"Down Boy" Jumper

This newly finished jumper was inspired by a pattern in a book I recently found in a local used book shop. It’s called “Wit Knits” published in the UK in 1985. The author is a knitting designer whose work was promoted on British TV by Gyles Brandwith. The models in the book are British celebrities. For those fans of “Absolutely Fabulous” I’ve included some photos of Johanna Lumley who looks ‘ab fab’! The pattern I used is called “Down Boy” and is supposed to be done in intarsia but since that’s not possible in circular knitting, I did Swiss darning (aka duplicate stitch) to put the design on the fabric.

This is a seamless, circular jumper with raglan sleeves; the pattern was made using the EZ percentages method. For the first time I cast-on using the rib cast-on and I found this to be very satisfactory. It gives a more elastic edge than just plain long tail cast-on. The wool is Cleckheaton “Country” from Oz. I seem to use a lot of that brand as it’s readily available here (we have a shitty wool selection here).

I did a neck steek as follows: I put the front neckline stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and then knitted around. When I came to the beginning of the opening, I cast on the same number of stitches and this allowed me to continue to knit circularly. I did the reductions as I went, marking each reduction row with a single purl stitch in the steek either immediately preceding or following the reduction. At the end of the jumper, I sewed the reinforcement along the edge with had the purl stitches and then snipped. It worked beautifully.

I did the “jogless joins” which raincityrick (MWK member) told us about in August. It worked brilliantly – no noticeable job at the yarn-change join! Thank you for telling us about it.

This was my first go at Swiss darning. I have embroidered and done lots of tapestry in the past so I was comfortable and familiar with embroidery. However, following the charted pattern was a bitch (I was reminded why counted cross stitch and filet crochet and I are not on speaking terms) and it took me over a day of dedicated work to finish the simple puppy pattern. I just have snipped out at least a half a ball of wool to correct mistakes! (If you want to gain intimate knowledge of your knitting, do some Swiss darning. I was amazed how the size of my stitches changed as I worked the duplicate stitches. My gauge/tension is spot-on thanks to an averaging of the different knitting I did over the course of the 3 weeks to complete the jumper.) I like the way it looks; the black looks like intarsia and the entire dog has a sort of 3-D look.

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Tallguy's picture

You did an excellent job on that duplicate stitch! What a lot of work...maybe it would have been easier to do the intarsia! hehehe

Doing a steek is not that hard, is it? But I think you cast-on way too many stitches; you would normally do 3 or 5 stitches, and 7 is way too cautious! It's a lot of extra knitting, and very wasteful of yarn.

That jogless join is about perfect! It's a neat little trick.

kiwiknitter's picture

You are absolutely correct that I made the steek way too wide. But, it was my first time to do it in this fashion and I wanted to see how it worked with the reductions at the sides. Next time I would probably do around 6 stitches. Live and learn!

My knitting is totally tubular!

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

Bill's picture

VERY handsome!
...a beautiful job of duplicate stitch...

ronhuber's picture

What a beautiful sweater. The puppy is so cute and I can tell a lot of work. Glad you are honing your skills in circular knitting. Every project is a learning experience. Congratulations!!

grandcarriage's picture

Question concerning the jogless joins: I'm not sure what you mean. Care to explain?

kiwiknitter's picture

On 20 August, raincityrick posted about how to do jogless joins and offered this link:


This method prevents the little jog that occurs at the end of the first round/beginning of second round of a new colour stripe. I hope I explained that well. Anyway, the site shows it best of all.

My knitting is totally tubular!

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

Warren's picture

Jesse, once again, an awesome work!

albert's picture

Intarsia is quite doable in the round- I've figured it out- think outside the box!