Sometimes it takes a bit of ordinary wear to fully iron out the kinks of a project, and that’s exactly what happened with my Bronwyn jumper. The ribbed neckband, which seemed just right before blocking, stretched out to a more open neck after a good soak.
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#memademay18 day 19: today I'm trying on my unblocked @neoknits Bronwyn Jumper in @zealanayarns Rimu (merino/possum). It's now been darned in and is ready for a wash! . Swipe to see what I'm wearing today and have been for the past …. many days: @ysolda Blank Canvas in lovely @knit_picks Swish merino DK. Super versatile pattern & I wear it all the time. . . #mmm18 #mmmay18 #memademay
Above: before and after blocking. It’s not a massive difference but enough to make me reconsider the neckband.
It’s not a major deal but I decided after some consideration that I’d rather a thick, cabled, fluffy jumper keep the back of my neck warm and leave the open necklines for spring and summer garments. As the neckband was knit separately after seaming, the easiest way to accomplish this was to undo the ribbing and reknit with a smaller stitch count (after thoroughly steaming the yarn to remove any kinks).
As per pattern instructions, my original neckband was knit by picking up 3 out of every 4 sts, so I started my new band with picking up 2 out of 3. I also used slightly smaller needles (3.75mm instead of the 4mm used initially). The back was quite low compared to my other handknit garments, so I knit one set of short rows between each shoulder midpoint to slightly raise that area without looking too disproportionate to the rest of the ribbing.
Above: back before and after.
Sounds simple, but of course I made work of it! The final result was reached after several days experimentation with different stitch counts, needle sizes, short rows worked and cast offs (this was cast off in pattern to maintain some stretch).
It might seem finicky but I figure if I put hundreds of hours work (and nearly the corresponding amount in dollars on yarn!) for a handcrafted garment I may as well have it the way that I like.
Can I take a moment to complain about the pattern photos for Bronwyn? I looked back over them, thinking perhaps it was designed to be an open-necked garment after all, but how the heck could I tell when the model’s hair covers the entire jumper?
Maggie Righetti would say that styling is deliberate. She wrote at length about how pattern publishers use creative poses to obscure pattern flaws and important details. I’m sure there was no ill-intent here, other than to achieve a certain ~aesthetic~,* but it’s still immensely unhelpful to have pattern photography that conceals key elements of said pattern.
*Is Brooklyn Tweed the Glossier of knitting, or what?