiful lemon-yellow shawl draped gracefully around her shoulders. She told me that once she’d reached “a certain age,” she felt invisible. So she started wearing bright, un-ignorable colors. What a beautiful way to be gently visible, while raising the cheeriness level of the place at the same time!

  3. ceci

    I love the curved look of the yoke and sleeve/shoulder area! I’m another one who has not developed the knack for yellow next to my face, but I do have some wonderful pants and shoes in yellow, and it IS cheerful, especially as we go into another spell of deep cold here.


  4. helen

    You look wonderful in your finished sweater. The colour is great and the the stitch pattern really gives interest.
    I’ll have a look at the link to the ebay seller. You’ve mentioned issues with Love Knitting before which is a shame as I have always found theme ok. I’m not knitting anything at the moment and I’m itching to get some thing started, maybe just a pair of socks for now.

    • fabrickated

      Thanks so much Samina. I believe there is a great yellow for everyone. I like the light pure yellows, and I also like a slightly muted greyish yellow too, but not on me.

  5. Gill

    I can see why you chose yellow for our latest sweater – you look absolutely stunning in it! I’m beginning to think I should get MY colours done! Gill x

  6. Kim

    That’s a gorgeous sweater and I love the yellow – very fresh and pretty.
    I’ve been lusting after the Gaffers Gansey from EZ’s Knitting Workshop book but it’s well down the list at the moment. I will check out your jumpers pattern and may keep that as an alternative as I’m going to have to return EZ to the library eventually!

  7. Ruth

    Oh Kate, you put us starter knitters to shame…I’m still struggling though another EZ yoke jumper.
    You’ve chosen a very subtle shade of yellow and it’s lovely. Will certainly wear with grey.

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