The Diary of a Completed Knitting Project

Scilly by Gemma Atkinson was my favourite pattern from Rowan 58. I loved the mixture of colour and texture. I waited for a while, because I knew it would be an expensive undertaking, I continued to love it, and so I began to accumulate the yarn I would need.

Scilly_2_medium2 (1)

The Magazine Picture


First thoughts:

The pattern is simple but effective.

Thank you to those who suggested that the first stitch of every row should be slipped. With half the stitched slipped on each row of course the edge would frill if I followed the pattern and worked that stitch on every row.

I’ve changed the order of the stripes, because there was too little contrast between the first two colours used in the pattern – Bilberry and Tawny.

There was much I loved about this when I saw it in the magazine, but I don’t like the way two colours stand out and others blur.

And I prefer a five-colour repeat to the-in-to-a point-then out-to-a-point look. There is probably a better way of expressing that but I can’t think of it right now.

The last jumper I knitted with mohair has survived for three decades with a few wears a year, so my thinking for this one is that I don’t want this one to speak too loudly of a particular time or trend.

Felted Tweed was essential but I substituted Drops Kid Silk for Kidsilk Haze, because my budget is not unlimited and what I read about it was quite positive.

So far so good ….

Added Fuzziness Throughout


Next thoughts:

It was all going swimmingly until I reached the Jaffa colourway. Much too yellow! I ditched that and tried a dark brown shade that was left over from my House Martin Hap. It was better but too dark, and so I thought again. Gilt felt right – not too many miles from the Jaffa but that bit darker and that bit less yellow. Currently waiting for the yarn to arrive and knitting a hat for my Woolly Dozen.

Other Colours Considered


Well, the designer was right and I was wrong. Gilt is much lighter than I remembered, it didn’t look right and so I gave Jaffa a second chance. When I had knitted a whole stripe it looked much better, and so I’m going with it.

Original Colours / My Sequence 


The colours make much more sense now that I’ve knitted my 15th stripe, and my perception of their effect has changed.

The pattern is lovely and logical, but it’s taken me more time to learn to read it than many other patterns.



The back is done and the front is underway. I love the effect, but the fuzziness means I had to peer a lot at my knitting to see where to slip and where to work the stitch every time I picked my knitting up.


Curses! I’d nearly finished the front when I realised I’d picked up the wrong needle and my gauge had changed from a few rows after the armhole shaping began. I will unrip but I can’t face all of the clinging fuzziness and colour changes right now. I’m going to knit something else for a while.


Time to start again. I’ll put the front to one side and knit the sleeves, then I’ll have the momentum to get this thing done.


I have sleeves! And I’ve taken the front back to the point where it went wrong.


I’ve redone the front and it looks so much better now. This weekend I sew it up and knit the neckband; and then it’s done.


Done! I am so, so glad that I wove in all the ends as I was going.

My Finished Object!


Final thoughts:

I love the look of it and the fit is perfect. Well, the arms are a little tight, but not to the point that it’s a problem.

It’s incredibly warm.

One day I will master the art of finishing projects in the right season!

It shouldn’t have taken so long from start to finish, but there were times when I needed a break from the endless rows of the slip-stitch pattern, and my mistake with the front set me back for a while.

I made the second size and I found that I needed a little bit of an extra ball of Bilberry and that I used less than half of the last ball of the other four colours. I suspect that I needed the extra because I rearranged the stripes, but I would say that if you plan to knit this you should also plan for leftovers.

(The picture of the five colours further up the page is what I had left over.)

I stuck with the original colourway because I particularly liked it. I wouldn’t have been confident changing the whole colour scheme, but I’ve seen a couple of projects that have used shades of blue and grey and they look lovely.

The knitting wasn’t difficult, but have to say that you do need to be careful to keep gauge while you are slipping pairs of stitches, and you need to look quite carefully when you need to read your knitting.

I’m glad I knitted this sweater – and now I’m glad that it’s done and I can knit something completely different.

15 thoughts on “The Diary of a Completed Knitting Project

  1. Fabulous knitting, bravo! And I love your knitting diary – I can relate very much to so many of the stages you encountered. I will have another look at this pattern in Rowan 58 – I often find that I don’t think much of the patterns in a book when it first arrives, only to find later on that I want to knit every single thing!! And I completely agree with you on the budget front. Rowan’s own yarns are gorgeous but very pricey, thank goodness there are a wide range of very useable substitutions around, 🙂


  2. That’s lovely, well done:)
    I was at the doctor yesterday, musing about my shoulder problems and wondering if sitting rigid while knitting had anything to do with it. The doctor was taken aback, as if he’d never met anyone who knitted before: what do you knit, he asked? I was taken aback by his response! Hats, scarves, jumpers, baby clothes, shawls, I said… and then he asked who for, as if there was no one in his world who wore handknits. Me, I said, and the baby clothes and shawls are gifts for friends and relations.
    What is the world coming to when people think there is something weird about knitting?!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That is beautiful! Lovely colours, and I envy your patience to see it through. I do best at dish cloths and baby clothes, but I should probably try larger things again, and make myself persist.


  4. That is lovely. You must have so much patience to see a project like this through from beginning end.


  5. How lovely, Jane! I loved your knitting diary – I am learning to knit, and working on my first cardigan now (Inlet, by Amy Herzog), so your post was really inspirational for me 🙂 I’d love to read more about your knitting projects!


  6. The colors are beautiful, and more so because of all the care that went into making them just right. (and as for knitting in season, my brother still teases me about the wool baby wrap I made for his (only) child, who was born in early June — I think it was worn for a photo, once, and quietly put away for the grandchildren).


  7. Love the finished project and the colours are divine. I knit smaller items these days as my joints are going out of shape and the weight makes my hands ache – doesn’t stop me going a dark shade of green with envy though! Well done.


  8. Well done you. I can’t bear mohair so I would never have even attempted this.
    Been too hot for knitting and I must get back into it, even if all I do is blog about it.


  9. This is beautiful. Look at all those even stitches (something I struggle with).

    Once I made a mulberry-coloured wool sweater, which took a very long time. I wore it a couple of time but – alas! – I accidentally threw it into the washer at the wrong temperature. For some reason, the body shrunk but the arms did not. It looked like a sweater for a chimpanzee!


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