For me, knitting projects always start with an itch. It’s all very well to have a logical plan for the things I intend to knit, but until I feel that itch, my plans are only phantoms.
A couple of weeks ago I began to feel the itch to add a new version of Nancy Vale’s Slope Rib Cardigan (also known as Angle Poise) to my wardrobe. This would be the ideal project for my sea-blue Merino Wool cones, or so my thinking went. Not only that, but I could adapt the pattern to my current preferences by making it a jumper rather than a cardigan. This, I knew, would be the next cast-on when I finished my socks, and my first garment of 2021.
As you can see, I have cast on for this very project and I’ve made some good progress considering it’s just one evening’s knitting. I chose to start with the sleeves this time. I sometimes like to do that because it can act as a big gauge swatch, although to be honest, this time I just fancied a change from the standard back-front-sleeve-sleeve order of construction.
You may be slightly puzzled as you read this, because there is no way that photograph shows sea-blue wool. Your eyes do not deceive you, for I am re-using the Heather British Wool by Woolyknit which was previously my attempt at the Lace Panel Jumper. You remember that ill-fated project last year? Well, as I was reaching for the sea-blue cones I stumbled across the bag of Heather wool and I knew that the Slope Rib Jumper would look lovely using that. I’m so pleased with my choice and I think this jumper is going to suit the wool so much better than the Lace Panel Sweater did.
This is the pattern I’m following and it’s not my first rodeo as far as this one goes. I’ve shown previous versions of this before on my blog. There are only two sizes given for the garment: small-medium and medium-large. Published in the 1970s, this definitely pre-dates inclusivity, but I fall into the size range of one or other of these categories – it remains to be seen which one. It seems crazy, but the sleeves are worked the same for both sizes, so it’s going to give me a good idea of whether, using this particular yarn and needle size, I’m going to need to do the larger or smaller size for the body. I think this time I want to go for the slouchy fit as shown in the photo rather than a more structured fit, so I’m expecting I will need to knit the larger size.
It does look from my photo as if my pattern has faded and turned sepia with age, but that’s not entirely true. Although there’s a bit of a yellow tinge to the photo, the garment is illustrated in an army-green shade against a background which reminds me of a desert. I have not been inspired to use this colour in any of the versions I have knitted, but even army-green cannot dull my desire to keep on wearing this particular design.
It feels good to have a garment back on the needles after what, for me, has been a long break in my knitting. The two pairs of socks I’ve knitted since I abandoned the Lace Panel Sweater and turned to my needlepoint project have been nothing more than aperitifs, enjoyable but no replacement for a proper meal. I’m ready for garments.
Back in the middle of November, I was rather dismayed by my lack of enthusiasm and direction so far as garment-knitting went, not sure which wool I wanted to use, which patterns were calling to me. Two and a half months later, I find myself brimming over with ideas and enthusiasm which is a much more normal state of affairs. In fact, I’m just going to leave you with the following cliff-hanger: the Heather Slope Rib Sweater is not the only garment I’ve got on my needles!