The Weasley Jumper

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.

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Weasley Jumper – the finished product

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

  1. Long tail cast on works perfectly
  2. 4 rows of ribbing at the neck, nice amount but not a full turtle neck
  3. 12 rows of rib on sleeve cuffs and ditto at the bottom of the jumper
  4. 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.
  5. Casting off – [k2tog, pass stitch from right needle to left, K2tog]. Nice stretchy bind off that looks good.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

 

 

Two red hand-knitted Weasley jumpers
I loved the pattern so much I ended up making two – clearly my tension changed between them as one came up much larger.

Helpful Information

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

Materials

  • 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.

First attempt at using DPNs to cast on for a baby's jumper
DPN Jumper Cast On
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#2017MakeNine

Ok, we’re a bit late to the party but nevertheless here are our Make Nines for 2017…

The Londoner

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#2017MakeNine

Photo credits & patterns L-R from top left: 1. Love Knitting’s Obliquo, photo from their website; 2. Baby Weasley Jumper you can find the pattern here. 3. Christmas presents standing-in to represent the mystery make. 4. Tin Can Knit’s  stunning Vivid Blanket, photo from their website; 5 & 6: Mini-Christmas stocking decorations, pattern at Little Cotton Rabbits 7: Shetland lace baby blanket, a very similar pattern available here; 8: I made this helmet cover pattern up and didn’t write it down. I shall work it out when I make the new one! 9: I can’t remember where this pattern came from but I shall either transcribe it or re-locate it and post when I do. Feel free to comment with any pattern questions or advice. The London Knitter x

  1. Something for myself that isn’t a hat – I always make hats or wrist warmer type things to wear but I want to bite the bullet this year and make something big, a jumper or cardigan, that I can rep with pride.
  2. A tiny little Weasley jumper for my friend’s new baby – this is already on the needles.
  3. My sister’s wedding present(s). Can’t give more details, it’s a surprise. May not actually involve knitting but will be some sort of crafting required.
  4. A blanket for a cousin’s new arrival – family tradition; I try and give any new members of the pack something knitted and now that there’s a new one due in two months I need to get cracking. Deadlines, gulp. I love Tin Can Knits Vivid pattern so I’m going to see how I get on with that.
  5. Christmas decorations! Chiefly, miniature stockings and Christmas puddings. They were a huge success last year and are weirdly addictive to knit because they knit up so quickly and look SO jolly!
  6. I made a Shetland lace blanket for a friend’s baby a couple of years ago – I loved the challenge, definitely one of the most difficult things I’ve ever made – think I’m about ready to experiment with that again.
  7. Seven – nine are all stash-knits. Really need to get the stash back down to a manageable size having discovered a box of wool I forgot I even had. Whoops. First off some grey wrist warmers, I’ve got some lovely Shetland wool (thanks Shetlander!) which is waiting to be turned into a pair of wrist warmers for next winter.
  8. Another helmet hat. I knitted a helmet cover to make sure I’m super visible at all times…got some fluoro yellow so think that another one might be called for.
  9. Who knows?! Maybe some lavender filled moth monsters to protect future knits?!

The Shetlander

#2017MakeNine
#2017MakeNine

Photo credits & patterns L-R from top left: 1. Ondawa by Michele Wang; 2. Bousta Beanie by Gudrun Johnston; 3. Socks! Line drawing my own; 4. Fly Away by Tin Can Knits; 5 I’m sure this is not a suitable baby toy but I do love this Flamingo by Susan B Anderson; 6. Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan by Purl Soho; 7. Hazel the Humpback Whale by Bec Brittain; 8. Rock Lobster Mittens by SpillyJane Knits; 9. Shallmillens Snood by Donna Smith. All photos are taken from the patterns’ Ravelry pages.

  1. The Ondawa jumper by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed. This is the jumper that made me want to knit jumpers. It’s cabled (only done that once), it’s seamed (never done that), it’s probably not going to suit my pear shape… It’s basically a terrible idea but I just can’t help myself. The only thing holding me up is trying to work out what wool to use since Brooklyn Tweed isn’t that easy to get hold of here in the UK. Any woolly suggestions, let me know!
  2. The Bousta Beanie by Gudrun Johnston for Shetland Wool Week 2017. The official hat patterns for Shetland Wool Week are always cracking and this one is no exception. Really excited to cast it on!
  3. Socks! I’ve never knitted adult socks because I’ve always been a bit scared of the heel but 2017 is going to be the year to overcome that fear. I’m also not terribly good at making 2 of the same thing so we’ll see just how mismatched they come out!
  4. My sister is having a baby this summer so I’d like to knit a baby blanket for them. At the moment, the pattern I’m thinking to try is the Fly Away blanket by Tin Can Knits but I’ve not got it nailed down yet.
  5. On the baby knits theme, I also want to try out knitting a toy of some kind. This needs a bit of research though because I’m not sure what will be baby safe and also knit-able at my skill level.
  6. A baby cardigan is also on my wish list for 2017 knits. Patterns I’ve been thinking about are the cult classic Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann,  the Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits or the Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan by Purl Soho.
  7. Hazel the Humpback Whale has been a major pattern crush of mine for a while now and I’d love to make it a reality this year.
  8. Mittens. Useful all year round here in Shetland! I’ve knitted patterns by SpillyJane before so I’m thinking possibly these Rock Lobster Mittens or the Isidora mittens.
  9. The Shallmillens Snood by Donna Smith. I was lucky enough to take a Fair Isle night class with Donna where she showed us this snood and I’ve wanted to make it ever since.

Wish us luck!