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I had this fisherman’s rib pattern on my to-do list for about 12 months and I should’ve gotten my act together and made it sooner.


Does anyone else remember where they were or what was happening in their life when they made a project? My brain collects those associations, and for every piece in my collection I can tell you a story and revisit the past like a time traveller. I was working on this jumper when we visited Port Macquarie back in March. Unbeknownst to us when we packed the car and set off, we were about to head into flooding like I’ve never seen before. And I never wish to see again.


The association that remains with this jumper, is how much I love my kids and my husband. And deep-seeded gratitude that we are all here together.


In my planning stage, I took extra time and care in the swatching process. I was determined to maintain cropped features, and I could see if I didn’t get it right, the delightfully soft, squishy, stretchy fisherman’s rib fabric would warp into a very different jumper. I went through a few changes of needle size before settling on a 4mm. I like to wet block everything I make, versus steaming, so it took about a week, amongst other activities of daily life, waiting for swatches to dry, measuring, then going in again with another couple of needle sizes and waiting for them to dry. Vitally worth it though.


My body measurements rested between the small and medium size, and I opted for the smaller of the two. Going with this option sees the body shape nicely into the back. There’s still plenty of room to move though, and the neckline remains stretchy. I used a JSS bind-off around the neck. It’s good to know you can go down a size for a different fit without being restricted in the places that matter.


I was contemplating knitting the body and sleeves in the round, but then went with the instructions as laid out in the pattern, seaming the front and back body pieces and the sleeves. The circulars I felt would keep the momentum going and maybe I would complete the pieces a little sooner. But then some sense prevailed and I questioned why I’d want to work more quickly? I like my mindful time.


I knit this jumper in my 8 ply 100% Australian Merino (180m/100g), making it lighter weight, but still within the ballpark.


The warmth this jumper generates is impressive. If this is on your to-do list, don’t hesitate to get started now.


The ‘Muna’ pattern can be found at:-


https://www.karihelenerane.com/#/muna/


xx



The moment I saw an image of this pattern I let out an audible, “wow”. My greedy little brain went into overdrive trying to understand the construction and I yearned to see the final fabric with my own eyes. The original images I’d seen were beautiful to look at. The final product in my hands is no less beautiful. And that is owed entirely to the brilliance of Nancy Marchant. I followed the instructions, listened to plenty of Thom Yorke and BRMC and voila! Whorl for me.


The pattern gives instructions how to set up two different versions of the shawl. The principal instructions detail how to make a shawl where the main garter colour matches the raised coil stitches, and a contrast colour forms the background band of colour behind the coil stitches. A second version is shown a few pages later where the main garter colour is the complete background colour of the shawl and a contrast colour is used for the coiled stitches.


I began making the first version of the shawl using Marine Splendour as the main garter and coil colour, but changed my mind after working a repeat of the patterned section. I was using Deep Gold as the background band of colour, and realised I’d prefer it instead as the coil colour. I pulled back to the garter two colour striping and realised I’d need to take this out too to stay true to the pattern. I contemplated it, but then decided I was ok with it not being exact. I was watching ‘The Farewell’ at the time and wanted to give Awkwafina’s character a hug. I think the timing helped make it an easy decision. If you can catch up the stitch count somewhere, then good enough can be enough.


As suggested, I used a locking stitch marker as a cable needle and JR’s advice to move the centre stitch marker two places across on row 3. That worked well and was helpful.


I made an extra repeat of the final garter stitch section so the lower band of garter would be a little deeper. Other than that and the change to the two colour striping the rest is as instructed.


I dyed up 200g each of Marine Splendour and Deep Gold in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino. I thought I was going to need more, but my gauge meant I ended up having some leftover.


Make this shawl in whatever fibre makes you happy. It really is something special. I will love it forever.


The Whorl Shawl pattern can be found at:-


https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whorl-shawl-2


xx



This pattern is available for free online under an agreement between Paintbox Yarns and Katie Jones. Please go and have a look at the Paintbox Yarns site first if you’re considering making it. Also, check out Katie’s other designs on her website.


I liked the original pattern and knew immediately I wanted to make it in Merino. The intention for me was more about having something warm to snuggle in through winter, rather than an ultra-cool acrylic fashion piece.


The changes I made were based on my objectives of comfort and warmth. While my final jacket looks significantly different from the artist’s original work, the bones are the same. And I love these bones.


When winter arrives, there’s every chance I’m going to be gorging on kimchi noodles and pork belly daily if last year is anything to go by. Yun Mart in Fairy Meadow, I love you too. As such, I figured a longer jacket would facilitate the lifestyle choices that make me happiest.


To create the extra length, I considered how the pattern is constructed. I could’ve added rows to the bottom edge of the jacket once it was finished, but I wanted to keep the triangular geometry going along the edges. I find that aspect of the pattern interesting.


In short, there are two hexagonal fabric panels (one for the right side of the body and one for the left) and these are individually folded in half to make a ‘7’ and a forward-facing 7. Can you visualise how the top edges of the 7 and forward 7 make the sleeves? The slanted vertical edges are the length of the jacket. Without going into too much detail, any alteration can be made by understanding which edges of the hexagon create depth and length.


Three edges of the hexagon when folded into the ‘7’ become the sleeve. One edge is the sleeve opening folded in half near your wrist, and two edges are seamed at the top to create the length of the sleeve. The other three edges of the hexagon form the depth of the jacket as it wraps around you, and the front and back length.


Each side of the hexagon represents:-


Sleeve upper edge (1), wrist hole (2), sleeve upper edge (3), length (4), body depth (5), length (6).


When casting on the foundation chain, instead of 10 chains, I made 20. This allowed enough space for me to increase the stitch count at sides 4 and 6.


At round 1 per the pattern, the instruction is to crochet 6 clusters of 3 trebles (US dc’s), and these set up the 6 sides of the hexagon. I crocheted 3 trebles for all clusters except sides 4 and 6. I made 12 trebles at those clusters to get the right proportion of length I was after.


From this point forward it was easy to follow the rest of the pattern, and I had two completed 7’s within a week.


When it was time to seam along the centre back I was concerned there was going to be too much room in the back and it would pitch out the front and back at angles. I made only one infill row for each of the left and right centre back edges. When I seamed the centre back together, I started a few stitches lower than the shoulder so the shoulder seams wouldn’t get pulled into the back.


I crocheted the cuffs and left them on for a few days while I thought about whether to keep them. I live almost exclusively in black, white, grey and blue. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I could use some colour. So I thought about it. And then I wussed out and took them off.


I didn’t attempt the blooms on the same basis as above. Although, they are pretty cool.


I used my 8 ply 100% Australian Merino which forms a soft and stretchy fabric.


The finished jacket is all the comfort I was hoping for. I like that the stitches remind me of colourful teeth. Cosy with a bit of an edge.


The 'Blooming Bomber Jacket' pattern can be found at:-


https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-us/p/blooming-bomber-jacket-free-crochet-pattern-for-women-in-paintbox-yarns-simply-aran


xx