Knitting with Noro

Snowing in London this morning! A fairly rare event, despite what Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis films would have you believe.

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A while ago the knitting and sewing shop in the village where I lived closed down its main shop, focusing on online sales and leaving a small shop tucked off the main street and not open on Saturdays, so I can hardly ever go in. When it was selling off its stock I bought some Noro Kureyon yarn in a gorgeous shade of exotic pinks, reds, and less exotic navy, with a little turquoise and oddly the odd speck of white mixed in.

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I found a pattern online for an entrelac jumper, which I’ve never done before but really fancied, particularly as I remember Mum having one when I was younger which I loved. This December I decided to start work on it, but the more I looked at the photo of the finished item on the front of the pattern, the more I thought it looked square and blocky and wouldn’t suit me. I’m basing that on a jumper I knit before in Noro Kureyon of a similar shape and it just doesn’t hang right on me, partly because it’s quite a thick yarn and felts a bit after washing, so doesn’t drape well. Also, the sizings were enormous, with a 40 inch chest being the size for an 8-9 year old! Even liking a loose fit as I do, I’d be swamped in it unless knitting a child’s size, which I thought would get confusing to adjust for sleeve lengths and maybe arm openings. However, the pattern’s here and free to download:  Entrelac pattern (https://www.loveknitting.com/entrelac-jumper-in-noro-kureyon).

After you’ve no idea how much searching online, I eventually found an alternative pattern I liked. Part of the difficulty, I should explain, is that in one of life’s nasty ironies I’ve developed a reaction to wool so that the back of my neck gets an itchy rash, even if I’m wearing a wool coat, so I can’t wear rollneck jumpers any more, which cuts out a high proportion of the patterns available. This one is designed by Claudia Wersing, in Germany, but there is the option of having instructions in English and one can download it as a pdf, which is great.

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Before I decided not to make the entrelac one I’d already knitted a tension square, which was 24 stitches x 18 rows to a 10 square, on 5 mm needles as per pattern, which was a bit big so moved it down to 4.5 mm needles which was perfect. Which is why I was surprised to find the tension square on this pattern 15 stitches to 25 rows to a 10 inch square, on 5 mm needles. It was about the right height but way too narrow, even after going up to 6 mm needles. Any bigger needles and I thought it would start to look like chain mail! I’ve ended up using 6 mm needles and knitting to the biggest size, which according to the instructions should finish at 47 1/4 inch bust but in fact is nearer 38 inch. This took a lot of trial and error, knitting past the rib to the first bit of pattern then measuring it to see what it came to and then pulling it out to try again. And what I’ve just realised typing this is…. could the pattern simply have got the stitches / rows the wrong way round? Should it have said 25 stitches to 15 rows? Not sure I want to think about the time I could have saved myself if I’d worked that out!

Anyway, I’ve finished the back and as of last night the front. This is the front yesterday afternoon, before I’d finished it but taken when it was still daylight to get the colours more accurate:

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The second one with the flash shows up the pattern better but gives a worse idea of colour:

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On the flat-moving front, packing is NOT fun… yesterday I had the depressing task of taking my stash / bags of shame

and squeezing them into two of those extra large vacuum-pack bags to get them into a holdall and the plastic box ready for the move. We’ve got boxes stacked to the ceiling and are trying not to fall over them and each other, but I don’t want to pack away my patchwork fabric and cutting mat until I’ve got another block or preferably two designed and the pieces cut, to keep me going until we’re in the new place in the middle of next month. Though mind you, in the midst of this I have a job interview two days after we move in, so have a lot of preparation to do for that! My head’s spinning….

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