After mulling over lots of patterns for rather lovely, loose, sleeveless summer tops (Slope was my favourite), I have decided instead to make a more practical long-sleeved sweater from the reel of undyed linen yarn I found in a cupboard. I’m someone who feels the cold and the reality is that I seldom wear anything short-sleeved or sleeveless unless I’m abroad, and never unless I’m outside in full sun. On the rare occasions when we do have hot weather at home and I’m able to take advantage of it, I generally want to wear something I can garden in, or cycle in, or paint the outside of the garage in. I’m too much of a do-er to be comfortable sitting around in beautiful, floaty, hand-knitted summer tops that require careful washing after each wearing. I must resist the temptation to make clothes for the balmy, drinks-on-the-terrace sort of life that I might wish for and instead knit for the spanner-or-paintbrush-in-hand life that I actually live.
To that end, I have chosen Purl Soho’s Lightweight Raglan Pullover. It’s a basic, straight up and down, raglan shape with a dropped hem at the front and back, knitted in the round from the bottom up. I’ll wear it over a T-shirt on days that aren’t quite hot enough for short sleeves.
I couldn’t get the stitch tension the pattern calls for, even after buying a 2.75mm circular needle – a size too small for interchangeable circulars. I’m compensating by knitting the smallest size, and I’ll worry about whether I need to make adjustments to suit the different row tension when I come to the sleeves.
This jumper has corded edgings around the hem, cuffs and neck. They are worked by knitting each stitch together with the one from 4 rows below to draw the fabric up and make a little bulge that runs round the edge just inside the cast-on (or cast-off, in the case of the neckline). The idea is that it will stop the stocking stitch edge from rolling, while giving it a “finished” look. I rather like it and will use it again if it really does prevent the roll.
There’s an awful lot of plain stocking stitch, and on 2.75mm needles (that’s 12s in old money – yikes!) it’s going to take a while.