The Skua Rhombille Jumper – Combining Yarns and Altering Sizing
At Yarnporium back in November, I told so many people how I loved the combination of my Mendip 4-Ply yarn in Fox (Stormy) with Caia Baby Alpaca in Persephone. I talked a lot about how I'd love to knit a jumper with the two yarns, but at the time didn't think I'd do it.
Then when I was checking over inventory to update the online shop, I just... held a couple of skeins aside. Then wound them up in a ball together. And remembered how there was a jumper pattern from an older issue of Pom Pom that I was tempted by – the Rhombille sweater by Gina Rockenwagner.
And then, somehow, I had knit a swatch, realised my gauge didn't match that of the pattern (too many stitches per centimetre), done some quick maths to compensate, and started knitting a size 4 where I'd usually knit a size 1.
When working from other people's patterns, I rarely knit to gauge. However, I make sure that I first work through the numbers to compensate. Sometimes (if I use a finer yarn than specified), I knit a larger size, as I did here. But I often use a bulkier yarn than the pattern calls for, and as I tend to fit into smaller sizes, I occasionally have to write my own size. This is what I did with my Soiree pullover, and more recently, with a pair of convertible mittens I made for my husband.
As I'm a tech editor and do these kinds of calculations all the time, it's no problem for me, but I realise it can be daunting. Maybe I'll write up how I do this for a future blog post, but in the meantime Clare of Sister Mountain has written an excellent post about resizing patterns.
The jumper was an absolute joy to work on. The stitch pattern is fairly intuitive and interesting to work, progress was quite quick and the yarns complemented each other perfectly (if I say so myself). The combination of the rustic Mendip yarn and the variegated soft Caia creates a wonderfully tweedy fabric with subtle shifts in colour.
I ended up finishing the jumper in six weeks. If I hadn't also been knitting a commissioned project that took priority, I probably would have finished much faster, as this one was relegated to weekends until the commission was complete.
I have long arms and forgot to account for this when working the sleeves, which are worked wrist-to-wrist at the same time as the body. For a standard sleeve I usually just add more rows to the sleeve, but the pattern didn't allow for that and would have required adding more stitches to the width. Instead, I picked up stitches at the wrists to add cuffs. I think they turned out really nicely and integrate well.
I completely love the depth of colour and texture in this jumper, and I'm wearing it pretty much all the time now! The fit turned out perfectly and it works so well with the rest of my wardrobe.
My Ravelry project page is here: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/MarinaSkua/rhombille