This week I finished a jumper that I cast on nearly three years ago, a modified version of the Saint Rémy design that appeared in Knitty in 2015.
My knitting projects don’t usually hang around that long, but I lost my enthusiasm for this project for a long time after making a mistake (which I haven’t corrected – if you want to know what it is, all is revealed in this post). I actually finished knitting the week before last but I held off darning in the ends around the bottom of the body. I was in two minds as to whether to pull out those last few inches and re-knit them without the stripes, but everyone I showed it to seemed to think the stripes should stay.
Yesterday morning I darned in the remaining ends, and then it occurred to me that this might be the perfect sweater to wear to a party we were invited to last night in a nearby village. The gathering was in a barn, and we’d been warned that we should dress accordingly. I reckoned that a lightweight-but-warm merino sweater ought to fit the bill, and was smart enough for a party without being too dressy for a barn.
I normally wet-block my knitwear, but there wasn’t going to be time if I wanted to wear a dry garment – which I did. So I pressed it with the iron under a damp cloth and was pleasantly surprised at how the stitches magically evened themselves up, all without the hassle of soaking, blotting and pinning out. All I had to do then was to leave it draped over a towel rail in front of a sunny window for an hour to ensure it was fully dry, then it was ready to put on. I wrapped a shawl around my shoulders for good measure and was perfectly comfortable all evening without having to resort to the jacket I’d worn to cycle there. I’ll wet-block this jumper the first time I wash it, because I still think that gives the best result, but it will do for now.
A unseasonal dress
I have nothing else in mind to knit at the moment. I could make a start on decorations for this year’s Christmas tree festival, but September seems way too early for that. Instead, I’ve been working on a dress made from the very loud wax print fabric I bought in Amsterdam.
I found a fit-and-flare pattern I liked, with cap sleeves – always useful to avoid sunburnt shoulders – and a skirt that has unpressed pleats around the waistline. I’ve introduced extra fabric into the skirt by adding two additional pleats in each of the front and back, so as to give more of a 1950s silhouette while making full use of the width of the fabric. All being well, I will finish it this week. Unfortunately, the weather has turned quite chilly and autumnal – I was very glad of the pair of gloves I found in my jacket pocket when I cycled home last night – and I’m probably not going to get chance to wear a cotton dress before next summer.