Hedgehog Jumper!

24 Oct

So when I first heard about Ravelry (as an inexperienced knitter) I was amazed, I found myself searching though incredible looking patterns thinking I’d never be able to knit that. I added several patterns to my faves (for inspiration & day dreaming purposes).

Years later having learnt a lot more, through experience & plenty of trial & error, I went back through the list I’d created years before & decided to give “Paper Dolls” by Kate Davies a go.
Kate is currently my favourite knit wear designer, the first full garment I knitted was one of her designs, Owls, & I chose that for several reasons – I love owls, it’s knitted in chunky yarn = fast knitting, but mostly because her patterns are written so clearly (essential for a novice, as I was). A lot of old fashioned & dated patterns are hard to follow partly as they are a list of instructions with no further details. Kate’s patterns are wonderful, she provides you with just the right about of information, with helpful hints along the way. Here’s a photo of part of my Owls jumper, I finished it about 3 years ago, it’s a lovely and cosy, a little bobbly in places now having been worn so much, but I don’t care – I love it!
Owls Hand knitted Jumper
I knitted it in cash merino (I forget exactly what yarn) which I bought from the Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally some time ago it was about £25 for 10 balls (I had yarn to spare that made great hand warmers). I thought at the time that was a very reasonable price and I still do; I probably wouldn’t think twice about buying a lovely jumper that price.

So last year I decided to embark on my first 4-ply jumper with colour work, (throwing myself in at the deep end) eek! I got my yarn from Knit Nottingham, I went for Cygnet Truly Wool Rich, with dove grey at the main colour & blue & green for the patterned part. Paper dolls is a lovely pattern & I thought why make life easy for myself…reading Kate’s blog about the pattern & seeing everyone’s customisations, I decided to make two adjustments of my own. I find jumpers with short sleeves a little odd (if it’s cold enough to be wearing a jumper, make it a proper jumper, but that’s just me), longer sleeves – not a problem, however I fell slightly in love with one customisation, hedgehogs! So I planned out my own hedgehog design. The planning part I found easy – the execution less so!

Hedgehog planning & swatch

Planning my Hedgehogs & my swatch!

I got there in the end – the journey was a little frustrating at times, but that was entirely my own doing! It’s always tricky changing a pattern (although I quite enjoyed the challenge – in hindsight). The problem I came across (despite reading Kate’s notes) was the decreasing while working the stranding. The first time I knitted my hedgehogs the overall yoke ended up far too short, I knew my design was shorter than the dolls, however my tension square was also a little long – so I assumed the two would cancel each other out (I was wrong). I ripped out & re-knitted the yoke – the hedgehogs were looking great (& less puckered than my first attempt), I carried on & finished the jumper.  However…I couldn’t get it over my head, my tension was too tight on the corrugated rib & the I-cord cast off. Needless to say I was disappointed & more than a little frustrated with myself and the jumper went into hibernation in my knitting basket over the summer!

Last weekend it came out of hibernation, I ripped out the last few inches (again) and re-knitting the final part, sewed in the ends, soaked it, blocked it & dried it! Now it is completely finished, it fits & looks amazing & it was showed off at knit group last night (as photographed by Jem Weston)! I have learnt a lot from this project, I have not been put off customising patterns – I just need to think a little more carefully in future!

Finished Hedgehog (Paper dolls) Jumper!

Having added one of Kate’s more recent patterns into my faves I was surprised & delighted that one of my friends bought me the pattern through Ravelry for my Birthday – my next project (once the Christmas knits are finished) is Bláithín – I can’t wait!


2 Responses to “Hedgehog Jumper!”


  1. Yarndale 2015 | Nettynot Craft - October 4, 2015

    […] wearing their wonderful creations and I was very flattered by the many compliments I got on both my Hedgehog Jumper and my colour affection shawl and how many of those people were impressed to discover the jumper […]


  2. New Year & Hedgehog Mitts | Nettynot Craft - January 26, 2017

    […] the same hedgehogs design from my adapted paper dolls jumper and playing with different stripes. I also managed to knit these mitts using yarn entirely from my […]


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