Winter always sneaks up on me with the cold; and every year I plan on making myself a jumper, but by the time I settle on a pattern, it's Spring.
This year, the stars aligned. The season's cold started so much earlier, and hit so much harder. And the perfect introductory pattern popped up. The Ziggy Jumper, by Stitches by Trudy.
(7 minute read)
|Candid selfies are possible with The Ziggy Jumper (and a Bluetooth clicker)
The final detail I needed to start: the yarn.
I've been working through my stash for the last year or so, but with only cottons and limited hand dyed yarns left I needed some thing new for this. A cheeky sale popped up from Spotlight so I went to check out their options. I had looked at their online catalogue, but it's not the same as looking in person.
The moment I saw the Value Ball Rainbow 3 Pack I knew it would be perfect for this jumper. The colour changes were long enough to be nice sturdy stripes, and the colours beautiful. Though I didn't realise it was almost a full rainbow until I had the ribbing complete (if only it had green!).
|Value Ball Rainbow Yarn - Definitely less impressive in packaging
Before going to the shops I had checked the pattern and estimated I would need 1200m of yarn to make the jumper, if I made a Large. So I got two bags, as they were 750m each bag.
The moment I got home, I was pulling the yarn out and getting to work with the pattern. It starts off (as any garment project should) with a gauge swatch. These can be a little confusing without practice, but you essentially follow a sample of the pattern and confirm the finished length and height. This is to accommodate variances by the yarn (not all 8 ply are made equal) and tension (for example I tend to crochet very tight).
The yarn was marked as 8 ply on the Spotlight website, but when I did the gauge swatch, I had to drop down 2 hooks to match.
|Gauge swatches are important kids
I meant to then leave it until over the weekend, but then decided to get a start on the ribbing. I find this part tedious normally, but the fun of colour change yarn is like in a game where you're chasing one more level. When combined with each row being "one more quest", it's a dangerous combination.
The plan was to make a Large, based on my measurements. Once I made the first row of the ribbing I tested the length around my torso at my natural waist and decided to make the Medium instead. This is meant to be a loose-fit crop jumper, but I wanted a snug fit for wearing with my circle skirts. I also knew that with the slightly thicker yarn, this would have a good amount of stretch after a good amount of wearing.
I wish the lighting in my loungeroom wasn't so yellow for when I take progress photos, but very quickly I was falling in love with the colours, and accepted that my life was now this jumper until it was finished.
|Nicely contrasting dressing gown background
I know some people feel weird about the colour change yarn leaving rows incomplete and choppy; but I think it adds to the chaos of this jumper. If I wanted nice consistent colour changes, I would have bought the separate colours, but I have no patience for sewing in the ends with this many colours!
Besides once the project is complete, the choppy look is just part of the pattern and doesn't look like mistakes.
Next was the v-stitch section. The pattern was great at giving me tips on when to add or remove rows, and when to match the pattern exactly. I had to add a few rows as my torso is so long, the rest was perfect fit.
I worked on it that night, and the next afternoon I had the bodice finished. It was so exciting to try on the vest with the collar finished. By luck, the colour changes lined up on back and front fairly evenly, even when I had to start a new ball.
|See my vest, see my vest!
This was roughly sixteen hours into the project; I did pause and consider leaving it as a vest at this point. I chose to continue with the sleeves, but totally planning for a vest soon!
While working on this I watched various shows on Binge. On projects like this, which have sections of focus, then zone out for a few hours, then focus, having a TV series running in the background is the best way for me to keep a sense of time.
I watched both seasons of Gentleman Jack, which was absolutely incredible and fun, then the first season of The Nevers, a curious and interesting alternate universe show, and started A Discovery of Witches, so indulgent and hits the young adult series itch.
On the third day I made the sleeves, knowing I was so close to finished made them feel so very slow. I think that's normal with projects, you see the finish line and suddenly every row feels twice as long.
To be fair, I think my hands were also starting to be a bit over it. Two full days of crochet will do that.
Attaching was quick and easy, using suggestion of stitch markers to hold it in place and sew around.
I did basic sewing job to join them together, there are a lot of options but I didn't want to try something new with this project.
|Two day jumper!
I posted more photos, notes and details on making this if you're going to give it a try too (please do!), check it out here on my Ravelry Project.
In the end I used 4.5 balls of yarn, roughly 1200m of yarn, size medium, with a 3.5mm hook for ribbing and 4mm hook for v-stitch. The pattern sizing is aimed to be a loose-fit, I sized down to make it close fit and also adjust for the thicker yarn so I wasn't straining hands as much.
|Morning sun is best sun
Bit of a disclaimer that Trudy, the designer, is my best friend; we've known each other for two decades. I got her into crochet several years ago and love that she now writes patterns.
However, her patterns are always top-notch and I hope you won't make it weird that I'm sharing her pattern. I wouldn't share them if I didn't love them.
|Out to lunch