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October 18, 2017
Sometimes all you want is a simple sweater pattern. In chunky yarn. A project that knits up quickly and requires no brain power!
When faced with a long train journey to the south of France recently (no, don't feel sorry for me!) I could have packed my default travel project - a half finished pair of socks, but I wanted something more substantial.
Then I spotted the new collection of designs for new yarn C+B Gigi and my problem was solved!
Luckily, I was able to get my hands on an early sample pack - it's not with retailers yet, so watch this space.
Gigi is an unusual yarn - a fluffy mohair, but in a chunky weight (95m per 50g) worked on 6mm needles, so I knew it would be perfect for my train journey.
All the designs in the new collection are pretty simple, perfect for a bit of instant gratification.
After some deliberation I settled on making this slouchy sweater. It's leaflet CB048, and gives sizing for men's and women's versions within the same pattern.
The palette Gigi comes in is just glorious, and so are the colour names, from rich shades like Purple Rain and Strawberry Laces, to subtle hues of Mint Humbug and Knicker Pink (the sauce!).
I opted for Dijon Mustard, which is a slightly brighter, cooler shade than the name suggests.
I packed some circular needles to keep my luggage to a minimum, and a 10 pack of the yarn, which thankfully got through security at St Pancras unscathed.
Soon I was on the Eurostar, and casting on! My husband and daughter are well used to me knitting on journeys, but even they were impressed with the speed at which the sweater grew.
Thanks to some untimely delays, our journey took a whopping three hours longer than it should have, but there was an upside. By the time we arrived in Montpellier I had knitted the whole back of the sweater.
It was very hot in the south of France, but the mohair remained pleasant to knit with, probably due to its amazing softness - normally I wouldn't touch mohair in warm weather.
A week later and I had most of a sweater and finished off the sleeves in just a couple of days after our - happily shorter - journey back.
I'd added some length to the body, as I'm very tall, which left me fearing a game of yarn chicken on the sleeves so, instead of working them bottom up, I joined the shoulders and picked up sleeve stitches around the armholes, working some shallow sleeve caps using short rows.
There was definitely a bit of winging it involved, but mohair is very forgiving when you forget to knit your wrap together with your wrapped stitch, so only I know where the mistakes are!
I left the sleeves as three-quarter, as I prefer this length, and it also balanced out the extra depth I'd added to the body of the sweater. If I look grumpy here it's only because I really don't like having my picture taken - and it was raining!
It's since been named the Big Bird sweater (although Oscar the Grouch was always my favourite), and it's coming into its own now that the weather is finally starting to cool down.
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