Just realised I never managed a blog recap of this jumper before xmas, so here it is belately. In the end I actually did get my Boreal sweater done in time for the holidays, which surprised me a bit.
I have to be honest, it isn’t perfect…there are a few areas of colourwork that are a bit lumpier than I would have hoped for but as the problematic upper sleeves loosened up after the first wear I can’t really complain. For my first full size fair isle attempt – and one with some really long floats, I think I’ve done alright.
I am particularly pleased with the colour combo as I managed to get just the right tones of red and grey in the BANFF Aran to have the colours zing off each other a bit!
I spent ages trying to take good selfies one afternoon and this one came out in the mix, which I really love, so including it as well:
I love how the red looks rather Rorschach blot-ish!
So Close with the xmas jumper now! I’ve joined the yoke and am in the last stretch of the chart. Very excited but having to keep things a bit slower as the weight of the garment is wreaking havoc with the wrists. I’d truly forgotten how hard working with thicker weights can be on the hands after all my fingering projects.
This being my first Fair Isle jumper I should have probably picked a beginner’s project instead of something that is clearly suggested for experienced colourwork knitters with its long floats! As predicted by looking at the other project pages, I did have some issues with the colourwork on the sleeves and have had to re-do the top bits 4 times, each time trying a new technique to get the gauge closer to the required. On the last go I ended up knitting on DPNs to help keep my tension more even in the small diameter and also went up to the largest size chart on the arms to get more bingo wing room. ;-D
Below is the last attempt on the left and the previous (fail) on the right:
You can see the area I was most irritated by more clearly in the detail shots below. Notice how much the sleeve dips in from a straight line at the sides of the photo? It is a little less on the newer sleeve (bottom) now and the long red floats are showing through less on the bit right above the purple stitch marker.
All in all, though, I do feel this has been a good project for me as I have learned a lot about colourwork knitting and now feel much more confident in tackling future projects!
Hoping to get the whole thing finished this weekend, and praying it is going to fit comfortably in the arms with this last attempt. This is going to be one big, warmer than warm sweater!
I will be adding some more Aran weight yarns to the shop in the next week, so keep an eye out for new listings on Twitter and the RSS feed for the shop.
Thanks to all of you for your help with my xmas jumper! I redid the arms a third time with longer floats which seems to have helped. They are still a bit wobbly, but much better. (apologies for the grainy phone-photo!)
It is rolling along nicely in this thick Aran weight and I am well into the colourwork on the body now, which is looking a lot less wibbly. I may have to go back and redo the colour portion on the arms a 4th time, but think it will be wearable when the cold finally hits!
What a relief!
I have been thinking more and more about holiday knitting over the past month and realising that when you are knitting gifts it is a real balance between starting early enough and fitting in time to get things knit up for yourself!
Those of you that have been following along for a while know how much I’d love to be able to knit a full colourwork jumper, but that my skills have been sorely lacking. I have been slowly working through projects to try and get comfortable enough with the process to go large scale…
However, I had a bit of a freak out a few weeks ago when I realised that if I didn’t start my xmas jumper NOW It would be another year I’d missed the boat. In a panic I downloaded a pattern I have been wanting to knit for ages now, the beautiful, snowflake-y Boreal by Kate Davies…
…and dyed up some fat aran yarn:
I thought some of you might get a kick out of these ‘monster skeins’ of aran! They are just 2 hanks skeined together as I got tired of skeining a gazillion hanks the other day, so I twisted these together, as they are for us and not the shop! The blue/purple SW Merino on the far left is for my partner’s jumper (which I really need to get started on as well), and the grey/red BFL/Alpaca are for my xmas Boreal. The red never seems to photograph well with this camera but it is a lightly variegated pink red/yellow red that I think will add some interest to the top bit…if I manage to knit it!