What would you knit again?

For the first time in a while, I’ve woken up to grey skies and a still morning. The past month feels like it has been full of blue skies and sunshine. In the mornings, before work and the stress of the day, I’ve drunk my tea and knitted in the early morning rays. Probably as a result, my newest jumper is {pretty much} complete.

I’m finding I’m quite sad about this. I only got to spend about a month with this jumper. I could knit another, but I’ve got another six patterns I’ve been waiting to try out. It’s all leading me to question, what would I knit again?

The jumper in question, shown below on a sunny morning before the sleeves were completed, is Sock Arms by TellybeanKnits. It’s knit in KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Mountain Pass and KnitPicks Felici in Highland. Both yarns are beautifully soft. Stroll Tonal is a variegated yarn, and I chose it as I thought it would add depth to the colour of the body. I alternated skeins using the helical stripes method, but got some interesting tiger stripes anyway. I quite like the overall effect, especially as it’s less stark in person. I would, however, think twice before using it with a more patterned body.

The pattern is reasonably straight-forward and I followed it religiously. It’s knit from the bottom up, in the round until the base of the armholes, then worked flat, front and back done separately, and the shoulders joined. The sleeves are what makes the pattern; they are set in using short rows and worked in self-striping yarn. It’s an excellent idea. Sleeves which are fun to knit should be an oxymoron, but it’s not with this pattern.

Stripy sleeves in progress on the Sock Arms

I still have a few {pretty minor} quibbles with knitting it again. These are NOT pattern errors, but relate to personal preferences.

It has a lovely schematic which I found to be very accurate against the stitch counts and gauge for my size. I looked at it long and hard, and decided to follow it exactly. The resulting jumper is about two inches longer than I like my jumpers. Again, this is a personal preference. The pattern was even pretty clear about the moment where length adjustment should occur. I knew I was taking a risk, but I wanted to try it the way the pattern was written. It’s not going to stop me wearing this jumper a lot, but it reconfirmed my preference.

It would be easy enough to adjust the length next time. I knew the sleeves per the schematic would be too short on me, so I’ve knit them to the length that fits me. But having this issue reminded me of why I like knitting top-down jumpers. Length not quite right? Pull the ribbing out and try again. The waist shaping in this pattern doesn’t hit quite right on me (again, my body – not the pattern’s fault) which would be so much easier to fix in a top down jumper.

There’s a few other points like that (the curve of the sleeve cap, the shoulder join, neckline decreases) which means that it’s not perfect for me. But it is an excellent pattern – it doesn’t need to be perfect. I would give this pattern 4 out of 5 stars; I would even recommend that you try it.

That’s why I find it so interesting that I can’t see myself following the Sock Arms pattern to knit this jumper again, exactly as is. It was because of sewing that I started to think about this. When the busy season is over or at least my exams sat, I’d really love to start to sew again. In the meantime, I’ve been daydreaming of half-circle skirts and simple cotton day dresses. I ran across the advice to find a pattern I liked and to stick with it, learning by repeating it until it worked for me. The idea really appeals to me. It makes the huge world of sewing patterns feel more manageable. One pattern, but with the options of different colours and fabrics.

I wonder if I’m too opinionated about my knitting to manage that. I have preferences, not just about the finished garment, but how I get there. It’s probably part of why I ended up creating the Pewter Heel sock and I’m on my fifth pair of those. I think there’s two separate elements to a pattern, the design and the construction. I love the design of Sock Arms. I can see myself knitting other jumpers which incorporate Sock Arms by knitting the sleeves in a self-striping sock yarn. However, the construction doesn’t quite work for me. The attraction of making something over and over again, for me comes from finding a construction which suits me.

By separating those out, I think I understand why I’m so bad at reusing jumper patterns and why Sock Arms will not be breaking that trend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s