A while ago my brother asked me to knit him a jumper. I fancied him in a textured gansay or something stranded and Scandi-looking. Alas he had something very different in mind, so instead we settled on a simple stockinette jumper. This might have been for the best as the pattern he chose ended up being very enjoyable to knit.
Drake by Todd Gocken is quite unusual as it combines seamless construction with mock set-in sleeves. While knitting in the round sleeves and body are decreased at different rates mimicking the curve of set-in sleeves. Then back and front are worked separately until all the stitches from the sleeves have been decreased leaving only a few stitches for the back and each side of the front. These are joined together with a 3-needle bind-off. This is a very clever way of designing a jumper as it really looks like the sleeves have been seamed to the body and yet most of it is knitted in the round!
Olivier is a fairly conscious consumer so when I told him the story behind De Rerum Natura he was sold in an instant. He chose the colour Nuit in Gilliatt; the only concession he made to my dutch fisherman dream! As he lives in Paris I had to make all the adjustments remotely using his body measurements and those of his favourite jumpers. This is also why I am modelling the jumper today.
As always my gauge was off – 18.5 stitches on 4.5mm needles – but the swatch felt so nice I wasn’t willing to go down a needle size to adjust it. As my initial intention was to knit the smallest size I had to grade down the pattern to make sure the jumper would still measure 38 inches around the bust. I have lengthened the body and sleeves to accommodate for his tall frame and gave it a slight tapered shape so it wouldn’t get baggy around the hips. (Note here the cuffs have been rolled back for the photos.) Fitting a jumper for someone else is never easy but when you’re not able to see them even once during the whole process it adds a whole other layer of difficulty! I am mostly concerned about the fit around the shoulders but hopefully the set-in sleeve construction will help with getting it right…
The only modification Olivier asked for was to add a mock turtleneck. I wasn’t sure one layer of fabric would give it quite the right finish so instead I doubled up the length of the neckband, rolled it on the inside and sewed it with a whip stitch. This gave it much more structure and a lovely rolled finish. In the end I used just over 4 balls of Gilliatt – exactly what the pattern recommended for the smallest size. I nearly played yarn chicken by only buying 4 balls but I am very glad I didn’t as we haven’t been able to restock that colours in a while. Now I just have to keep all my fingers crossed and hope the jumper will fit!
Until Next Time… Happy Knitting!