Some of my favourite things about knitting are, the feeling of wearing a piece of hand crafted clothing and being able to alter it so it fits just right. Being slightly taller than average I have long limbs, meaning many jumpers (sweaters) have a tendency to have sleeves that are too short! This is particularly irritating in the cold winter months, when comfort and warmth are my number one priority. The solution; a giant 400g ball of Sirdar purple yo-yo yarn, pattern 9082 and some needles, leading to the most comfortable Winter jumper I own.
Yo-yo is an acrylic blend yarn, which is slightly fuzzy, giving it a lovely cozy look and feel. There was a variety of colourways available in this yarn, before it was discontinued, but I fell in love with the purple as soon as I saw it. The gradual change from that beautiful pale lilac through to the dark purple, almost navy, on the cuffs and hem is stunning. There is a particular order in which to knit the pieces, to get the colour changes correct. Casting on alternates from the outside to the inside ends of the ball for each piece.
When I knit this jumper I didn’t do a gauge swatch (I can hear the cries of anguish from fellow knitters) a step I have learned not to skip, and even though I made the smallest size it is slightly baggy. I’m not sure if that was the intended result, or if it is due to not making certain I had the correct tension. Luckily I quite like it a little loose fitting and added a few rows to the sleeves to increase their length.
There were a number of new techniques that I learned in the process of completing this project. I blocked the finished pieces before the final assembly, a first for me. The ribbed collar was added using the stitches from across all pieces, none of which had been cast off. This was challenging for me, due to the number of stitches and the weight of the assembled garment on the needles.
One of the great things about knitting from a single ball was there were no joins in the to deal with. Instead of sewing in my loose yarn ends, I used then to stitch some of the pieces together. I’m sure that is something you’re not supposed to do but I haven’t noticed any ill effects from it. More experienced knitters might let me know if this is a big no no and why.
This was the 3rd jumper that I knit for myself and corrects a number of mistakes I made in previous efforts. It is the only one where I altered the pattern slightly and therefore fits me correctly. One of the other two is a bamboo yarn jumper, which is a complete disaster, though I will leave that tale for another day.
This is definitely one of my favourite pieces of clothing and gets worn regularly. It was extremely easy and enjoyable to make. It usually gets cleaned in the washing machine on the hand wash setting and so far has held up really well.
I have a couple more yo-yo patterns and a few balls of the yarn in different colours. There are some really interesting patterns in this line including different styles of jumper and some cardigan/jacket type garments.
It is a real shame that Sirdar have discontinued this line, though sometimes patterns and the yarn can be found on sites like EBay. The one 400g ball was plenty for the size I wanted.
Do you have a favourite knitted piece that you wear/use often? I would love to hear about it and any problems you had in the making. Let me know using the comments section below!