Fly me to....Neptune!

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Start: 21st June 2009
Finish: 11th July 2009
Needles: 4 mm / 80 cm Addi Turbos
Yarn: Wollmeise "Molly"; 100% superwash Merino; colourway "Neptun"
Pattern: Joukahainen by Kristel Nyberg. Published in Finnish in the magazine Ulla 03/07. Pattern is available as an English translation as Ravelry download.
Name: The name comes from the last movement of the orchestral suite The Planets by Gustav Holst.
Modifications: Added 5 rounds of stockinette after having joined all the pieces together to give the arms some more room. Added k2 between the raglan decreases to avoid the gaping holes. Did some improvisational neck-shaping with short rows. Worked out pretty well.

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Well, this must be pure love when I finish a jumper in less than a month using worsted-weight yarn.

I seriously can't express how much I love this jumper. It just totally outruns all my other jumpers I have knitted so far. Even though it's such a simple pattern, but the feel of the yarn and the colour - Oh, the colour! - totally blow me away.

The Wollmeise Molly is such a lovely yarn. It grows after it has been washed, so make sure that you wash your swatch before doing something with it, but the softness and feel of the yarn really cancels out every other thing. It was pure joy to knit with this yarn, even more so to have a garment out of it to wear. The yarn is super soft that I can even wear it right against my bare skin!

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Joukahainen is a great pattern. It knits up fast and it's easy. The fit is great for a slim guy (don't know how it would look on a bigger person) and the simplicity with the pattern and the beautiful but simple raglan makes this a classic wear.

The only things I have to complain about the pattern are that there should have been some stitches between the raglan decreases - which I put in this time - because without the stitches between the raglan decreases, there will be gaping holes instead.

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Then there's the neck issue.

I think that the pattern was supposed to be going for a crew-neck with very minimal neck-shaping (i.e. short-rows only in the back). This posed as a bit of a problem for me last time I knitted the pattern. The collar kept pulling up and kind of strangled me.

So, this time, I decided on the last minute to improvise some neck-shaping. I kept trying the jumper on as the stitches became less and less until I hit a spot just about below my collar bone. I then cast-off a portion of the centre front stitches (not a great idea...the next time I will be putting those stitches on hold instead) and then knitted the rest of the jumper back and forth, doing the rest of the raglan decreases on the right side rows. At the same time, I also start distributing some improvised short-rows in order to compensate for the neck slope at the back.

I wasn't sure whether it would really work or not, but I tried it on and it seemed okay and that was when I started picking up new stitches in the front portion again to start knitting the collar.

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

As for the colourway itself...well, I knew that it was handpainted yarn, so there bounded to be some kind of variegation in the skein. I noticed it when I started the ribbing already but didn't think it would be that obvious. Once I started knitting the stockinette part, I realised that the pooling would be quite noticeable and so I decided to tink back and started knitting the stockinette part while alternating the different skeins every row.

Alternating the skeins is supposed to actually help when each skein is slightly different so that you won’t end up with a block of darker skein and a block of lighter skein in your knitted fabric. However, when the colour differences is within the skein itself, then that’s another story, because it will just cause pooling, which was the case here.

My attempt at alternating the skein every row did help mix things up a bit...until I found out that 2 out of the 6 skeins I got were darker than the rest…and that a dark skein had been integrated into the top part of the body already. This called for some clever planning: I ended up knitting the sleeves with the 2 last skeins that were of lighter hue and then mix it up with the rest of the darker skein from the body as well as the last skein left that was dark for the top of the piece, once I joined everything together. As you can see from the result, this has also worked out really well.

I was worried about the pooling before…but now that I can see the jumper as a whole and see how the swirl comes out, I’m really chuffed with it because it actually reminds me of the actual gas swirls on Neptune itself!

Neptune (Le Mystique), originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.

Well, nothing left to say apart from the fact that I just love this jumper and can't wait for the weather to turn cool again, so that I can start wearing it!

And in the meanwhile, while I'm waiting for the weather to cool down, I'm going to go off and knit another one of this in another Wollmeise colourway.

Wishing you all a great week!


WillyG's picture

I still have yet to knit a sweater...that I feel good about. I LOVE the colorway. I also love the pictures...Delightful. I may have to try this pattern...I need a fit like this, I think. I don't know but raglans usually tend to look chunky.

Would you recommend this pattern for a first raglan? My first sweater was knit with no regard for an-y-thing...turns out I twisted every single stitch. My second sweater was only a vest.

purlyman's picture

That is just plain hot.


Thomasknits's picture

I second that opinion. Awesome job!


daveballarat's picture

Great job. I did a raglan a while back... it turned out okay. I will probably end up pulling it out and reknitting it this coming winter though...
Usually when there are holes and things, for me it is not following or misinterpretting the instructions... I am improving... I am no where near ready to improvise like you do. I love seeing your stuff. Keep up the great work :)
Istanbul, Turkey


mrossnyc's picture

I think this looks beautiful and I love the colorway. Great work and planning!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very good looking sweater. I like the way that you worked out ways to overcome the design problems to make it work better for you. Lots of luck on future projects. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

jonathan1986's picture

amazing, I love the subtle swirls in colour!

pjmma's picture

Beautiful, just beautiful!

RickeScott's picture

Very, very nice and looks great on you too!