I have finally finished my top down jumper! I started it back last autumn but my knitting was quickly thwarted by a flare up which affected my hands, specifically my fingers, making them sore and split. I had only knitted the collar and started the increases down the raglan seams so I had quite a bit still to do. Luckily the pattern uses a chunky weight yarn - Stylecraft's Softie. I designed this pattern in the latter part of 2020 and then the lovely people at Stylecraft turned it into a graded pattern which you can download for free from their website here! I decided to use the colours that had been used to knit the sample for the pattern leaflet - Coral, Fig, Raspberry and Rosehip - and am really happy with how it turned out. The yarn is so soft and lofty, it's perfect for knitting cosy garments with. I am almost looking forward to a spell of wintry weather so that I can snuggle deep into the neck.
I took some photos outside after I'd rehung lots of the decorations from the branches of one of the trees. I made the stars many years ago but the others have either been bought or were gifts. Flo did climb up the tree to investigate, but I wasn't quick enough with my camera to take a photo. Because I'm tall, I made the body and sleeves longer. I also crocheted a round of chain stitch loosely around the last ribbing round to help to stabilise the neck. You can see that in the last photo. With top down garments, the neck can stretch but by crocheting around the neckline, you can prevent this from happening. Just don't do it too tightly or you might not be able to get it over your head! If that happens, you can simply unpick the chain and redo it a bit looser. I absolutely love knitting top-down garments because there is minimal finishing off to be done. I hate sewing up jumpers with a passion! Plus you can keep trying it on while you're knitting it to check how it's fitting and make adjustments if needed as you go. I've already cast on another top-down jumper - this one has some colourwork knitting around the yoke and I'm enjoying it so far although I have to keep stopping to untangle the two yarns. I must check out some videos to see if there's a fool proof way to knit stranded colourwork without the need to keep stopping. If you are a proficient stranded knitter, please let me know any tips that you have. I'll be back soon to share my progress. xxx