In which Dolores models the finished (but not yet washed/blocked) Jess, for your viewing pleasure.
You’ll get better pics when it’s been shrunk to (hopefully) fit – this is just to share my glee at having actually completed an actual whole jersey.* And another milestone (slightly topsy-turvy – this is surely something most knitters do at the start of their crafty careers): this is the first time I have ever knit a project entirely from a pattern, no modifications, in the recommended yarn.

Pattern: Jess. Which overall I found well constructed, clearly communicated and fun to knit. (I did at a few points consider that it could have been just a little bit clearer – it shows signs of having been written with some sort of automating software, not that I know if that really exists on a professional enough level or would produce the sort of results I was noticing, but that was my impression – but still, it was fine.) There was, however, one big problem. One big SMALL problem.
See that? That rather dark, not very generously sized photo is all you get. It’s the only one on the website, and some how I assumed (being new to the ways of downloaded patterns) that there would be more detail in the actual pattern. There isn’t. Which meant that the collar, for instance, came as a complete surprise. (Seriously. Compare that collar there to the one on Dolores. Turns out I love the collar, but it’s not what I was expecting – I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but not that – and I had serious qualms during the knitting of it. Misplaced entirely, but there you go.)
So. Pattern: Good, but would it kill you to let us actually see the design details, Rowan?
Yarn: Rowan Denim. Not hard to knit with, but not the best fun either. Absolutely no give, and it turned my fingers blue after extended knitting sessions. I think it’ll be worth it for the sake of enjoying the lovely fading effects, but while there are a number of denim designs I’d rather like to knit, I don’t really see them leaping to the top of the queue.
Needles: Lantern Moon ebony 4mm, Colonial 3.75mm and 3mm.
Buttons: Perl Grey celtic.
Tweaks: None. Absolutely none. Which is rather freaking me out. Oh, not entirely true: I used different increase techniques (which at first were better, then worse, than the M1 recommended – I’m not sure why the change in results – but I ended up with a Zimmerman-style M1, and that worked like a charm). And I used whipstitch on all the seams, rather than the recommended backstitch or mattress stitch. I did actually try mattressing it, but I really didn’t like the effect on those raglans. I like whipstitch because, while not invisible, it can create a beautifully neat, flat finish. But of course it’s now possible that I’ve terminally screwed with the sizing, hence the rather excessive length from shoulder to waist. We’ll see after the wash. [ETA: I just remembered, I also made larger buttonholes, to go with the larger buttons. Tres logique.**]
By the way, you may remember I said this project was also going to see me doing actual proper blocking. It hasn’t. But for a very good reason: I was following the pattern. It said sternly DO NOT PRESS! It told me to dive straight into sewing the raglan seam, button bands, collar etc; and well, there didn’t seem to be a lot of point in blocking it after all that, with just the underarm and side seams to be done. So I didn’t. So there. That milestone will just have to wait till another time.
* Being an expat knitter really messes with my jargon. In SA we called woolly warm things “jerseys”. Over here they’re “jumpers” – but I just can’t bring myself to say that. It sounds incredibly Enid Blyton-esque to my ears. Of course in America, and hence in most of the knitblogs, magazines etc, they’re “sweaters”. Which sounds slightly less weird to me than “jumpers”, but still weird; and anyway I don’t live in a country where people talk about sweaters, nor do I come from one, so it’s weirder to say “sweater” than anything else. Yet I’ve been in London long enough that “jersey” sounds slightly peculiar too. So any time you read me talking about, well, woolly warm things with sleeves, imagine my fingers hovering over the keyboard for a second before I desperately plump for whichever alternative fights its way to the front of the queue. And don’t bother asking why I chose that particular term on any one occasion, because believe me, I don’t know.
** No, I don’t think that’s actual French.

10 thoughts on “Done!

  1. Oh, it’s really, really lovely, but I do see what you mean about the collar. Fortunately, the collar looks good, if somewhat different. I would just go ahead and blame the stylist for that. Your buttons are much better, as well.
    And I get what you mean about the jumper/sweater/jersey thing. My use of jumper and sweater is completely random. To most Americans, if you say jumper, they assume you mean something like a sleeveless dress with a full skirt, generally worn over a blouse.

  2. Congratulations on finishing your wooly warm thing with sleeves! It looks so comfy and cute. Will the collar be long enough after shrinking? I swatched with almost my whole needle set last weekend and still haven’t gotten row gauge for Cargo from Denim People and now I am really cursing Rowan for not giving row gauge AFTER SHRINKING in addition to before. I don’t suppose they do that with their download patterns?

  3. Lovely! Pics of you wearing it when its shrunk? Please? Jumpers jumpers jumpers – except that this is not a jumper. Jumpers don’t open. So its a jacket. But a very nice one at that 😀

  4. Philip says sweater. I think of “sweaters” as thinner things, kind of a cotton-knit. Jerseys are definitely more woolly and warmer.
    That’s a lovely blue thing. Could you send me the pattern? Or maybe bring it with you when you visit next month. I may one day find the time to knit something for myself.
    Also, here’s an apple-jacket, for when your apple gets cold:

  5. Thank you all! There will most certainly be pics of me in the jacket. Hopefully pics of me on holiday in the jacket. Now let’s just hope it shrinks the right amount… I’m quite worried about the vast length of torso above the waist, actually. (And increasingly convinced that I should have mattressed stitch the raglan, no matter how ugly it was looking. I wonder if that’s a fatal screw-up.) I think the collar will still be fine (8cm was the instruction, and that’s what I did); it’s only supposed to shrink 20%, which won’t make it short and stumpy.
    Oh, I didn’t get row gauge either, Huan-Hua, and no they don’t give gauge after shrinkage. Grrr. Stitches were dead on, but I couldn’t get row gauge. So that’s another possibly fatal error… I do hope not. If this fits even remotely (and I think it will, though the waist threatens to be a bit low), it might just be the most wardrobe-practical thing I’ve ever knit.
    Jo – I don’t want to breach copyright by sending you the pattern, sorry, but it’s only £1 to download. Even in rand that’s pretty great value! Btw grats on the new home, and the needlework circle – Philip has been wantonly promising to have us round when we’re in town. Prepare yourself! And your kitties!

  6. Great–I hope you post your thoughts about properly adapting for incorrect row gauge once it’s been properly shrunk and tested. I bet it will look really nice!

  7. Hey, whatever happened to cardigan?! I thought we Brits used that for a knit sweater that buttoned at the front! Although I suppose if it falls well below the waist, jacket is the thing!
    Great project anyway, and congratulations on its completion!

  8. Yup, this particular one is indeed a cardigan. Or jacket. Or both. I liked jersey because it embraces both cardi and pullover variations… which is what I needed in that particular sentence: this is my first sweater-type project in a while. It’s not the fact that it’s a cardi that excites me. See what I mean?
    And thank you!

  9. I think we say jersey too, here – but maybe less so these days – for me that sounds even more Enid Blyton! I like both, though.
    Well done! I made a jacket for Clare from Denim tweed, took it to the launderette and blasted the hell out of it in a hot wash then hot tumble dry – don’t have that at home – and it did shrink loads.
    Look forward to the pics! Have fun,

  10. It looks fab…I really look forwards to seeing you wear it!
    You know, I totally take your point about the pattern image – I’ve lingered over that pattern on the Rowan website and it didn’t click that you were knitting it, even though I’ve been watching your progress via your blog and have seen the pieces in progress!

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