Christmas Past Jumper

I purchased this pattern and knitting wools from Meg Swanson at School House Press. It is a pattern by the late Dale Long called “Christmas Past”. It comes in only 1 size as this is the prototype but with the recommendation that other sizes might be obtained by altering the gauge or by altering the number of stitches. I used Jamieson Shetland jumper weight wool. The colour way has six colours, one of which is a rogue red which is included in some rows as the third colour (violating the Fairisle pattern rule of only 2 colours per row). I found it very challenging to have the third strand because I tend to knit tighter with my right hand and the red stitches were carried over multiple other stitches. I worried the entire time about puckering but fortunately, my diligence paid off and I didn't end up with any smocking. As usual, this is knitted in the round with steeks. I knitted “contintental” with both strands in my left hand. The needle sizes were 3.5 mm and 3.0 mm. The pattern is a 10 stitch repeat with a gauge of 28 stitches. I could not get gauge with the needle size recommended by the pattern but that may be because I knit rather loosely. I did have trouble with the collar pattern and never could get it right (or maybe there is an error in the pattern?). I knitted a lining for the collar. It blocked nicely but I did over-block it and the cuffs are too large and I need to reblock it to bring them back down to a tighter size. I did make one big error which stranded knitters will understand. It is not obvious in the finished garment. The last jumper I knitted had the light colours dominant and the dark colours recessed. So, without giving it much thought, I went ahead and did the same with this pattern. However, it should have been reversed and the design colours (darker) should have been dominant. Consequently, the design of trees and holly don't stand out quite as much as they would have otherwise. One interesting aspect of this pattern is the way the sleeves are knit. I think Meg calls them “full body” but I can't remember for sure. When starting the steeks for the armholes, 29 stitches are placed onto waste wool. This puts the extra fabric which is usually at the top of the sleeve, at the underarm. I think it makes a nicer looking shoulder. This is a nice and easy pattern (except for the bloody red stitches!) and I was pleased with the service from School House Press.

I think I'm getting better with the photography so I think you'll be able to see the colours better than in my usual postings. I included a photo of the reverse to show the stranding of the colours.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly


Another fabulous fair isle. Congratulations Jesse, it's wonderful.

Aaronknits's picture

Jesse, your Fair Isle work is always stunning, and this is another beautiful example of that.

Thanks for sharing it with us!

teejtc's picture

Incredible! Wow.....

Grace and Peace,

Mnjack's picture

More of your beautiful work, great job. I always look forward to your posts.

ronhuber's picture

Beautiful work, Jesse. Are you back in your home?

kiwiknitter's picture

Yes, we are back in our home. Being homeless was the most unpleasant thing I've ever experienced. I definitely do not recommend a natural disaster to anyone!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

jessemkahn's picture

Absolutely lovely work! And to hell with the 2 color tradition of Fair Isle. What's done with it here in the 3rd color is amazing.

vsidart's picture


rjcb3's picture

Pure magnificence!!! Jesse, you truly are a master!

Hope you're doing well.


beenieg80's picture

Absolutely incredible, great job!

Bill's picture

Beautiful, Jesse!
...and I like the reversal of the colour it a "frosted" and softer look...

kiwiknitter's picture

That really does make me feel better! I can see what you mean and you're right to describe it that way.
Thanks to all for the nice comments about this jumper. It was a very different pattern design from what I usually do. I love the colour work and the Shetland knitting wools. Be well!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
Nice to see you are doing well, love the Jumper

Nehkhasi's picture

Absolutely Beautiful!!!!! Nehkhasi


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Great looking knitting. The colors make me think of Winter but not so much that I start shivering. :-) -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Tom Hart's picture

What a magnificent piece of work! Stunningly beautiful! Congratulations!

Kerry's picture

Another beautiful stranded sweater.

CLABBERS's picture

Absolutely amazing craftsmanship! You are an inspiration to all of us!

rc_in_sd's picture

It's absolutely beautiful, Jesse - great job!! And it's heartwarming to hear that you and your family are doing well in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Best regards,

TheKnittingMill's picture

Jesse, I must have been ogling over that pattern kit for the past year on Schoolhouse Press's site. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! You convinced me to order it. If mine turns out HALF as good as yours I will be very pleased! What a stunning sweater!

The Knitting Mill