Knitter's Notes on Matchy Matchy

Ok, I promise this is the last post featuring photos of my "Matchy Matchy" project. Except maybe in winter when I start wearing it. But, be prepared for a deep dive into the design process and all the things I did that make the jumper interesting to me. If you're not a knitter it might not be something you're into. Be warned. 

Pretty pretty. Hard to capture the colour though

First, the wool. The main colour is some kind of crepe yarn I frogged from a jumper Grandma made, I think for my uncle. He didn't wear it but there was a veritable treasure box of yarn in that thing, which I balled, then skeined, then washed, then caked. It has been hanging in my stash for years in various states. The dark olive green-khaki colour is one I completely love, but it's really hard to photograph accurately. I have no idea what the fibre content is though-I suspect wool with a bit of mohair in there-there's a little halo and it's soft but itchy in this warm weather. It's something lightweight, which means it's knitted into a thin, warm, beautifully drapey but still structured fabric. 
Such a good combo

As my skills have improved I finally realised I wanted to do something with a contrasting yarn. That's when the hunt began. The perfectly speckled, neutral but not too plain skein of Knitcraft & Knittery could have been made for this project. The colour is called "Ohwinspringtime" (now I've just checked the website it's actually called "Ohio in Springtime"). Its a lovely ivory white with blue, yellow, pale aqua, mustard and dark khaki speckles. A fingering weight Merino, i's incredibly soft and luckily swatched up very close in gauge to the olive wool. 

Perfect colour name, and it's Australian wool

See the speckles? So stunning
Second, the design. Swatches made (they tell you how many stitches make a certain width and length in knitted fabric, so you can make the garment to a certain size). Then, what did I want this jumper to actually look like? In my main colour swatch I tried stocking stitch, ribs in 1x1 and 2x2, and garter stitch. I preferred the 1x1 rib, and also loved how the garter stitch looked. I had already measured another jumper for the fit, and I realised I could do something with the body to make it swingy and fun (straight jumpers bunch on my waist and look a bit weird). 

A round neckline with back neck shaping was enough to get me started on the yoke. Then I worked out the colourwork patterns I wanted, the increases to make the jumper fit from neckline to underarms, and started knitting. The sleeves came last. And the body itself came once I had gotten to separating for sleeves. I wanted increases and garter stitch bands, so I had to work out how to incorporate them both. There's a good half a dozen pages of scribbled numbers, colourwork charts and a semblance of knitted instructions on the construction of this baby. 

Baby sweater

Sleeves nearly done. Hair definitely not done

So, so many scribbles
After a couple of months work, I had a new jumper! Soft, warm, fun and something I'm very proud of. I also had quite a lot of left over wool. What to do? Make a cowl of course! The simplest of neck warmers, they simply loop over the head and sit cosily between your collar and chin. I hate having cold air on my neck and chest so I almost never leave the house without some kind of scarf or cowl in winter. This once has matching colourwork patterns to the jumper, and I incorporated garter stitch bands as well. Handily, they also widened the cowl slightly at the collar side (yes there's a top and bottom) which is nice to kind of spread around the top of the jumper. Definitely a warm combo!

Matchy matchy cowl, because of course

Ta-da! Winter come at me


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