Debbie Bliss two colour raglan jumper with amended neckline

Indigo jumper with Fair Isle band. (from Debbie Bliss’s two colour raglan jumper with amended higher neck)

I love this jumper pattern and have made it many times but I’ve always felt the neck was a bit too big and got even bigger with wear. I only really started knitting 2-3 years ago (making up this very pattern for a toddler) and as I’ve become a bit more skilled and confident I thought I’d have a go at making the jumper with a higher neckline.

Fair Isle band on indigo jumper

To put it simply:

continue the sleeves for another 4 rows (2 knitting rows with decreases at either end, each followed by a pearl row);

For the front: leave 6 fewer stitches (3 each side) on the needle holder  (adding the 3 each side to the decreasing which forms the curve of the neck).

For the back, add one more row after the pattern ends, followed by a pearl row. Then decrease one stitch each side on the next two knit rows (each followed by a pearl).

There will now be fewer stitches and the neck will be that bit tighter. The next jumper I do I will note down stitch numbers more accurately but I was so carried away with excitement as it was looking good that I raced ahead.

Simple Fair Isle band on jumper sleeve

To finish off I used Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off which gives a lovely looking edge yet has the stretch to easily accommodate small people’s surprisngly large heads. I’m not giving a YouTube link here because there are several videos and none are without irritation.

I’m waiting for better pictures of the small person wearing the jumper as the ones I took were not very good.

Bad photo of small person in raglan jumper with new higher neck


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The letter J – an embroidered flourish

An enjoyably quiet week has been pleasantly productive. Sometimes when I have several projects on the go I’m reduced to vacillating indecision, moving pickily from one thing to another, and achieving little. This week, overcome by a sudden desire to do a little embroidery around the letter ‘j’ and with the time to indulge in such a whim, things have sped on.  Happily, ‘j’ is the initial of my grandson’s nursery teacher, so this can also be his Christmas present to her as well. What’s nicer than killing two birds with one stone – no, that’s not at all right, I have no desire to kill any birds or to throw stones at any living thing – but you know what I mean.

Whitework J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Whitework is too much for my eyes in the evening (and those white lights keep me awake even further into the night than is helpful – and probably healthful) so after our evening meal the knitting comes out. I’ve had a jumper for the 4 (nearly) year-old on the go for a while now and was waiting until I got to the neck to try to work out a higher neck than that which results from the standard Debbie Bliss pattern I’ve been using for ever (well, at least 3 years). I thought I’d cracked it but then realised the casting off may be a bit too tight for his head. I’m now finishing off with a very loose casting off  (remembering it’s called ‘bind off” helps when searching for a YouTube video!).  The proof of the pudding will be in the trying on and that will have to wait until the middle of next week, when I make a lightening visit to London just for the day. It’ll be back to the graph paper and a certain amount of unpicking if that fails as I’m determined to make the neck fit better. Finishing two projects on a Friday is very satisfying!

Whitework ‘J’: detail
(hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

I’ll post a photo of the framed ‘j’ tomorrow, as we’ve just had a dramatic flurry of what looked like snow but which turned into hail and I don’t want to make a dash for the garage where the frames are stored until it’s a bit warmer and less wet. The sky is a glorious mixture of blue across which dark puffy clouds lugubriously roll and from the edges of  which intermittent shaft of sunlight spill in full Tiepolo style – see  the first photograph above.

The letter was inspired by a calligraphic ‘J’ I saw somewhere and though lower case  I thought it offered such potential for embroidery, I couldn’t resist it. Once again I chose Anchor No 2 thread which has an ivory tinge. The flowers were appliquéd in ivory silk and then embroidered over, so you just get the hint of creaminess coming from the centre of the flowers.


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