Sometimes all you need is a toasty jumper. Earlier this month I decided to grab the nearest yarn and turn it into a cosy winter jumper for myself. No pattern to grade across multiple sizes, no tinkering with spreadsheets, no charts to haul about, and no worries. Just a plain, cosy jumper.
Last year my gran gave me twelve balls of Drops Air in a soft green shade. I am going to be honest here: I would not have bought this yarn myself. It sits on the wrong side of fashion yarn for me with a slightly too-novelty construction. The yarn is basically a very delicate nylon tube filled with alpaca and merino fibres (I think you can juuust make out the nylon netting on the left strand in the photo above). The result is a very lofty yarn with no fibres escaping. As a Continental knitter, I find it quite hard to work as the tip of my needle keeps catching on the netting. I spend a fair amount of time fiddling with my needles when all I want is to knit smoothly in the round.
But knitted up, it does look exceptionally cosy and it feels great against the skin. It just isn't my preferred knitting experience.
I decided to do a very simple top-down raglan for my toasty jumper. I decided upon a broken rib as the sole decorative element and I've added short-row shaping to the back neck (better fit) and lower back (I'm always cold there).
I've just begun my sixth ball out of the twelve. I'll have enough for quite long sleeves .. and then maybe a cowl for those extra cold days? I'm using a 5mm needle for the main body (as recommended by the ballband). The resulting fabric is quite thick - for extra drape I would probably have used a 5.5mm but I wanted cosiness rather than drape. The ribbing is done on a 4.5mm - less rigid than a 4mm would have been (4.25mm would have been optimal but where do I get such a beast?).
I've taken this project everywhere with me and it's so mindless I have been working it through meetings, mornings, and headaches.
I have an actual pile of things I need to make - ranging from exciting new collaborations to class samples - so this will be put on the backburner a bit. But this winter I'll have a new cosy jumper which doesn't need to be anything but a jumper. And this makes me happy.