Knitting · Project Focus

Project Focus – Gingerbread jumper

Today’s Project Focus post is on my recently completed Gingerbread jumper or at least my version of it.

I’m still calling this my Gingerbread jumper even though it looks nothing like the wonderful Gingerbread pattern by Libby of Truly Myrtle but because I used her numbers and directions in her pattern for all bar the plain bottom I used in my version, I can’t but link and give credit where it is due and I had originally set out to make the Gingerbread as directed the project just took a turn as what I wanted veered the project away from the original.

Gingerbread

I started out combining two yarns, a light fingering and a silk lace mohair, to get the recommended gauge of 20 sts x 26 rows = 10cm. The yarns I used were the Shetland Heritage in the Moorit colourway combined with an Isager Silk Mohair in the colourway 06. A true representation of the colour of these yarns combined is in the modelled shot above, I found capturing a true representation of the colour to be difficult.

I opted to knit the size 38″ which for my current size is with a -2″ of ease. I chose this size for a couple of reasons. 1. it is coming into summer so I’m not likely to be wearing a sweater of DK weight again until the end of Autumn and on my current weight loss journey I’m hoping to be smaller again and 2. I really dislike the oversized look to my knitted garments…I dislike it to my garments in general…looking like a sack of potatoes is not a flattering look on me! So I am experimenting with my garments to find what look is going to work for me and this is the garment I’ve chosen to try to a negative ease look coupled with some waist shaping.

So as I’ve said I followed the pattern as written for the neckline and increases, separation of sleeves etc. My modifications began 5″ after the sleeve separation point. It is at this point in my garments if I am adding waist shaping that I began that shaping. As you can see from the below picture I worked a series of spaced decreases and then at approx 9″ I begin to increase once more for the hips. I find this works in all my knitted garments for shaping.

Gingerbread 2

As the original Gingerbread sweater has a deep patterning and ribbing to the bottom of it which when added on to my shaping modification it would have left the garment much longer on me than what I desired so it was at this point that I veered away completely from the pattern. As you will see in the picture below I continued on with my hip increasing and knit in plain stockinette until I had an inch to go where at the point I worked that final inch in 2 x 2 ribbing. This gave me a total body length of 14″ which is the body length I opt for across all my garments.

Gingerbread 3

With the body complete I once more returned to the pattern for the sleeves and worked them to the numbers and directions again I merely omitted the patterning and knit my sleeves until they were 17″ in length from the underarm and then finished them off with an inch of 2 x 2 ribbing to mirror the bottom of the body, as you will see in the above picture. I have to say the sleeves on this Gingerbread sweater are the best fitting sleeves I have to knit to date. There is no bagging along the arm or the bottom ribbing and I love the fit of the sleeves with the negative ease. This is something I’m going to take note of for future garments. In general each garment I knit has something that I bring forward to future garments, be that shaping, certain numbers for necks, button bands, ribbing, sleeve decreases or sleeve lengths etc. It’s a process in building the components of a garment that I like and fit that I just apply to future garments.

All that remained then was the neckline, I followed the pattern for the rate of stitch pick up, but worked it in a 2 x 2 ribbing to again mirror the other ribbing in the garment. I like the wide square type of neckline, although how I have chosen to wear it in the modelled shot is how I’d normally wear this jumper and I’m not sure in the winter months how appropriate or practical that is, this we shall see.

Gingerbread 1

Overall I’m happy with the finished and completed sweater. I like the combination of yarns and fibres and it is a soft but warm garment and I like the marled look that has come from using both yarns together. The Silk Mohair yarn I had in stash so it was nice to use that up but I did purchase the Shetland Heritage. It did come on a cone with over 2000 meters for 28 pound, this is enough for two garments so I consider it good value.

I’m also pleased overall with the size, I do like the negative ease effect and with it I may not have to add waist shaping in future garments, this is something to consider in future. It has come out slightly more cropped in look at present than perhaps is the intended look but although this is not a look I normally go for, I can’t say that I dislike it also. I think if it is still so very cropped with less weight on me by the Autumn and I’m feeling self conscious the garment will work over a vest top that extends longer and this is a look I’d still be comfortable wearing, so I can see this garment working in my wardrobe perhaps a little better than some of the knitted garments at present which are getting a little baggy and oversized with the weight loss, which is a shame as some of those I liked when I knit and finished them. But c’est la vie!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your garments, what works for you and what doesn’t?  If there are any other details on this garment you’d like to know just ask in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoyed this project focus post and I look forward to sharing my next project with you all.

10 thoughts on “Project Focus – Gingerbread jumper

  1. I’m too new to garment knitting to know what works for me, definitely next time I’ll have a skein extra to avoid yarn chicken stress kicking in so early. I love reading your detailed notes though, hopefully these nuggets of wisdom will stick and I can use them myself as I get more practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t say I’m a fan of yarn chicken either Liz and find it easier to think what to do with leftovers than what to do if I run out. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, it’s nice having a more permanent place for the details.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Goodness I love all these details. We seem to be on a similar path with our making. I feel rather as though I have been quite dazzled by all the choices available and am ,only now, starting to think about what actually suits me,what I actually wear and whether or not the garment ( knitted or sewn) will fit into a planned wardrobe.
    I struggle with length as I have a long back and sizing as I have a full bust. If I knit to bust size I will have far too much fabric in the back and so I am looking more and more at shoulder measurements and trying to figure out how to adjust patterns accordingly. I think most garments I knit wander from the pattern quickly and I do find seamed cardigans easier to adjust ,but, like you I find knitting sleeves in the round makes for a far better fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The choices available are so wide and varied Nicola that I think it’s quite impossible not to be dazzled and swayed. I also think it takes several garments to really begin to understand what you actually wear, what actually suits and also what fits into our current wardrobes. I know for me that’s a big thing in figuring out because as I’ve lost some weight with more to go things that used to suit no longer do, so now I’m floundering with what suits and what I wear etc.
      For your dilemma with the back and bust measurements being different I have heard of people working with this hack to their knitted garments: Lets take a size 38″ garment that would generally be divided in stitches to allow 19″ for the front and 19″ for back but this doesn’t allow for a bust in general. So to allow extra on the bust and less on the back you would have stitches to allow for 20″ on the front and 18″ on the back, therefore giving you extra bust room but more importantly taking some off the back. I’ve not had to use this hack and it may or may not be useful to you Nicola, it may even be something you’ve already tried but I thought I’d mention in case you hadn’t and in case it might be something you’d like to experiment with in your garments. The one key thing I’ve found with both sewn and knitted garments is knowing my key measurements, what ease I want and what if any stretch there is to the material or fibre I’m using, but it is a constant learning curve.
      Now sleeves, I really do just love those knit with negative ease and I think that’s the one key thing I’m taking from this garment on into my next garments.

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      1. That is useful, thank you. The funny thing is I have done that kind of alteration in pieced garments but patterns in the round have thrown me, especially top down. I think, as you say, it’s about learning what works for you and taking notes on each garment. My sister will not knit anything without a schematic and scribbles out all of her measurements and swatch dimensions on that. She more or less grades every pattern to fit her specific needs, I definitely want to do that too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think grading garments completely to our own needs is a great way to go for future garments Nicola, I’m practically doing that now anyway.

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