Following my first succesful attempt at knitting I was filled with beginner’s confidence and braved a jumper. I bought the Chewing Gum Sweater Kit from We Are Knitters, as it is essentially 4 rectangles all in knit stitch, sewn together into a boxy cropped wool jumper.
The kit is great for those just starting out as it comes with everything you need. The pattern calls for the 8mm needles, which are large enough so your knitting grows quickly, but I felt like I had taken the stabilisers off as I was no longer using the extra thick Crazy Sexy Wool and corresponding 15mm needles used in my first knitting project. It includes the sewing needles with a great big eye large enough to thread The Pettite Wool through.
Before you start you’re advised to do a tension gauge, a 10cm x 10cm swatch, that allows you to count your stitches and rows to ensure you’re knitting tension correlates to that required in the pattern. I was glad I took the time to do this, although you can see from my swatch I was a little over generous with size, but I was knitting too tight, so my swatch had too many rows and too many stitches. To rectifiy this you can change your needles to change tension or make a conscious effort to knit a looser stitch, to ensure your finished jumper will turn out the size it’s designed to be. Knitting is an art not a science and there is certainly always room for human error and that is part of the charm. Thankfully the pattern for this jumper comes with dimensions in cm’s as well as number of stitches and rows, making it fool proof for beginners
From here, once you’ve cast on, it’s a mindless knit, it’s meditative as you repeat your trusty knit stitch over and over again and the pieces of your jumper soon come together. The front and the back are the same dimensions and the two sleeves are the same smaller size. For the sleeves you do a yarn over cast off, to provide extra stretch for this part of the jumper that will take some pressure as you take it on and off, We Are Knitters guide you through this technique with a tutorial . What did people do before YouTube?
It was the first time I had sewn any knitting together, aside from the ends but since learning to sew, I felt confident in the final step. The main point of difference sewing together knitting is that you sew rightsides facing out, which is the opposite to most sewing projects. To start off, you do your first stitch from the wrong side, and then join the parallel stitch bars to stitch your pieces together. That’s not very elegantly put, but this tutorial from Wool and The Gang talks you through sewing invisble side seams.
And you’re done. For me, it came together in two weeks mainly sewing in the evenings and the odd row here and there. To finish off, We Are Knitters provide a sweet label to sew in, which reminds you everytime you wear it that it was proudly knitted by you.
I made one adjustment to the finished piece and added a few extra cm’s of stitching at the shoulder seams. My broad shoulders meant that when I first tried it on, the straps from my top were showing, but it was easily fixed. The arms are a little short, by 1.5cm at most and since I attended a fitting workshop, I now know I need to make this alteration to all patterns going forward. The arms are straight and the sleeves are left wide at the edge, so I rekcon if they were all the way to my wrist they would end up getting caught in something, so really the sleeves are nothing to write home about.
I’m so pleased with this jumper, it’s so warm to wear but looks fashion forward. I’m planning to pair it with a faux leather skirt and black tights for my local Knit and Natter Christmas Party and will become a staple in my winter wardrobe. Now I have the dimensions I’m interested to try some cotton yarn from Søstrene Grene and made a lighter weight version for summer.
I can offer you £10 off your order from We Are The Knitter using the discount code: MGML7RNTH
Claire & Co.