Last weekend I finished making Katie’s ‘vanilla’ jumper – a plain stocking stitch sweater in a relatively plain yarn. She was delighted with the result I’m happy to say, and even wore it to a friend’s party on Saturday night.
The jumper was made without a pattern using one of my favourite tricks – copying the shape of an existing, well-fitting garment exactly. I’ve employed this cheeky, shorthand method of garment making numerous times, and it’s perfect when you want something fairly quick that you can pretty much guarantee will fit and look good. In this case I’d agreed to knit Katie a jumper before suddenly realising it was March and that she wouldn’t exactly get much wear from it if I didn’t hurry up! It took exactly three weeks from buying the yarn to completion.
Working out the shaping and dimensions was easy – a case of carefully measuring the original and creating a template of shapes, and then plotting out how many stitches and rows in my chosen yarn would create these shapes. The ribbed parts initially threw me a little; unusually they’re the same width as the stocking stitch, so extra stitches had to be cast on and then decreased. I like the pleasing modern shape this creates. Aside from that there was limited shaping so very little faff.
The yarn is Bergere de France Eclipse. It knits up quickly enough but oh boy is it splitty! It combines a thin thread of cotton and a hair-like strand of sparkly polyester loosely twisted around a core of roving-style acrylic. This mixture of three fibres gives it a crinkly appearance, providing my finished vanilla knit with some much-needed texture; it’s also extremely soft and has a beautiful angel-hair sheen. I fully expect it to fuzz and pill like mad, but at this point, freshly off the needles, it looks very pretty.