Big Sack Sweater — March 2005

This is my first ever knitting project (excluding a handful of squares of varying sizes and actual squareness). It’s taken from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch’n’Bitch — the book which can wholly take credit for me learning to knit again. (I have vivid memories of knitting dodgy garter stitch rectangles in bright orange wool as a ten year old, but the mechanics of purling escaped me then.)

The roll-neck went a little cacky, the finishing is far from perfect, and it’s not actually especially flattering, but it is warm and cosy and has a funky and satisfying cable down the middle, and as it is My First Project I shall love it forever. This is currently the only photograph I have of it, hence the wisps of hair and bit of my chin you can see at the top.

Tip learnt from this project: ignore what lovely Debbie says in S’n’B, and don’t block pure and thick wool jumpers once they are made up and otherwise finished. Because, if you go for the soak-in-water-then-roll-up-in-a-towel approach, they take TWO DAYS TO DRY. Even when you rotate them between the sunny patch under the window, the airing cupboard, and the hot place on top of the boiler. Two days, I tell you. I nearly chewed my own hand off with frustration.

Details: Big Sack Sweater from Stitch’n Bitch, knitted in Rowanspun Chunky on 5mm and 6mm straight needles, size Medium.

I added an extra inch or two to the bottom (one extra twist to the cable, which is an extra ten rows) because the design is pretty short. If I did it again I’d probably add even more to the bottom, but despite being not quite as long as I’d choose (despite yanking it around while blocking) it’s still a comfy, and comforting, jumper to wear.


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