Saturday 31 March 2012

A Jumper Is Born

I made friends with a lovely girl whilst I was busily trying not to croak it, when I was in hospital last August. Her name is Laura and she was in with the same complaint as me but like 2 months earlier on in the stages of the disease. She had been diagnosed with Gallstones when she was six months pregnant, but they couldn't do anything because obviously it would harm the baby. Her baby had been born and she'd been caught up in the same waiting list fiasco as I.
 So, here she was so so upset at having to leave her baby at home and be incarcerated with me. Not being incarcerated WITH me per se - I mean just the being in hospital bit.  We quickly struck up a conversation - as I have gotten older - my shyness is dissipating and my true gregarious nature comes out moe and more - AKA I am super nosy.

During one conversation, we were discussing knitting. Whilst I was ill I didn't have the energy to lift my needles, let alone concentrate on it. Now, looking back it is quite difficult to actually remember what I WAS like. Laura disclosed that she loved home knitted garments and someone had knit baby Alfie something when he was new born and she loved it.

So when I learned it was his birthday in early February I thought I would knit him something. I trawled through all my patterns and thought I'd do an Aran. This one looked quite cute and it had an element that I'd never tried before - saddle shoulders.
This is the pattern pictured in the book.

So I took up my needles as his first birthday fast approached and here's a brief snapshot of how it went!
OOO look at that roaring fire in the background. Here we are first cast on and back rib! Not too hard yet!

Beginning of a pattern!

Coming along nicely now!
Was getting too cocky - can  you see the mistake?

It's ok - panic ye not - I pulled it back ( PET HATE ) and fixed it!

So much frantic knitting ensued. Alfie's birthday was not far away! I kinda like working to deadlines!

The front was now nearly done - it was about to get interesting!

A bit of casting off for the neckline.....

Back and fronts done - they are the same length I promise!
Sleeves - I'll need two I suppose!
 The saddle top. I wondered how that would look!


Back 15 minutes later after an egg butty and a slurp of water!

Now it was going to be interesting. I had to lay the saddle shoulders in place and stitch them in before I could then pick up and knit a zillion stitches around the neckline to make the roll neck. Deep Breath - I'm going in!

Here is the saddle laid in place, just the shoulder seams to join now. I've become quite goodish at Mattress stitch - it really is quite the invisible join.

The joining is done with the two pices to be joined laid right sides up. You insert a needle into the knitting into the loop that you find between the stitches. keeping it even .
You will create 'ladders' ( it's alternative name ) between the two pieces, I always wait till I have about 5, before I pull the needle wool taught, thus drawing the two pieces of knitting together.

Here you can see the ladders run perpendicular to the stocking stitch.

Then pull the wool neatly and firmly to make the seam.  And repeat!

Can you see the join?! ( If you can - please keep quiet, don't burst my bubble!)

Here's the back and the saddle in place.

Then I joined parts of the sleeve seams, parts of the side seams - even though the pattern did not instruct me to! I know, what a rebel. But I find it easier this way to begin the finishing bit!

Then began the hideously complicated bit of counting and picking up the required amounts of stitches from side necks, front necks, shoulders etc to form the neck. Much swearing, huffing and puffing, putting down of needles, picking up of needles, counting, picking up the pattern, reading bits of it aloud, more counting and more counting, then some more counting took place at this stage in the proceedings.

Knitting the roll neck.

Finally, the back done with some little mother of pearl buttons.

Roll neck done!

Ta DAAAAA! A Jumper is born! In the next photo you see a highly unimpressed with my hard work Alfie wearing his lovely, new snuggy warm jumper. Cost about £2 for the wool. I wonder what it'd cost to buy one of these from a craft shop?


  1. Its fab! (and how gorgeous is Alfie) as a complete non-knitter I am in total awe. xx

  2. OMG, you made that? You're amazing! WOW!


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