improv + flax mashup

9th February 2018 3 min read No Comments

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that back in December, 3 weeks before Christmas, I decided to knit Graeme a jumper for Christmas. Spoiler: it took a little longer than 3 weeks, but I did get it finished at the start of the new year, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

It all started with the yarn.

Back in 2016 I bought some chestnut brown Rowan Pure Wool Worsted yarn which I paired with a golden yellow to make a giraffe hat for my Goddaughter who loves giraffes.

It was lovely yarn. Soft, drapey, and the colour was such a beautifully rich, chestnutty brown. So when I saw the same colour on sale I quickly snapped up enough for a jumper.

At first, I was going to knit Flax by Tin Can Knits because I love the garter details on the sleeves. I had planned to modify the neck because I don’t particularly like the wide neckline in the pattern, but after swatching I realised that I didn’t like the fabric I was getting at the pattern gauge either. I decided to knit it from scratch and just borrow the garter sleeve detail from Flax, but then I stumbled across Karen Templer’s brilliant Improv blog tutorial. I’ve knit garments before, both from scratch and from modifying patterns, but Karen’s series is so clear and detailed in explaining exactly how to customise your knitting to get the fit that you want. If you’ve ever fancied knitting your own jumper (or sweater, for my friends across the pond!) then please do take a look.

Thanks to Karen’s posts, I decided to try a folded neckband. I was slightly concerned that it would be too bulky with worsted weight yarn, but it isn’t at all, and I love the structure and finish that it gives to the finished garment! I whip stitched the live stitches down instead of binding them off, as I thought it would be easier to line things up and make sure the band wasn’t twisting, and it worked well.

For the cuffs and bottom hem I went with 1×1 rib and a tubular bind off, which gives such a beautiful finish.

I also continued the garter sleeve detail down the sides of the body – my garter band was 11 stitches wide and by happenstance, I picked up 11 underarm stitches so it seemed natural to continue the detail. It also helped to add a little interest to all that plain stocking stitch!

This is probably the best fitting garment that I’ve ever made, and definitely the best that I’ve made for Graeme. I’m completely smitten with it! Making garments isn’t something I do often, but I really enjoyed the change of pace (and gauge!) from my ususal socks and accessory knits. This might be my year of the sweater – I stashed quite a few jumper quantities towards the end of 2017 with certain projects in mind, so I’m already planning my next big cast on!

Pattern: Improv by Karen Templer + Flax by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, approx. 6.5 skeins
The full notes, measurements and stitch counts are on Ravelry.

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Hi, I'm Cheryl! Welcome to my site where I post my crafting stories, knitting design process and life from the North East coast. So pull up a chair and get cosy...
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