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My first knitted jumper – The Posy Sweater from Darling Jadore.

I’m starting the year off with a ‘first’ from me. It’s a blog post sharing with you my very first knitted jumper! Woo hoo!

Now I’m definitely not an expert by any means, quite the opposite, so don’t expect anything too technical – I just want to tell you about this pattern from a beginner’s view point, because as a novice knitter it’s a little daunting to know where to start when you want to move on to bigger projects.

The pattern that I chose to make is The Posy Sweater from Darling Jadore.

I received the pattern and supplies to make it for my Christmas present last year, and at that time I received the ‘premium pattern package’ version which gave me the basic pattern and also included bonus video tutorials to help me through the ‘tricky’ parts of the pattern. Looking at the pattern on the website today, it looks like the pattern just comes with the video tutorials as standard now. Excellent. The video tutorials were an absolute essential for me as up until this point I had only ever knitted a scarf and a simple tea cosy, so I referred to the videos quite a bit throughout the project. They covered every part of the jumper making process that I might have ‘scratched my head’ about and considering I really know very little about knitting, I think it turned out alright.

The best part about this jumper in my opinion and the reason why I chose this pattern to make is the keyhole feature at the back neckline with the ribbon tie. You’ll see from my sewing posts that tie back neckline details on dresses and tops are my absolute fave so why wouldn’t I choose a knitting pattern that has this too?!

The neck band of this jumper is knitted double height and then folded over creating a channel to thread your ribbon through. This way if you want to swap out your ribbon and change it to a different colour for example, you just slip one out and feed the new one through!

The jumper is knitted in the round using circular needles from the top down. The raglan sleeves are added after the body has been knitted by picking up stitches around the armhole that you have kept safe by threading a scrap of yarn through them earlier on.

The worry that I had about being a beginner knitter and making up a big project like this is that it’s all very well when everything is going smoothly, but I have no idea how to correct a mistake if I make one going along. Luckily there are plenty of YouTube videos that are really helpful, but one piece of advice that I received from a friend when I was starting this was to use a ‘lifeline’. This involves threading a scrap piece of yarn through your work, and if you go wrong you can just pull your needles out and tear back to where the lifeline row is. Tricky to explain but it gives you a little peace of mind that if you do go wrong, it’s not the end of the world.

The pattern took me a year to knit just about, and whilst I am a slow knitter some of this is due to the fact that I didn’t pick it up very much at all during the warmer months.

Oh I should perhaps tell you what sort of yarn I used to make it! It’s Knit Craft yarn from Hobbycraft, and it’s called ‘Leader of the Pac’ Aran in the colour charcoal, although looking at the website this colour might be out of stock now.

I did feel a little bit concerned when it came to knitting the cuffs. Because you are knitting in the round, and the cuffs are so tiny, you need to switch over to double pointed needles or use the magic loop technique. Hmm, both methods looked a little scary to me. Double pointed needles look like little chopsticks and I felt worried that I would drop my stitches, I felt that it was too much to try to learn how to use these, so I used the magic loop method (after searching on YouTube of course), and even though I was a bit terrified of ruining the jumper at this final stage, somehow it worked! The video that helped me with this technique was this one here.

The final stage of the project is the blocking. I have no idea what blocking is, but I did it anyway. Ha! Actually I really didn’t know what blocking was until I got to that part of the pattern, so had to look it up. Apparently it enables you to shape your finished garment (whilst wet), into the correct shape and evens up stitch tension and the look of the finished garment – among other things. I soaked my jumper gently in a wool detergent, and very gently pressed it between towels to get most of the water out and then blocked it using long pins on a dry towel on a sunny spot on the floor. I was careful to use a tape measure to makes sure everything was kept to the correct length.

You know me, I have to accessorize with some jewellery. Now that I feel like a grown up knitter I am wearing my knitting jewellery with pride (not that it stopped me before). You can take a peek at my knitting themed brooch and necklace in my shop here and here.

The finishing touch as we all know is the addition of a cute garment label. As this is my cosiest make yet, I had to choose these labels that I purchased from Crafty Pinup.

I hope that these thoughts have been of some use to those of you who are beginners like me. My lovely Aunt who helped me to get going with the scarf and tea cosy always says to me that knitting is easy – it’s just a combination of two stitches really – the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It’s what you do with them that creates the magic.

I fully intend to carry on with this new-found hobby of mine. I have a beret pattern that I would like to give a try, and a couple of cardigans too. So whilst it has been fun talking to you about knitting today, my regular content of mainly sewing will now resume, and I’ll keep you posted every now and again if I knit anything else.

Do you have any beginner jumper pattern recommendations for any newbie knitters out there like me? Please do leave them in the comments so that we can all see them.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and peaceful New Year …

take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Sunny Knit Top by Style Arc pattern review.

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I’m trying to add a few cosy jumpers to my handmade wardrobe this Winter. Whilst I love wearing dresses, when the weather is really cold I love my jeans and jumper combo and had noticed that I definitely needed more ‘me made’ items in this area.

This is the first time I have used a Style Arc pattern. They have a HUGE range of great sewing pattern designs and I particularly liked the look of this cocoon style top.

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I downloaded the PDF pattern direct from the Style Arc website a while ago. I don’t remember how much I paid, but I generally only buy sewing patterns when they are on sale so it may have been a Black Friday purchase or something similar. I usually opt for paper patterns over PDF’s, but didn’t fancy the postage costs from Australia for this. However I noticed a couple of days ago that Minerva Crafts are now stocking Style Arc paper patterns – yippee! Definitely worth remembering for future Style Arc purchases. A real drawback of the PDF downloads from Style Arc is that you are only sent the size that you ordered plus the size above and below that size (3 sizes only), so if you were thinking that this might be a great all rounder to make for yourself and friends and family – then this will only be possible (on the PDF download) if they are the same size or very similar to you.

That being said, this loose fitting cocoon sweater is a great design. From the line drawing above you can see the seam lines show the dropped shoulders which take you down to skinny sleeves which I absolutely LOVE. There is a horizontal seam front and back around waist height and a vertical centre back seam too. A lovely little neck band completes a very simple but neat looking top.

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My fabric choice is a stunning knit from Barry’s Fabrics in Birmingham. It has a black background and abstract blue, green and wine coloured flowers. It is also soft and warm, which I am very grateful for these past few cold days.

The Style Arc measurements were spot on for me. I made up the size recommended for my measurements and it was perfect. No adjustments at all, it fits me just right. Only 5 pattern pieces are needed for this top and I made it entirely using the overlocker, apart from the twin needling finishes on the hem, sleeves and around the neck band. It’s a good quick make on a rainy afternoon!

The instructions are very basic, and very brief. This was absolutely fine for me, but this may be tricky for a complete beginner as there are no pictures or illustrations to back up the written instructions, and when I say written instructions I mean 9 short sentences! All good though, the finished result is super, a great wardrobe essential and easy to throw on and layer up if necessary.

My favourite part of this sweater is the skinny sleeves. I feel they balance out the cocoon shape perfectly. Love them.

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So all in all, I am very happy with the finished top. It has turned out exactly how I was expecting and I would totally make it up again – I can see several versions of this in my future Winter wardrobe. I have lots of other Style Arc patterns on my ‘wish list’ of future sewing makes so no doubt it won’t be long before I give them another go.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My Snuggly Simplicity 8089

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Just a quick one today to let you know that it’s my turn again to share with you what I have made for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, and this month it’s something a little different for me – a jumper!

Do head on over here to read my full review and take a look at lots more pics!

Hope you enjoy it,

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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