Monday, January 2, 2023

The Evolution Of A Project


I think it's a bit of a swizz to call this Classic Wool when it is made from 80% acrylic and only 20% wool, but there you go. When I saw it in my local craft shop, I thought it was just what I needed to knit Jack a new pullover for next Winter. The one I knitted for him in 2021 is looking stretched and shapeless, in spite of my redoing of the neck.  

The owner of the shop reckons I'll need 6 balls to knit a sweater for Jack, but the yarn is sold in packs of 5. Hmm. I bought a pack of 5 and thought I'll knit top down so that if necessary I can add contrasting stripes at the bottom. 

First thing I needed was a pattern. I meandered through Ravelry and Pinterest. It turns out that Drops Designs have quite a few top down men's patterns. I really like the look of Lagoon, but the stitch they call English Rib seems a real fiddle, with yarn overs and slipped stitches and what not. I considered changing to an ordinary rib, but I'm not familiar enough with the top down structure to go making such changes. I settled for Rain Sky instead. 

Next - needles. I have 3 mm and 4 mm circular needles 80 cm long, but not 60 cm long. The solution, according to the pattern, is to work the Magic Loop technique. I've seen references to the Magic Loop on the Paradise Knitting newsletter I receive every day, but know nothing about it. I followed the link on the pattern to a tutorial and gave it a go:

There's a lot of sliding of stitches, but it's quite easy and gives a smooth tube, without the ladders that I got when I tried working with two circular needles. Thumbs up. 

Next step was to knit a tension square:

It was fine, so I duly printed out the pattern and ringed all the figures for the medium size. And began knitting:

I used the Magic Loop technique for the neck, but now that I'm working the yoke, I'm just knitting round and round. I'll go back to the loop to do the sleeves. Of course, the growth is quite quick at this stage, but will get slower as I keep adding stitches for the raglan. The increase technique is also 'new to me' - yarn over before the marker, and then twist that 'stitch' on the following round. 


  1. I had to learn about the magic loop too, Jane. It's currently my favourite way of knitting sweaters from the top down. I'm on my second at the moment but using 4 ply!! I'm always up for a challenge!!

  2. So many things are new to me here! I would've enjoyed learning if ....