A Weasley Jumper – for those of you who don’t know – is a jumper hand/magic-knitted by the witch, mother and all around hero, Molly Weasley, in the Harry Potter books. She gifts them to her nearest and dearest at Christmas and they famously bare a yellow initial – particularly useful in telling apart her identical twin sons, the mischevous Fred and George. In my humble opinion, if this is the first time you’ve heard of Weasley jumpers you should stop reading this, track down all 7 Harry Potter books and lose your self in J.K. Rowling’s magical world for a few days. Come back when you’re up to speed on the fabulous knitwear of the Weasley matriarch.
I was pretty excited when a friend and fellow HP fan announced she was expecting a new arrival, and a Weasley jumper seemed like an obvious choice of gift. A quick search on the google and I found this pattern via A Modern Homestead which is great. It knits up super quickly, is pretty easy if you’re comfortable working in the round and now that I’ve finished it I can affirm it looks brill. I’d also never done a raglan jumper or a top down jumper so it appealed from that perspective too.
You need a good stretchy bind off for the cuffs and bottom of the jumper, I did some googling and found one I liked (more details below) but it’s something I always struggle with so would love to know if you can recommend any others Shetlander/dear reader?
Victoria at A Modern Homestead suggests some tweaks to the pattern on her site, some of which worked for me, some of which didn’t, my hints/amends are below:
Tips and suggestions
- Long tail cast on works perfectly
- 4 rows of ribbing at the neck, nice amount but not a full turtle neck
- 12 rows of rib on sleeve cuffs and ditto at the bottom of the jumper
- Do cast on the 3 stitches recommended in the pattern for the underarm, I actually picked up 2 extra stitches when I was joining on the first sleeve round to minimise gaps. I did 2 extra stitch decreases in the next round to get me back down to the right number of stitches. This gave me a really neat join and didn’t cause any uncomfortable bobbling in the fabric. My advice – experiment and see what works for you.
- Casting off – [k2tog, pass stitch from right needle to left, K2tog]. Nice stretchy bind off that looks good.
- I used duplicate stitch to sew the initial and that worked beautifully – highly recommend. Initially I started sewing top down but it wasn’t terribly neat so I pulled the stitches out and started again bottom up…not sure why this made such a big difference but it worked much better for me.
- I’d recommend a height of about 14 rows for the letter; my J was 8 stitches wide, the M was 16. I started sewing them 16 rows down from the end of the neck ribbing.
Pattern – Weasley Jumper
Level – Easy Intermediate (you need to be confident working in the round)
Cast on – long tail; the method I use is well described in this video
Cast off – k2tog, pass new stitch to left needle, k2tog etc.; full description here
Duplicate Stitch – great for the initial, instruction video here
- Needles – 4mm DPNs/circulars; 5mm DPNs/circulars
- Wool – I used about 3 balls of Rico essentials, soft merino aran in Brick Red for the body. The letter was same yarn in Sun Yellow – if you had right weight and colour in your stash you could definitely use that. Rico essentials soft merino is a superwash wool so good for little ones. Usually I’m a buy in store type but I couldn’t find anything that was quite right in the shops so I purchased from LoveKnitting.com and it was perfect
- Stitch holders/scrap yarn to put the sleeves onto while you knit the body
- Darning needle for sewing in your ends
Thoughts on knitting in the round
I played with DPNs at the beginning but mainly used Addi turbos (my favourite circulars), using two pairs to make a loop until it was big enough to go down to one needle. If you’re not familiar with the method, video here. That’s usually my favourite way of doing things although I am warming to DPNs. You could also use the magic loop method if that’s what you’re used to.