As 2020 was beginning to come to an end I found inspiration on Instagram from various pages that were making various pieces of clothing. Because of this I ordered my first ever handmade dresses. They will be made to my exact measurements from Hearts & Found that hopefully will arrive by my birthday. But I also had a longing to create something I could wear myself. I love how much inspiration you can find on Instagram. It feels so alive because it comes straight from creative people. One of the pages that have quickly become my new favourite is Fabel Knitwear. Norwegian Helene Arnesen is designing vintage inspired knitting patterns, primarily jumpers, tops and cardigans, and they’re just stunning!
I haven’t knitted since I made a scarf and an oven mitt before I was 15. But I’m always keen on learning new things. And in my head it made sense to learn from doing. And as much as I hate making mistakes – they are a good way to learn valuable lessons. I didn’t want to go for something way to advanced so finally I settled on a pattern called the Diagonalley Jumper. So a few mistakes and 300g yarn later I’ve now knitted my first ever jumper!
Diagonalley Jumper by Fabel Knitwear (S)
Drops Extra Fine Merino from Knitted Home in Misty Forest Green
KnitPro Circular Needles 4mm + 4.5mm (25cm, 40cm & 80cm)
How long did it take ?
About a week! I started on the day before New Year’s Eve and it was finished on the 10th Jan. But I also restarted the pattern a few days in when I discovered a few mistakes. I wasn’t going to re-do it, cause a few mistakes is part of the charm in a first ever jumper – but I was waiting for some knitting needles to arrive in the post that I needed to continue my progress, so I thought why not do it in the meantime. Even so, the final result definitely isn’t perfect but for being the first try I’m very happy with it!
What will you knit next?
I am completely I love with knitting now and I can’t wait to try more of the patterns from Fabel Knitwear. I always struggle to make decisions so with the help of my lovely followers on IG they decided they’d like to see the Owlery Blouse next! So that’s what currently sitting on my needles.
Is it difficult?
It was actually easier than I thought it would be. Considering I hadn’t knitted since I was 15 I was expecting a challenge but at long as you keep track of counts and what stitches you are doing it’s not actually that difficult.
How do I start knitting?
I would say that the best way to start knitting is probably to find a project that inspires you! Everything you need to know you can learn from the internet. If you want to start off with a scarf then go for it, or if you want to start on a jumper then why not? The only things you need is motivation, focus and patience – cause it does take a little bit of time.
It’s also a perfect activity if you, like me, might want to spend a little bit less time staring at a screen like your phone or computer. Cause knitting keeps both of your hands busy and is almost a bit like meditating cause your thoughts are focused on that one thing .
I thought the pattern from Fabel Knitwear was very well written. When you purchase it you get immediate access to a pdf that contains both the pattern in Norwegian and in English. There’s recommendations for what yarn to use and I got in touch with the online store Knitted Home that I liked the look of and asked Danyan, the owner, what yarn the recommended that would be similar to that in the pattern. She was of great help and the yarn she recommended worked perfectly!
Learning from my mistakes
• make sure your knitting isn’t twisted when you start knitting in the round. It is a pain and easily avoided if you just look out for it on your first rounds of knitting.
• when the pattern says don’t cast off too tightly, it really means cast off super loosely. I had to cast off my stitches about three times before I did it correctly, which meant I had my jumper all ready but I couldn’t try it on because the neck was too tight on the first tries…
• not really a mistake but just a little advise to remember that YouTube is your friend. As soon as I wasn’t sure about a stitch or what the pattern meant I simply used Google and YouTube to find out. The pattern also comes with handy YouTube links where Helene shows you some of the stitches and techniques to help you out.
What have I learned?
• how different stitches look
• what lengths of circular needles that work for what things. I used 80cm for the body, 25cm and 40cm for the sleeves and neckline.
• how to knit using the magic loop technique. I only had 100cm and 80cm circular needles to start so I searched on YouTube for magic loop technique as I had read you could use it to knit smaller things with longer needles. It works for sure but I much preferred to knit oh my shorter circular needles when they arrived.
• how to knit a puff sleeve
• to knit twisted rib
– what yarn that might work for which pattern and which needles
• basically how you make a lovely jumper
I really want to try the Fabel Knitwear yarn in the future. Especially the Phoenix Egg colour which looks so dreamy ✨
Wanting to read more about knitting and see what others projects I’ve made? Check out my other knitting posts!