Last year I decided to become a knitter and bought 2 patterns on sale. One was the Russell Beanie (I chronicled my chaotic experience in this article) and the other one was the Rice Jumper (use code MGM2CZMZJ for $12 off).
While I pretty much started the beanie right away, it took me a minute to start the sweater as I wasn't sure I'd finish it before the end of winter 2021.
Cut to January, when my friend Maren suggested a knitting evening at her mom's house to get started on our respective knitting projects. Sue is a very experienced knitter and I'm so grateful she was patient enough to teach me how to get started and accepted I come to her house one more time when I couldn't troubleshoot an issue. She even suggested the hack I'll share below!
It is now October and my sweater is drying on its mat as I type these words. No, it didn't take me 10 months to knit a sweater, I just took my sweet time, made mistakes, got frustrated, took breaks, and eventually realized it was gonna be sweater season and I should seriously get back to it.
For your information, the website says the Rice Jumper is an easy pattern and should take about 28 hours to knit...
Your package should include: the pattern, 8 skeins of wool, a pair of 8 mm (11 US, 0 UK) knitting needles, 1 sewing needle, and a We Are Knitters tag.
I decided to buy a knitting register to keep count of my rows.
You're gonna have to choose 4 colors for this pattern. I chose Spotted Mauve Cinnamon, Ivory, and Olive. #ricejumper and #wakxlacasitadewendy on Insta were great sources of color inspiration!
Colors are referred to as A, B, C, and D where color A is the bottom color and color D is the top one. It might be obvious to some but wasn't to me for my first multi-colored knitting project.
I'm very impatient and obviously did not knit a tension sample (don't be like me) and decided to knit a size M after checking out #ricejumper and #wakxlacasitadewendy on Insta and asking other knitters what size they chose.
Know that you'll be able to play around with the size when blocking your sweater after knitting and piecing it together (I'm totally making excuses).
Yarn tail - To know how much yarn you'll need to cast on, simply wrap the yarn around your needle as many times as there will be stitches on the row.
How to pick up stitches - I had a hard time picking up stitches and found that using a crochet hook to pick up the yarn through the stitch and then placing it on the knitted needle worked just as well.
How to block a sweater - This crucial step isn't mentioned in the pattern, but don't skip it!
I don't know whether it's a pattern or a translating issue but a number of things weren't really clear in the pattern (and I saw on Zendesk that some people had the same questions).
Colors: As I mentioned before color A is the bottom color and color D is the top color
Sleeves: The sleeves only have 3 colors (A, B, and C). It may look like there are 4 colors, but it's actually because the shoulders drop and the color D from the front and back panels "cascades" toward the sleeves.
Neck: The pattern says "pick up 58 stitches with color D around the neck" but should really say ""pick up 29 stitches with color D from the front panel to knit the front of the neck, knit 14 rows in 1x1 rib stitch, cast off and then repeat the process one more time for the back of the neck, then join the side seams of the front and back neck panels to create a collar". This actually only applies to size M (73 stitches = 22 + 29 + 22).
Blocking: This crucial step isn't mentioned in the pattern, but don't skip it!
How to unravel knitting the right way - I've had to do this way too many times but got better at identifying mistakes earlier without having to unravel too many rows and consequently losing count of rows.
How to join yarn seamlessly - You shouldn't need this technique unless your yarn breaks or you switch colors and cut your thread too early).
For a smoother transition between colors, Maren's mom suggested I knit all the stitches of the first row of the new color instead of alternating between knits and purls. The result is so perfect, I felt like such a pro for hacking a pattern. Thank you Sue!
As you'll have noticed in the pictures, I made a mistake in the back of the sweater (or what I chose would be the back). When I switched colors, I didn't pay attention to the fact that I was one row short (probably due to unraveling so many rows to correct mistakes) and I ended up with the color switch on the front side rather than the back.
I noticed my mistake late in the game and didn't have the heart to unravel half of my work. I looked for ways to fix it but ended up following the advice of my knitter friends of owning my mistakes.
This allows me to tell the front from the back now, haha! I'm still thinking about using a crochet hook to cover the mauve row with cinnamon...
Outfit details / Sweater: Rice Jumper (use code MGM2CZMZJ for $12 off) (DIY), Pants: Pomona Pants (DIY)
I'm so happy with the result. After such a long time, I started wondering whether I'd ever finish it in time, whether the sweater would fit, and whether I'd still like the colors I chose. I tried it on a couple of hours ago and cannot wait to wear it all winter!
While I need a short break from knitting, I'm already wishlisting patterns for future sales. Octave got me a beanie pattern for my birthday. It seems small enough to get back on the saddle and learn a new technique: using circular knitting needles. I'll report back!
If you're interested in getting a kit or wool from We Are Knitters, you can use my code MGM2CZMZJ for $12 off (copy and paste this code upon checkout in "Discount codes").
This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of my links, I may make a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Did you knit the Rice Jumper? How did it turn out? Do you have more tips and hacks to share?