Marius Feature

A Completed Project, a Thank You & 72 Big Macs

This post is all about the amazing job Rob, our superstar lockdown courier did during lockdown and the thank you jumper I knitted him. You might have seen him out and about or coming to your door! The announcement on Sunday 24th March that all none essential shops must close didn’t come as too much of a surprise. Nonetheless, how we were going to survive as a business being shut for an undisclosed amount of time wasn’t so clear. Rob volunteered to be our courier and I am without a doubt certain this was one of the biggest factors that kept us going through lockdown.
He cycled all our local post within the BN1, BN2 and BN3 areas. Not a small task and I did give him several opportunities to back out of it before I hit send on the announcement but he insisted it would be good exercise now he was working from home. So on top of his full time job, on the 25th March, he started his new role as YAK courier and cycled to all corners of the city, from Saltdean to Hangleton to Patcham to Whitehawk, up many many hills.

The Stats

Between 25th March and 15th June Rob cycled 335.13 miles in 35 hours which included 21,598 ft of climbing. The same height as the Sickle Moon Mountain in Kashmir. And he burned 18,577 calories, the equivalent of 72 big macs.

The Completed Project

Designed in 1953 by Unn Søiland Dale for Sandnes Garn, the Marius jumper is the most knitted pattern in Norway and is an icon of Norwegian design. Rob has spent quite a lot of time in Norway so this jumper has been in the back of my mind to make for him for a while. I’ve never knitted him anything more complicated that a hat before, mostly because he’s 6’6 and has really long arms so the thought of having to knit him 2 sleeves was enough to make me keep putting it off. However, a big thank you was called for, for taking on this mammoth cycling commitment. A big thank you = a big jumper.

I had downloaded a classic Marius Jumper pattern by Sandnes Garn quite a long time ago without doing any real research. By classic I mean with a traditional neckline, a slash neck not rounded or cut into the colourwork.

I ended up just using the pattern as a guide. I changed the yarn weight so all the calculations had to all change and the pattern was so basic, and in my eyes some of it plain wrong, I didn’t follow it for anything other than the colourwork chart. So I’m afraid this won’t be a very helpful completed project post for anyone wanting to knit this jumper and I can’t recommend this particular pattern but there are lots of versions out there in lots of different weights. Sandnes Garn seem to bring out a new collection every year or two however, be warned, their new versions seem to all be round neck or even yoked. Not traditional but probably more comfortable to wear, but we’ll get to that later. 

I chose to use Gilliatt. As soon as De Rerum Natura brought out their new colour Tempete last year I knew it was the perfect colour for this jumper, along with Pavot and Sel. Being a worsted weight it knit up pretty quickly and it’s a great choice for colourwork as its woollen spun meaning its sticky and blooms beautifully when washed.
After working out my gauge the basic calculations were quite easy. I knew I’d have to add a couple of inches to the body but the tricky bit came when working out the sleeve openings. This was my first ever steeking project! The traditional Norwegian patterns don’t actually use steeks meaning they don’t create extra cutting stitches, they just cut straight into the pattern. The outcome is no different but it can be harder to work out where you are supposed to cut so for my first time I decided to add steeking stitches.
I ended up downloading another pattern, Ebba by Diana Walla to help me work all this out. Ebba is a lovely steeked marius style jumper with really thorough instructions. I used this to work out how many stitches to add and where and then I used her fabulous steeking tutorials on how to reinforce and cut the steek and also how to pick up the stitches for the sleeves. I would highly recommend these tutorials for anyone wanting to try their first steek.
Other changes I made to the original pattern’s construction was to knit the sleeves top down and I also added some short rows to the back neck after the colourwork. Knitting the sleeves top down was essential as I wanted to be able to fit the sleeves as I went and the short rows I added to give Rob a bit more room around the front of the neck. Slash necks with no shaping are renowned for not being very comfortable. Because they have no extra fabric on the back – where most people have more volume – they tend to pull backwards making it feel like the neckband is choking you. That combined with the fact that Rob has a classic tall person hunch (he’ll love that I’ve written that on the internet!) I knew he would need the extra fabric or I’d risk him never wanting to wear it. Its not perfect but it has definitely helped.
All in all this was a challenging but satisfying knit and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Most importantly it fits! It’s long enough but not too long and I hope it will get lots of use when the weather turns cooler. He looks happy!
Until next time… Happy knitting 

Kate