I first learned to knit when I was about 7 years old, taught the basics by my grandmother and mother and went on to knit a few things over a number of years. I remember knitting some fancy baby clothes, and a couple of jumpers, the last one about 20+ years ago. I didn't exactly lose interest, but at that time things were pretty much limited to what was available in the local wool shop or a couple of department stores in town; sometimes the prices of nice yarns in these places just meant it was all too much for my "mum with a young family" budget.
Fast forward to 2013 and suddenly on a whim, as are most things I do, I really wanted to knit something so popped onto the internet to see if I could source some supplies. Whoa!!!... where did all this stuff come from??? An amazing array of beautifiul yarns, a vast but confusing collection of new needles and just about every other twiddly thing you could imagine to fill your knitting bag.
Buying a few basics to start with, after reading positive reviews, I opted for Knitpro Symfonie straight needles. My hubby chose this Hayfield aran jumper pattern (after initially saying he didn't want too much patterning on a jumper!!!) and decided he wanted the moss green shade of bonus aran yarn.
After eagerly awaiting the arrival of these new goodies, first impressions were very good. The knitpro needles seemed strong and nicely finished, the pattern quite involved but also pretty straight forward and the giant 400g balls of aran acrylic/wool blend yarn great value for money... I bought 3 balls "just in case" but did end up only using two as per the pattern for his size, so a nice amount left over to use at a later date. All I had to do now was see if I could remember how to knit!
So we're off!
Ha! No problem, it's like riding a bike. I guess once you've learned it's all stored away in your head somewhere. After casting on the required amount of stitches I was well away, had the back ribbing done in no time and was racing towards getting started on the interesting part.
Following the pattern was easy for me, I usually just repeat numbers 1-16 (or however many rows form a pattern) on a piece of paper and tick them off as I go so I never lose my place; also later in the pattern handy to mark a little symbol against rows to be increased or decreased etc. In the old days I used to write it out, but good old spreadsheets made it even easier :)
With this thickness of wool and the large needles my project grew pretty rapidly once I'd really got going on the pattern, and I must say it was quite a pleasure to knit. The pattern has plenty going on so that it doesn't become boring and other than one tiny typo there were no errors in the printed pattern either.
As for the knitpro needles I really like them, for wood they are surprisingly sturdy and took the weight of this jumper without a problem. They are very pointy which actually worked well with this yarn. I have since purchased these in a number of sizes along with some Brittany birchwood needles. The birchwood needles have much more rounded tips and are soft and flexible to work with, which I also really like especially when knitting with much lighter weight yarns.
To finish off...
Sewing it together using mattress stitch gave it a nice finish and the seams were not too bulky... (something else I learned from the internet, previously I had only known back-stitch and was never that impressed with the results.
So to finish up, here's a final pic of the completed jumper all sewn up and ready to go. My hubby loves it and says it's the warmest jumper he has ever owned! Yay!!!
Although not for a novice, I'd definitely recommend this pattern to any capable knitter. Having said that, if you've some successful knitting projects completed and are ready to step up a gear why not take the plunge; It's certainly a stunning sweater when finished.
I'd created an account on ravelry.com to document my knitting projects and get myself a little more up to date with current knitting trends etc, imagine my surprise when I logged in to my profile to find a request to feature my jumper on the pattern page for this sweater! Okay maybe I'm the only one at the moment to have posted pics of this project completed, but I was still stoked that they thought it was good enough to be there :D
Thank you ravelry xxx
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