Saturday, 15 January 2022

Knitting! A Moss Green Deep Sea Sweater

I'm kicking off 2022 on the blog with something a little unusual for me...knitting! I started to knit a few years ago and still count myself very much as a beginner. I've dabbled in a few different stitches and techniques but my mind is still blown by colour work, lace work and increasing and decreasing by any more than a few stitches. I've been using kits up until this point as I haven't been able to quite get my head around matching yarn to a pattern! There are so many different types, weights and choices! I've been making an effort to look at patterns I like and the yarn recommendations and think I understand more now so maybe next time I'll give that a whirl.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater

My Dad bought me the kit for this jumper for Christmas last year and I put the final stitches in it on Christmas Eve this year...yes I'm a very slow knitter! I did pick it up and put it down a lot over the year and during summer I never feel that inspired to knit. I'm just pleased that I finished this in time to get some wear out of it this winter. I do unfortunately find that knitting isn't all that great for my hands so I have to limit myself to a small amount each day or they get really sore. It's a shame as I could quite happily sit there all day with a good boxset on! My Mum bought me a set of Knitpro Symfonie needles a couple of years ago. They are much more comfortable to knit with than the plastic needles I started with and I like them so much I bought the matching circular needles set.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater

This is the Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater in the most gorgeous moss green colour which unfortunately it looks like they've discontinued. The pattern itself has actually been renamed since I received it - it used to be the Mother of Pearl Sweater. Each time I've chosen a new kit I've tried to pick something slightly different to what I've done before and something to challenge me just a little and develop a new knitting skill. The last jumper I did had a cable up each sleeve which I really enjoyed and this time I used circular needles for the first time - just for the neck. You knit the front, back and sleeves separately, sew up the shoulders then pick the neck stitches up on to your circular needles to create the turtleneck, then sew on the sleeves and side seams. As well as the new technique I loved the variety of stitches used to create this design and the combination of textures that that resulted in. You start with rib at the hem, stocking stitch around the body and then beautiful moss stitch across the chest.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater

Another thing I liked about this kit is that it uses the Wool and the Gang New Wave yarn. The core of this yarn is made from recycled plastic bottles which is then cased it cotton. On first appearance it is a wonderful bouncy, spongy yarn which looks beautiful knitted up. I did however have a bit of trouble with it when knitting as the cotton casing is a kind of mesh which gets easily caught up on the tip of the needle from time to time and now the jumper is finished and being worn it catches and pulls so easily! I do love the appearance of it and it is lovely to touch and wear though. I've used three other kits from Wool and the Gang and have mixed opinions on most of their yarns and how they wear. I've also found quite a few breaks in the skeins which are annoying. But I'm such a novice I don't have much to compare them to so maybe I am wrong!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater

It knitted up pretty much without a hitch until I was doing the neck and realised I'd dropped a stitch when I was picking them all up on to the circular needles! I was well into the neck by this point and couldn't bear to rip it out so I managed to somewhat bodge it by looping that stitch into a few above it and then sewing it into the shoulder seam. I think it looks alright and I'm sure I won't even remember in a few months.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater
The offending neck edge and shoulder seam

The neck has ended up being my favourite thing about this garment. It is knitted really long, then folded down inside and stitched down loosely around the neckline seam. This makes it a really chunky, spongey turtleneck with a great shape and I love the clean folded edge along the opening. The neck, cuff and hem ribbing is all knitted on a smaller needle which seems to make it nice and thick and pronounced compared to the other stitches. I'm really pleased with my neat ribbing on this. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Moss Green Wool and the Gang Deep Sea Sweater

Considering how much I like sewing I really don't enjoy the sewing up part of knitting! I asked my Nan (who is an amazing knitter) for some tips to help and she said she hates that part too! I showed her the wool and the gang instructions for sewing up (which loop through each row or stitch) and she said she usually does it much more simply than that - sort of by doing a simple back stitch with the yarn. It does leave a bit of a seam but no bulkier than the other methods I've tried and it was much quicker. I also find weaving in the ends painstaking when you are so close to the finish line! 

I haven't blocked this jumper yet as I love the appearance of it as it is and don't want to ruin it! I have blocked my previous two jumpers and it really helped both of them so perhaps I should give this one a go. 

I think I'd quite like to try a project knitted top down entirely on circular needles next. Or perhaps a bit more cable?

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful jumper! I don’t think cotton needs to be blocked in the same way that wool does, but I may be wrong. It doesn’t look like it needs a block: it looks really good as is. I’d recommend a cabled pattern on circular needles! That way you get the best of all words 😉 can’t wait to see what you decide!

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    1. Hi Heather, I think I replied to you on Instagram about this but in case not I just wanted to say thanks so much for the helpful comment! Fantastic to hear that cotton doesn’t need blocking, that makes total sense and I’m relieved that I didn’t do anything that left this misshapen when I’m so pleased with it. I’m off to look at cable knits for circular needles!

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  2. This looks wonderful! Such even stitches, great design and color. I'm happy to see you doing well and your post, always inspiring.😊

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  3. Kudos to you for learning to knit. My one and only excuse is that I'm left handed. Seeing your beautiful sweater, I better get to it and learn! Your work, both knitting and sewing, is awesome and I love your choice of patterns.

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    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment! I often think I spend way to much time deliberating over pattern and fabric/yarn choice but I think it pays off in the end!
      I do highly recommend getting to grips with knitting. Once you’ve got the basics down there is a lot you can do and it is lovely to be able to pick up and put down a project like this

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  4. I've had this rather complicated knitting project that I picked out last year and I just can't seem to get started. This sweater looks like just the thing to get my knitting motivation going again!

    Absolutely love the colour too. And without telling them, no-one will be able to spot that dropped stitch.

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    1. I’m glad you said that about the stitch! Fingers crossed it doesn’t all unravel haha!
      Definitely recommend this pattern. It was really enjoyable and I’ve worn it a lot already

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  5. Beautiful job!
    I have only two garments that color (which I agonized about) that I wear constantly because they go with almost everything. Looking forward to your next make. I'll wait patiently for the next knitted project 😉

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    1. I adore this colour! And now I’ve got my eyes peeled for fabric in the exact same shade!
      I too agonised about this colour choice as it felt quite bold but actually it seems to be almost a neutral in how it works in my wardrobe!
      You may have a very long wait on your hands for more knitting 🤣

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  6. Hello Fiona. That sweater looks truly lovely- great color and the textures look so nice! I have a great appreciation for the knitting you’ve gotten done. I am a self taught home sewist, and have tried knitting before and it never seems to turn out correctly! I have resigned to sticking with sewing and crochet instead. Thanks for sharing your knitting and sewing, it is an inspiration to me (and many others, surely!).

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    1. I think I’m quite lucky as when I get confused with something knitting related I can just run to my knitting- pro of a Nan for help!
      It is crochet for me that I just can’t g egg my head around! I do intended on giving it another go though. And I do recommend giving knitting another try. Once you get the knack it is so enjoyable, especially if like me you stick to what you know for a while 😂

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!