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.