Autumn League pullover

I love everything about this jumper. Choosing it, knitting it, thinking about it, washing it, and of course wearing it. The Autumn League sweater, details here. 

Two of Wands Autumn League pullover

Yarn

The turquoise yarn I used is splendid. It was a special offer from Colourmart yarns – a “heavy” double knit merino yarn available in just one colour. I chose it because I love turquoise blue.  Although at first I knit it on needless that squashed the yarn,  I finally realised and changed my ways. With a fairly chunky 5mm needle it came out perfectly, with a 4 or 4.5mm needle for the ribbing.

It has heft and weight and has a kind of elasticity and drape that is solid and wearable and perfect for this coolish but still pleasant weather. I have worn it with one or two layers of Uniqlo long sleeved T and I feel comfortable and cosy without being hot and bothered.

The pattern

I was unfamiliar with the top down/seamed knitting approach but it was a nice change from the Elizabeth Zimmermann bottom up/unseamed knitting that I had been practising. A change is always as good as a rest I find, and I love learning new things.

I was a bit surprised by the idea of knitting the jumper as a big cross, as it were, with just the yoke constructed in the round, and then only after the back and forth for the built up back neck had been completed. I don’t really enjoy stitching knitting together, especially as by then I had completely run out of wool. In fact the long tails, evident in the photo below, were all carefully incised, knotted together and used to finish the front half of the neck band. I had to use some beige wool to complete the inside, as it is a folded over neckband.

Autumn League sweater
Autumn League try-on

The instructions are well written I think – all the problems I had first time round were of my own making. But I ripped and re-knitted, and I am happy with the outcome. I can see there is still a loose end – now fixed – but of course this gives a semblance of authenticity. I washed it with a cold wash in the machine, and it all evened out nicely.

Autumn League Pullover
Autumn League Pullover

Most of the feedback I had to my first post suggested I should have knit the body in the round, but do the sleeves back and forth and then seam, as promoted by Karen Templer. So I decided to have another go.

Autumn League, version two

This time I used a very nice cotton/cashmere yarn, again from Colourmart,  in a “dirty white” – a very light, bluish grey. The Two Wands pattern is knitted in a grey cotton (see top photograph) so I guess that was the idea in my mind.

Alterations to Autumn League sweater pattern
Autumn League sweater Second iteration

Alterations

Second time around I wanted to do as many of you suggested, and that was to knit the body in the round, but leave the sleeves to be seamed at the end. I did one pearl stitch at the side “seam” which is a nice effect. This time the finishing was fairly quick.

The main amendment I made to the pattern was to divide for the sleeves much sooner, at about 6″ rather than 10″, which meant that both body and sleeves were slightly narrower than the blue version.  Knowing full well what sort of stitch numbers I used for my Zimmermann (DK) sweaters I knew I could get away with a body circumference of 180 stitches and sleeves that went from 60 stitches to 40. And so it came to pass.

The other idea I want to mention is the use of traditional needles for the initial part of making the sweater (before it is joined up to knit in the round), and for the sleeves. Using long solid needles rather than circulars (if you happen to have the right size) means the knitting is much quicker and easier. I find doing purl especially fast with long needles, tucked under the arm exactly as my Mum taught me about 50 years ago.

Final tip is making the folded over neckband. The designer’s advice is to bind off, then sew down. Using a Zimmermann technique i sew the live stitches down as it provides a flatter seam. Take a piece of thinner yarn, in a contrast colour, and using a blunt needle transfer all the stitches on to it, removing the circular needles. Now fold the neckband in, matching the stitches so that the collar is evenly distributed. Pin and then using a long tail from the knitting loop into the last stitch and stitch down every stitch. This time I left the contrasting yarn in, as it created a nice contrast inside.

Design-wise my grey version is less “boxy” than the turquoise one, especially as I made the body longer. I haven’t yet soaked/washed this one so things might change, but this photograph gives an idea.

Autumn League jumper Fabrickated
Autumn League Pullover in light grey cotton-cashmere

I am planning a third Autumn League, this time in pink merino.

And finally I must share one more photograph, this time from Helen of Cut it out and stitch it up. 

Helen is a very good knitter (designer and seamstress too) and has done a few EZ sweaters which you can see on her blog. She was mildly embarrassed about arriving late to the striped raglan party, but who cares? She looks amazing. Big round of applause Helen, and thank you so much for joining in.

#EZraglanKAL
Helen’s striped EZ Raglan jumper

8 Responses

  1. Anita Steiner

    Your two jumpers look good, as does Helen’s. You are giving me too many ideas. First I want to finish most of my UFOs/WIPs, before starting on another jumper. Best regards from a finally cool Basel Anita

    • fabrickated

      Thank you very much Anita. Funnily enough we have had a couple of hot days recently, but the jumpers beckon as it starts to get darker and cooler. As you know I have quite a few unfinished items which I want to clear down. I need to finish the lining of my jacket – a task for the weekend I hope.

  2. Vancouver Barbara

    I don’t have words to describe my admiration for you, your talent, drive and inspiration. The photograph of you standing between couch and painting is absolutely stellar.
    Helen’s sweater is so lively and fresh.

    • fabrickated

      It’s funny – I liked that picture too Barbara. It was taken with my phone and you don’t often get a bit of blur, but I think it more interesting. I noticed your Frida picture had an interesting effect on it too. Back at college for photography now, so I hope to raise the photo game further.

  3. Helen

    Thanks for including my jumper in your Tuesday post!
    I still need to block which I may do over the next couple of days now the weather is picking up.
    I really like the fit of your grey jumper.
    I was also interested to see your fold over neck band. I’m planning this on the jumper I’ve started knitting for my husband. I’ve seen the two methods written about but I think the one you went with is the best option.

    • fabrickated

      It’s always nice to have you on my blog Helen. I have yet to try to the art of blocking. So far I have just cold washed the jumper in the washing machine and dried it flat on a towel.

      The fold over neckline is very nice, and I think it would be ideal for a man’s jumper. It is very comfortable to wear and I like the sewn down hem. Neat and comfy.

  4. Kerry

    What an interesting and informative post, Kate. I like how with the help of the Internet community you learned you could minimise the sewing process by knitting the body in the round. I hate sewing knitting, I am a Virgo so it’s never neat enough for me, so a great solution. The fold over neck is what my husband asked for on his jumper, and I have to say it does make for a nicer finish as well as providing more ease when putting on the jumper.

    • fabrickated

      I am not a very neat person, and in the case of the turquoise sweater I was so short of yarn I had to use a different yarn for sewing, so it is a sub-optimal. I am going to try seamless sleeves for the third version as I don’t really like seams much. For me seaming is what you do in dressmaking, and even then I always try to eliminate seams where they are not needed.

      And now I have discovered this new finish for a neckline I would definately use it again. As you say it is a nicer finish and it really slips over the head. The merino yarn I have been using (for the blue, and now for the pink jumper) has a lovely elasticity to the fabric which also seems to lend itself to this sort of neckline.

      Thank you to you Kerry and everyone else who has helped me knit. I feel I need to get back to the dressmaking, but I am truly addicted. I cannot watch TV or sit on a journey without something in my hands now!

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