I should start by clarifying that this is my first completed jumper: two works-in-progress still loiter in my craft cupboard waiting for a sporadic burst of enthusiasm. But let’s look on the bright side – at least I’m one down! Beyond the milestone that this sweater represents, it is particularly special to me as it was my last Christmas present from my grandmother before she died earlier this year. She was a prolific knitter of everything from children’s cardigans to stuffed toys and she certainly passed on her passion to me.
Now, as I mentioned, this was not my first attempt at a jumper and my previous experiences with fine needles and complex patterns told me that if I were ever to complete something in a sensible space of time, it would need to be as simple as possible, whilst still having some style about it. I chose the Superbowl Sweater by Wool and the Gang for it’s Easy Knitting tag and the fact that it still looked nice a cosy
Always one to deviate from the prescribed order, I had just completed the back (or front) panel and decided this jumper needed something of interest. Taking inspiration from the name (that’s an American sport thing, right?) I decided to add a “Letterman” style E to distinguish the front from the back. By treating each stitch like a pixel, I simply drew the letter on squared paper then translated them into the corresponding black, white or red stitches. I think that I should have been a little looser with my yarn at the back, because the E is definitely a bit on the tight side. My cast off is also quite rigid, which made the shoulders and sleeveheads a bit tricky to fit comfortably. I actually ended up using a kitchen roll to block the armhole and make sure I didn’t sew it too tight!
I’m slightly in two minds about WATG, not for the quality of their products, but their photos are incredibly well shot to make even the blandest or boxiest of garments look shaped. Somehow I knew that if a jumper was described as Easy, there was no way it could really have much in the way of complicated shaping. The Superbowl Sweater is, for want of a better term, a box. A pretty, super-soft box, but it is box, with dropped sleeves. This is not a criticism of the jumper, but certainly a gentle dig at the way the models pose in the pictures, and the fact that they are almost certainly wearing a jumper two sizes up. According to my measurements and those of the garment, the jumper is in fact comparatively cropped in the body. I chose not to go for the double-length rib at the cuff and am quite glad in hindsight because I think they would have ended up looking out of proportion.
Over all I am very pleased with my efforts, but not sure if would make that exact jumper again. Aside from it needing to be a fraction longer, I think I prefer more of a set-in sleeve, but the principal of the bateau neck is really nice. I also love how soft the Sugar Baby Alpaca yarn is – just need to put it to the wash test.