I worked a tension square first, as I wasn’t sure whether the garment would fit (I’m an odd in-between size) and then I practised the 10 row lace motif. A novice knitter, I didn’t understand the pattern at first which is why it was important to try out the motif rather than just reading about it.

The pattern is complicated and rather confusingly written, resulting in much debate on Ravelry, and it took me three goes getting it wrong before I finally managed to do the decreases correctly whilst still keeping the motif pattern correct. In the end, I took it row by row, very slowly. This motif required purling through 6 loops and a stitch in order to bring it all together so I’d recommend using longish needles at least for this part.

I’d also say that this yarn sheds an awful lot, so I’m wondering exactly how much of the garment will be left to wear after a week or two.

New knitting skills learned:

  • Working motifs and repetitions
  • Consulting Ravelry forum for help with confusing patterns. It took me so much thought to get the motif repetitions right and in fact I had to frog the knitting back three times before I eventually got it. 
  • Working from a pattern for different garment sizes
  • How to M1 properly. The first couple of goes resulted in a hole but I resolved this issue after consulting the KnittingHelp app.
  • Sewing up.
  • Picking up and knitting for neckband. I worried about this so much but it was really easy in the end. Except that 87 (should be 85!) picked up stitches on a needle is rather too much and perhaps it’s better that I use a circular needle next time.

This jumper is not perfect. There are a couple of holes in the back for the M1 mistakes; the neck shaping is too visible where I should have picked up for the neckband further away from the edge and there is a dyeing fault in the wool in a very visible place exactly on the left breast. But, instead of frogging it, I’m proud to wear it as it is: an example of perserverance in learning a new skill and a reminder that very few things in life are perfect for more than a few moments.

My thanks to @woolminer and @woolandbuttons for their help and support!

Lara Crew Jumper from the cocoon collection by Rowan. Knitted in Rowan Cocoon 80% Merino Wool, 20% Kid Mohair. Shade 816 Kiwi on 6mm and 7mm bamboo needles.

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