I published my new sweater pattern, the Big Jimmy Jab jumper, at the start of February. And to celebrate, I’m hosting a knitalong (or KAL, if you’re down with the knitting lingo). It’s all kicking off on Monday 28 February with a zoom cast-on party at 8pm (UK time) – although you can join in at any time.
What the heck is a knitalong and how do I join in?
Simply put, it’s a bunch of people knitting the same people at the same time and sharing their progress. I’m hosting this one over on Instagram, using the #bigjimmyjabkal hashtag. To join in, all you’ve got to do is post a picture (or reel, if you’re feeling a bit fancy) of your project using that tag.
Why the Big Jimmy Jab?
I really bloomin’ love the Big Jimmy Jab jumper. It’s pretty much the ultimate in “way easier than it looks” – it has all the appearance of a fancy colourwork jumper, with none of the actual stranded colourwork.
It’s top-down, it’s seamless, it’s size-inclusive, and it’s got an optional bust adjustment that means you can knit a jumper that properly fits even if you’ve got massive norks.
And there’s a miniature version in the form of original Jimmy Jab Jumper (fun fact: if you buy both the Big Jimmy Jab and the original Jimmy Jab then you get a 27% discount on the patterns).
Frankly, why wouldn’t I host a knitalong for it?
But I’m a beginner knitter. Is the Big Jimmy Jab jumper simple enough for me to knit?
Oh, this is one of the great joys of the Big Jimmy Jab Jumper. It’s an exceedingly straightforward knit, and a great choice of first sweater.
If you can cast on, cast off, knit, purl, increase, and decrease, then you can knit this. You’ll need to work in the round, but that’s actually infinitely easy than it sounds; all you do is just keep knitting. Plus I’ll be sharing lots of hints and tips along the way so that even if you get stuck, you’ll have help and support to get through it.
It looks like it’s got colourwork. Is that actually easy to knit?
Here’s the (not actually secret) secret about the Big Jimmy Jab jumper; that’s not stranded colourwork.
The yoke is worked using a technique that’s officially called mosaic knitting, but I like to think of it as stripes with ideas above their station. You’re only ever knitting with one colour at a time, you see, and all the fancy-looking effect is created by slipping stitches. Which is just moving a stitch from one needle to the other without actually doing anything at it at all.
So if you can join in a new yarn – which you can, because you just start knitting with it and then sew the ends in later – then you can totally knit that not-actually-colourwork-colourwork. And if you still don’t believe me, then I’ll be sharing some tutorials during the KAL to just really prove my point.
What yarn do I need?
The Big Jimmy Jab uses DK-weight yarn, so you’ve got a whole load of options to pick from. I worked my red sample in DyeBath Merino mix 250 from Wool in Bath, which is a spectacularly good value hand-dyed yarn. I knitted the size 4 with the bust adjustment, and only needed two skeins.
My pink sample was knitted using West Yorkshire Spinners Croft DK, but any yarn that knits to gauge will do.
And those little stripes are great for using up scraps; the pattern even gives you a breakdown of exactly how much you need for each stripe in each size.
Are there any prizes?
Why yes indeed. Once the KAL comes to an end at the end of May I’ll be holding a random draw of all entrants to win free patterns, or a £35 voucher from No Frills Knitting. Because obviously the thing all knitters always need is more yarn. Always. There’s never enough yarn.
Fancy joining in? Then you can sign up for the Zoom cast-on party now – or just post on Instagram using the #bigjimmyjabkal
And yes, if you’ve already started your version then you can absolutely just start tagging your posts with that and I’ll very much allow it. I’m just so very kind.