It’s Time To Think Cold
As I write this, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and we will no doubt be hearing the gentle hum of the air conditioner later in the afternoon. It is the height of Summer, when thoughts turn naturally towards trips to the beach, cool drinks and finding the delicate balance between wearing the least amount of clothes possible while still looking decent enough to appear in public.
Unless you’re a knitter, of course.
If you’re a knitter, your thoughts turn towards the cosy jumpers and cardigans you want to wear when it’s icy outside and six pairs of socks aren’t enough. And you know you need to start knitting RIGHT NOW so you’re ready.
And that’s why you find me here, trying to choose my new Winter jumper (or sweater, if you prefer). Read on to see my choices!
Too Many Choices
The theme for this year’s Winter jumper seems to be fair isle or colourwork. Mostly, this is because it’s a fabulous way to use up the leftover bits of wool I have from previous projects. On another level entirely, it’s due to the fact that I not-so-secretly would love to wear a jumper with a ridiculously enormous image of a pelican on it.
Plus, I absolutely love knitting with either colours or cables – there’s something so exciting about seeing the pattern come to life as you go. It certainly keeps me going when I’m sorting out my floats or trying to stop my cable needle from slipping straight off the stitches it’s meant to be holding!
Already dreaming of the fabulous colourwork creation I’d be wearing come Winter, I searched through the most easily-accessible sections of my knitting pattern collection and came up with following contenders for my 2018 Winter Jumper.
Scottish Fair Isles – ‘Moray’
Let’s start with this gem from the Patons Scottish Fair Isles book. Isn’t it glorious? I love the way those lines of little decorations get gradually larger as they approach the yoke and finish off with those beautiful flower motifs. The pattern only calls for three colours, but I think you could add more if you wanted, particularly in the lower bands.
There’s just one problem: it’s not really a Winter jumper. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to go around in short sleeves during the colder months. And I’m sure my husband doesn’t want to deal with me constantly complaining about how cold my arms are.
Although I suppose I could knit myself some elbow-length gloves to go with it…
Often you’ll find options for sleeve length with patterns from this era, but this one is an exception. It was designed for short sleeves and short sleeves it shall have.
So even though I’d love to make it, I will have to save it for later.
Patons Knitting Book No. 257 – ‘Topnotcher’
I was going to say This one is pretty high up on the list… but all of them are pretty high up on the list.
Every time I look at this jumper, I feel a strong desire to go to the snow and I don’t even like the snow. I’ve also knitted the bonnet already, so it would make sense to have a jumper to go with it, wouldn’t it?
My copy of this pattern is a bit on the scruffy side and has been well-used. I know for a fact that its previous owner made a version of this jumper as they seem to have added a section to the colourwork pattern.
I always love finding notes like these in knitting books – it makes me feel as though I’m following in an unknown knitter’s footsteps.
The only thing I don’t like about this pattern is the high collar. I have a rather short neck, so higher collars tend to make me look as though I have no neck at all! Necklines from this era tend to be rather snug as well, with buttons or press-studs sewn into a flap on the shoulder so you can actually get the jumper over your head.
Now we go from a tight-fitting beauty to the absolute opposite in the form of this fabulous nineties gem below.
Cleckheaton Australiana 4 – Pelican
I’ve been wanting to make a jumper with a ridiuclously large bird on it for some time now. Perhaps it’s time to give in to that urge.
Honestly, there’s not much more I can say about this: I want to make it and I can’t really think of a reason why I shouldn’t.
Patons Bluebell in Gentle Mood – Lady’s Jumper with Fair Isle Yoke
I like the simplicity of this one and I do have a bit of 5ply wool in my stash, which is my main reason for including this option. It’s described as having a fair isle yoke, but it’s not a proper yoke where the top section is knitted in one piece and you can see that the pattern is cut off around the sleeve seams. I’d still make it despite this, but I think I might prefer an actual yoke for colourwork.
It just so happens I have the very thing below.
Patons 671 – ‘The Fair Isle Fashion’ for Ladies and Men
In theory, I want to make the jumper on the left-hand side of that image.
In reality, I want to make the jumper on the right-hand side and every single thing in this booklet. Let me show you what’s on offer.
Yep, I want to make both of these. At the moment, I am leaning heavily towards the reindeer motif jumper. And the matching beanie, for obvious reasons (although I am a little sad it doesn’t have tiny reindeer on it – perhaps I can switch up the charts?).
I want to make both of these, too, even though I don’t really need another cardigan. But I don’t have a cardigan with colourwork!
I LOVE THEM ALL.
How am I meant to choose between them? And if I can’t choose a single pattern out of one book, what chance do I have choosing anything from my shortlist?
Which One To Choose?
If I could make every one of these jumpers, I would. I can imagine myself being cosy in each and every one of them. As soon as I think I’ve settled on a choice, a little voice says: But wouldn’t you be happier with that one instead?
It’s impossible, I tell you.
Which one would choose? What are your plans for next season’s knitting? Let me know in the comments below!