Project – Labyrinth Jumper

Pattern: Labyrinth
Designer: Wendy Bernard

Yarn: Rowan RYC Extra Fine Merino DK (discontinued)
Shades: Forest (895) Bark (894)

Ravelry: Labyrinth

LabyrinthLabyrinth

Photos by Andrew Woodhouse Photography

This project and I have a long and patchy history together. I started it way back in May 2011 and finished it in a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately the flat I was sharing with a friend at the time didn’t have enough space for me to easily block garments so it got stashed away for months waiting to be blocked. I finally blocked it in June 2012 and although the body came out fitting perfectly, the sleeves came out totally uneven and one of them was way too baggy. A few months later I finally ripped the first sleeve back to before the bell increases and started reworking it. It took me five months to finish redoing both sleeves, and some more time again to block them afresh. I finally got it all finished in spring this year, but it’s been too warm to wear it ever since! This weekend I finally got some nice photos of the finally finished product, so I thought it was about time I got it up on the blog!

Good

  • The pattern for this project is amazing, well worth the $7 price tag in my opinion. The instructions are detailed, clear and keep you totally in the know about how it’s all going to work together. There are options for both long and short sleeves included, short row shaping for the larger bust sizes, and helpful tips about when to try on as you go so that you can ensure it will fit. I really can’t recommend it enough.
  • I made a few adjustments in my version: I made the neckline slightly higher than the standard in the pattern and also made the body shorter (the pattern is very long down the hips which I didn’t want). I’m normally very nervous about making adjustments, but it was really easy due to how helpfully the pattern is written.
  • The colour is gorgeous, such a lovely shade of green!
  • The fit is fantastic and I’m just so pleased with the final product. I can’t wait for it to be cold enough to wear it!

Bad

  • I bought two 10-ball bags of this yarn on clearance when it was discontinued, one bag each of the green and brown. I first used most of the brown and a little of the green to make a cardigan, but when I blocked it the cardigan grew enormously so it looked like I was wearing some sort of comedy clown cardigan! I couldn’t bear to rework the entire thing, so I tried shrinking it in the washing machine. After several washes with no obvious change, the final wash felted and ripped it, so it had to go in the bin. Knowing this jumper was made with the same yarn, I was terrified of blocking it. Luckily this project is made in such a way that you knit it quite small and block it up quite heavily, in order to get the nice fit, so the body wasn’t a problem. As mentioned above, the sleeves did suffer from the same issue I’d had with the cardigan, but luckily I was able to rectify the situation, but not without some tears and swearing! I would warn anyone off this yarn, or to be very careful when blocking it, but as it’s been discontinued for some time, I doubt anyone is likely to be using it in future!
  • Having been burned with this yarn before, I think I stalled and dallied a lot in this project (even on top of the setbacks) because I was so subconsciously worried about what would happen when I tried to block it. It’s a real shame that it took me nearly two years to have it ready to wear!

Conclusions

  • I really ought to block my gauge swatches. Despite the disaster with the cardigan in the same yarn, I still never do so. At least now I know just how badly it can go wrong if I don’t. And I’ll have no-one to blame but myself!
  • Top-down raglan patterns are the best (how many times have I said this now?)
  • Well-written, clear, supportive patterns are the bestest.

Many thanks to Andy for the fabulous photography.

3 Comments

  • Anne

    19 August 2013 at 12:53 Reply

    Looks great…..you are a very determined knitter. After the cardigan, I probably would have pitched the whole lot!
    …but, Indo wash and block my swatches :).

    • Anne

      19 August 2013 at 12:54 Reply

      Yes I DO……

      • Sarah

        19 August 2013 at 13:06 Reply

        Thank you, Anne! 🙂 I knew this jumper would look wonderful if it came out right, so I really was very determined to come out with something I could/would actually wear. Roll on, autumn!

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