Monday, January 22, 2007

a tale of two sweaters

shoulder2 shoulder

Let me take you back to Christmas Sales 2005. Cue weird time-travel music (I'm thinking radiophonic workshop).

My flatmate and I got up very early, managing to be some of the first into the John Lewis* wool department. We'd never done sales properly before and hadn't anything particular in mind. We keenly bagged some very cheap Debbie Bliss merino chunky. It promised a super-warm, super-quick knit and I picked out a jumper's-worth in an icy greeny-blue.

Kirsty had been itching to make a fairly-easy fair isle cardigan. It turned out so well, I thought I'd copy-cat, stealing her leftovers for the colourwork. The result.

But the shape never worked, no matter how I blocked and re-blocked (and re-blocked). It hung oddly. It looked bad. Worse, it never felt comfortable. Loathe to waste the yarn, I resolved to re-knit. I decided on a top-down raglan, and looked for a few balls of a less scratchy yarn for the yoke area where my skin is most sensitive to wool.

So, Christmas 2006 and the sales come round again. Again, I'm one of the first through the door of John Lewis. But this time I come armed with a bit more common sense (and a piece of the green merino, to colour-match). A load of extra fine merino chunky was on sale. For some reason my skin doesn't mind this yarn. They even had a gorgeous dark green.

And so my chunky jumper is re-born.

green jumper

I used the same design I used for the hot-water-bottle cover. It would have been a lot neater if I'd charted the colourwork increases properly, but I was expecting to just wear it around the house - I didn't know it'd would come out so well. It's not super-glamorous, but it's a perfectly respectable garment. Best of all, it feels nice to wear. It just hangs right, which that cardigan never did.

* Literary side-point. This particular John Lewis is built on the birthplace of Lord Byron.

21 comments:

schrodinger said...

The new sweater looks fantastic, looks like it was a good choice to re-knit.1

vardakeerutaja said...

Looks good!

Pig wot flies said...

Pretty! It's always worth ripping and reknitting if you're not happy.

Stacey said...

that came out great!!!!!! what a great re-do!

Lumay said...

Wow! The sweater is fantastic! I'd always shied away from colorwork, but this is something I could see myself wearing. Just lovely.

Veronique said...

Damn, you did it again. I love that geometric fair isle design you came up with, and the 2 shades of blue/green are so lovely!

gleek said...

that turned out really great! i love it when a knit turns out better than you originally expected it to :)

Alexis said...

That's absolutely gorgeous!

itslikearuin said...

Nice!
I've been knitting the Fair Isle Cardi, and its just awful. I'v had it waiting to be sewn up for months now, and I don't know if I can be bothered.

Alice said...

the cardigan works really well on my flatmate - but we're completely different shapes, maybe it just doesn't do curved very well

BrownPants said...

Looks fantastic! Well done!

Ellen said...

That's such a pretty sweater!

k. said...

I love the new sweater--so difficult to make chunky knits look tailored and fitted, and you've done a wonderful job. I want that pattern.

Speaking Byron, he must have been thinking of your sweater when he wrote this:

In the blue depth of the waters,
Where the wave hath no strife,
Where the wind is a stranger
And the sea-snake hath life,
Where the Mermaid is decking
Her green hair with shells....

Louise said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog and would be interested to hear more about your future projects... consider yourself tagged for 5 meme things that you have not yet mentioned on your blog - sorry to be a nuisance! Lx

scarletprincess said...

I too started the fairly easy fair isle cardigan to find it was very deceiving and came out way too small. I reworked my yarn into a short sleeve top down raglan cardigan that is so much lovlier. Hurrah for the reworked yarn! I LOVE your sweater btw!!!!

Lolly said...

The ultimate success story! I just love the new sweater - it looks great!

Elizabeth said...

Wow - that is really gorgeous! I am a firm believer in frogging if you're not happy with something - and your new sweater proves it! Great job.

Leigh said...

Wow, that came out really well. I love the colour combination and the ribbing.

escort roma said...

Gosh, there's a great deal of helpful data in this post!

viagra online said...

I love your blue sweeter! it fits you so well, why you don't knit a pink one?

idssinfo said...

Here, I don't really believe this will work.