I've been working on the big green jumper of awesome for a while now, in between writing masters projects, attending trials and finding work; the first year of life of this jumper has been quite a year. One of my big problems when it comes to craft is that I have a tendency to get bored part way through a project and get absorbed into another - i'm working on this, it would be nice to get more stuff finished instead of having bags of half finished projects around.
Still, the jumper's finished now, and I love it - just in time for the first really warm day of the year, naturally - but because of the sweetheart neck it's perfect for those chilly evenings that take you by surprise after the first throes of summer. I got the pattern from a tiny knitting shop in Stafford (Knits and Needles) way back when I was still a placement student (which is a slightly horrificly long time ago now) and therefore the last time I was paid for work before this part-time thing at a soap shop I'm working on. It was in Twilleys Freedom Yarn too, which I've always wanted to work with and not had an excuse to - it knits up beautifully, as it turns out, and the varigation looks lovely. I remember thinking, 'I'll put this away for when I'm poor and don't have a project going', and it worked :) last christmas I found it in a blanket chest at home and was delighted at my own ingenuity (I had completely forgotten about it). I dug out my bits and pieces, as shown below, and got to it.
Now the early part of last year was complete hell, which I won't go into here, but having a juicy jumper project at my fingertips was a big help, and I managed to get the back done fairly quickly, but when it came to the front I managed to thoroughly confuse myself. It was no fault of the pattern, which I've since realised makes perfect sense, but my own ability to tangle my brain up into knots. I got to the point where I had to put it away for a while. A long while, as it turned out, partly because of the massive amount of work I was doing for the masters, and partly because we moved house and it went to live in the blanket chest again. I rediscovered it in early March and figured out that I was being dim about the front (which turned out to be so much easier than I thought *facepalm*). I've been working on it on and off (in between trying to write novels and fanfiction) in the evenings and this weekend I finally got it done - though I'm still not entirely sure I got the neckline right, but I like the way it turned out, even if I'm wrong. That's part of the joy of crafting :D
I'm dead impressed with myself, particularly as my only other jumper was a bit pants. There was a bit of a saga with the blocking and making up, partly because I've never blocked before (actually, I still haven't, taking my mother's advice of "who has the space / time?". Seems ok *shrugs*.) and partly because all the sewing up guides I found had very useful diagrams for sewing together everything except two diagonals. I eventually raided my ancient and much loved copy of The Marshall Cavendish Complete Guide to Needlecraft, which I rescued out of a skip at the back of the old textiles department in second year (I mean, really! Throwing out a book!), where I was advised to back stitch any seams that weren't overtly listed. I should really have looked there first, seeing as it's my craft bible, but it currently lives with the rest of my craft library under my printer and is therefore a bit of maul to get at.
Anyway, after a year of not really getting much done (you know, except the masters and moving house and finding a job) it was a wonderful feeling to finally finish something off - and have it turn out so nicely. Which it did, don't you think?