As a constant knitter it was inevitable that knitting projects were going to edge their way in to this blog, naturally dyed or not. Since many people who are interested in dyeing are also knitters, I hope the things I learnt making this jumper are useful to others.
It is a Norwegian pattern called Men’s Setesdal Sweater and was written by Arne and Carlos for their book Knitting Scandinavian Style. I believe it has a different title in the US. I spent much of the Covid Lockdown which began in March 2020 watching Arne and Carlos’ podcasts and their tutorials on how to knit the Norwegian method, so decided to make a 100% Norwegian jumper by using Rauma Finull from Norway and the Norwegian way of holding the yarn.
My motto is “You should always undo any knitting you aren’t happy with as all it brings is extra knitting. And we like knitting, right?” Following this principle I got a lot of value from this project.
I misguidedly added some waist shaping to the body to make it less straight. On completion of the body it looked very strange and detracted from the whole aesthetic of the jumper.
I cut the body in half, hoping to reknit the relevant section but when you pick up stitches using this method you are half a stitch out. My white dots, or lice as they are called, didn’t line up, so I reknitted the body.
Part of the challenge was resizing the whole jumper since it is a man’s pattern and on completion of the sleeves I found the patterned section was too tight. So I reknitted the upper arms on bigger needles.
The armholes were cut open so I could now try the body on properly and found it was too short. Emboldened by my steeking, I cut the body in half just above the ribbing. To avoid the problem of the dots not lining up and also because I had very little blue wool left, I added a patterned section.
Grafting the two halves of the body back together with Kitchener Stitch was time consuming but completely invisible. Even I can’t see where the join is.
The lessons I have learnt from this project made the whole thing worthwhile:
- Cutting and grafting to lengthen or shorten a garment works very well.
- Changing the needle size when you don’t want to add or subtract from the pattern is a good alteration technique.
- Steeking is more fun and much less alarming than you think.
The result is a Norwegian jumper that fits me just how I wanted so I am very glad I took all those extra weeks, even months, to make the changes I wanted.
Now I know the sizing, perhaps I’ll make another one in indigo, madder and weld.