fake sheep

a website about vegan knitting

lichen jumper


finished lichen jumper

the ribbed tube i posted about in my last entry turned into this! the green & brown section is sirdar “sheba” acrylic in “lichen”, and the grey is a mystery acrylic i bought on trademe (it wasn’t a mystery at the time i bought it, but i accidentally left a bag of yarn in the lounge one day while i went to work, and tinsley decided that yarn was fun to play with. the big skein of grey acrylic turned into two skeins, but was otherwise undamaged. some of the other yarn was less fortunate).

this jumper was knitted without a pattern, but with gauge swatches, maths, a measuring tape and an intuitive sense of the geometry of my body. it turned out a bit baggier than i was planning (in retrospect, my gauge swatch for the lichen yarn wasn’t big enough) but it’s really comfortable, and i’ve already worn it a couple of times.

i’m really excited about how it’s possible to just start knitting and end up with a wearable piece of clothing. how it’s all ratios and geometry and measuring, and you can design a shape and then make it.

lichen jumper, on the needles

knitting in the round was really fun too: the only seams on this whole top were the diagonals along the front shoulders.

i want to learn more about different ways of knitting shoulders; i might make a top-down raglan-style top next (bad penny, maybe?). the shoulders for this jumper ended up being raglanish, but i don’t know if i was doing them “properly”.

i don’t know what i’ll start next. we’re moving house the weekend after next (did i mention we bought a house? we bought a house!) so most of my yarn is packed up and most of my brainspace is occupied with house-moving details. & i’m not buying yarn, either (uh, except for a couple of cheap trademe auctions last night), but if you’re in a yarn-buying mood, check out this amazing handspun nylon! also, yarn traders has 10% off all south west trading company yarns (bamboo, soy silk) for the rest of october.


  Abi wrote @

That looks great! Well done you for working without a pattern. I’m inspired to do the same.

That is once I’ve finished the pattern I’m writing. OK damn you’ve seen right through me.

  Michelle wrote @

It really came out great — so fast! Actually, I think it looks a bit like bad penny, now that I think about it. I really liked what you said about “an intuitive sense of the geometry of my body.” I think I have this, too, though I’m not yet able to translate that knowledge into understanding how to design something for myself — yet. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  Saskia wrote @

You are a pretty wicked knitter! (I myself have never moved beyond a scarf.)Your site is a great resource on vegan fibers as well. One more thing- for people who can’t afford organic cotton it is actually better for the enviroment to buy cotton-synthetic blends than 100% non-organic cotton (Scientific American). That’s it. Thanks for the site.

  Mary Jessica wrote @

Fantastic job! It looks quite lovely on you!

As for top-down raglans – I think they’re the only way to go, personally. No seaming whatsoever, just weaving in the ends when you are done! My past top-downs have been a bit too baggy for my taste, but that’s because I was making them without knowing anything about shaping. Right now, I’m implenting fancy-pants shaping into a top-down, and I couldn’t be happier!
xo MJ

  moira wrote @

thanks you guys! i’ve worn this top a couple of times this week & i’m liking it more each time i put it on.

abi, i guess i wasn’t knitting without a pattern AT ALL, in that i was writing things down as i went – i wrote dow the gauges and measurements and figured out how many increases per row and stuff. i could probably construct the same top again if i wanted to (though, if i was knitting it again i would do a few things differently).

michelle, it’s a similar sort of style to bad penny, but i want to knit that pattern because i want to understand how that kind of neckline/ shoulder line is constructed from the top down. with this top i was just making it up really – i got to where the shoulders would be & left some space for arms, and drew a picture of the shape i thought the knitted fronts and backs would need to be, and went from there. i think there are better ways of doing sleeves than what i did (which was basically to make a shoulder hole then pick up stitches around it & make a tube).

saskia, that’s really interesting about conventional cotton. do you know which issue of scientific american that reference comes from? i’d love to read more.

mj, your top-down raglan tops look really great, i think i might have originally found the bad penny pattern though your blog? or through reading your blog and thinking about top-down raglans, and googling, something like that. either way. i am inspired to make a stripey top-down raglan (with shaping).

  Missy wrote @

Your lichen raglan is lovely! You did a great job with designing it! Have you considered sharing the pattern? You seem to be a natural designer.

  moira wrote @

thanks missy! i’ve definitely been thinking about writing patterns – if i was going to write a proper pattern for this jumper, though, i’d want to knit it again to check the numbers, and would probably do a few things differently…

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