Little boy's Balloon jumper
Added Sep 18, 2012
London, United K...
This is a jumper out of Sylvia Cosh’s book of crochet jumpers from the 1980s. All her patterns tend to require large quantities of wool in multiple different colours, so while they must come rather expensive for anyone buying the ingredients from scratch, they are very useful for using up oddments left over from other people’s knitting!
The child’s “Balloons” pattern (the idea is that the jumper represents a flight of coloured balloons taking off into a midnight blue sky from left to right) is actually based on the same circular stitch as the Midnight Circles cardigan I made from the same book. The difference is that individual isolated roundels are worked in a contrast colour, rather than alternating rows. Since the two halves of each roundel are created as two separate rows, this means measuring out and cutting off enough wool to complete the second half of each ‘balloon’ at the time you complete the first half – in a couple of places I didn’t actually leave enough wool and the second half is minus a stitch where it ran out before the end, but fortunately this doesn’t show….
The pattern recommends a ‘light double-knitting’ thickness wool. As I only had ordinary double-knitting (and an assortment of scraps at that!) I had to alter the pattern to reflect the fact that I couldn’t make the gauge required: I ended up following the chart for the larger of the two sizes given in order to produce a jumper in the smaller size. I also omitted an extra half-row of roundels at the front neck to enlarge the opening for the child’s unusually large head.
This caused no end of problems. Because I was working from the chart for the other size, I ended up making the neck opening the same distance in from the left-hand side of the body on both front and back… but in fact this wasn’t quite central, and when I put the front and back together the two neck openings didn’t line up! Luckily the altered opening also turned out to be wildly too large (with each individual motif being so large, omitting even a single row has a massive effect) so I was able to ‘fill in’ the missing areas on either side of the neck until the two lined up.
The sleeves also came out about 4 inches too short (looking at the pattern photo, I think this was a design decision, but the child wanted full-length), so I had to add on two further rings of motifs around the ends of the sleeve openings. Fortunately the motifs are basically square, so I was simply able to work at right-angles over the ends of the sleeves rather than having to extend each row individually by a small amount – this is the great advantage of crochet over knitting in such a situation.
I didn’t have quite enough of the basic navy colour to start off with, so used a slightly different navy for the final row along the tops of the sleeves. After all this alteration, I ended up using the different colour for the ends and cuffs of the sleeves and for filling in the neck as well! It is just visible in the photo with the folded sleeves – slightly more visible in real life, but luckily the little boy doesn’t mind, and the bright colours and striking texture of the pattern distract from it. As you can see, the neckline is still very big (it needs to be pretty large to fit over his head, but not as large as all that), but at least it isn’t falling off his shoulders any more…
4mm crochet hook. Lots of random acrylic scraps!
- Sylvia Cosh