My Bronwyn Pullover (or, how I knit all the cables ever.)

Happy Easter/ long weekend everyone! We made our annual trip out to the boonies to spend the long weekend dancing Balboa and eating excelent food in a rural lodge overlooking the sea, which is always a nice relaxing time. It’s also a gorgeous environment to take photos (away from the teal wall), so I took advantage of the scenery and of my friend Lauren’s willingness to be photographer to get some pictures of my recently finished Bronwyn Pullover.

I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it on the Brooklyn Tweed Instagram page! It’s by Melissa Wehrle, and was released in May last year as part of the BT Wool People 10 collection. I had been planning to knit another cabled Brooklyn Tweed pattern as part of my #makenine2016 plans, but I switched patterns once I saw this one. Ravelry says I started knitting this in July last year, so I was apparently a bit ambitious thinking I would have it done by the end of the year… To be honest I could have knitted it faster, but I got distracted by a couple of other projects and then the idea of knitting it over summer wasn’t so appealing, so it’s taken me about 7 months to complete! 

The wool is Zealana Heron, a 10 ply merino/possum blend. This is actually the second thing I’ve knitted in Heron (the first has been finished for over a year, but only got photos last weekend, whoops), and it is so lovely. The yarn is almost felted together, so it just looks like a single fuzzy, lofty strand rather than two or three strands twisted together. I’m sure there’s a technical term for that, but hopefully you know what I mean! The 20% brushtail possum fur gives the jumper a lovely soft halo, and makes it super warm. As well as feeling amazing, I also just like the idea of wearing something knitted out of NZ wool and which directly aides in the conservation of New Zealand native bush by using possum. I know possums are considered cute fluffy little critters in a lot of the world (Australia, looking at you), but they’re a conservation disaster in New Zealand. They eat the eggs of our native birds (which need all the help they can get, given that a lot of them can’t fly and so nest on the ground), and are massively destructive to our native flora as well. So there are plenty of reasons for me to keep knitting with Zealana Yarns!

I’m looking a bit awkward in these pictures, there were about 12 people watching! I’m not a natural in front of the camera, let alone in front of an audience. The jumper looks good though, so just focus on that…

This pattern has you knit the jumper in several stages. The front and back hem ribbing sections are knit separately, then are joined in the round and the body is knitted up to the armpits, where the front stitches are put on hold while the back is shaped for raglan sleeves, then the front is picked up and finished in the same way.

Both sleeves are knitted the same from the cuff up in the round, until the raglan sleeve cap, which is different on each sleeve of course. Then the whole lot is seamed together, and the neckband is picked up and knitted. I like knitting in the round, but I also like that the sleeves were knitted separately, as there is a lot of jumper to cart around by that point! This method kept things manageable, but also minimised the seaming (which I’m a fan of!).

This was a really fun project to work on, once I got going. The cables were easy enough to keep track of after a few repititions, and there was enough variety to keep it interesting to knit! I used to hate doing a tubular cast on, even though I love the result, because it’s so fiddly and always seems like it’s going to collapse when I take out the waste yarn (I’m still not too sure why it doesn’t, must be witchcraft), but after doing a tubular cast on for the front and back and both sleeves, I might have got over my dislike. I do really love the split high/low hem, it’s such a nice touch. In fact, I enjoyed all of this jumper, except for the Kitchener stitch bind off for the neckband! I don’t think I’ll ever get over my dislike of Kitchener stitch, I just can’t get my head around the pattern of knit/purl/slip movements to make with the tapestry needle, I’m constantly referring to the tutorial on The Purl Bee. It’s bearable when it’s 12 stitches for the toe of a sock, but the 114 stitches around this neckband were a mission. I couldn’t bear to have the neckband not to match the cast on edges though, so I just sucked it up and did it!

I think this will be my last jumper for a little while, for this winter at least! I’ve got five hand knit jumpers in rotation now, so I’m going to try to focus more on accessories for the rest of the year. I’ve already finished a hat, and I have a scarf cast on, as well as a few pairs of socks planned. That should keep me busy for a wee bit…

26 thoughts on “My Bronwyn Pullover (or, how I knit all the cables ever.)

  1. That is a gorgeous sweater.
    You did amazing work on it! The cables are lovely and the fit looks great!

    Also the scenery… it’s breathtaking! I didn’t know you were in New Zealand! (I guess the teal wall doesn’t really give it away… ) You’re so close to middle earth!!!!!

  2. All the cables is right! That must have taken a lot of patience, but gee is the end result worth it. I’ve often thought of knitting with a possum blend yarn (from NZ, as I’m in Aus) but have just never got around to it. The Heron looks like a good choice for when I eventually make my possum project.

    1. It’s a really lovely fibre blend, merino and possum! I’ve tried knitting with alpaca blends before, but they tend to make me all itchy and hay-feverish, so possum is good for me 🙂 hope you get to try it out soon!

  3. This is really great- I love the cables!! Although, I am familiar with NZ possum yarn- it still gave me a laugh to see possums referred to as “cute fluffy little critters”… if you google North American possum you’ll see what I mean 😀

    1. Thanks! It’s funny, we have such a deep seated hatred of the brushtailed possum in NZ that I think the North American possum is cuter, especially with all its babies riding pillion! They do have freaky teeth though…

  4. It’s fantastic! You’ve achieved such a pro finish and it looks amazing on. I love Zealana yarns too 💕

  5. I’m so impressed with your persistence through all those cables – it’s a beautiful garment! BUT ALSO – do you know my flatmate Cass, of the brilliant orange hair, who also spent a weekend dancing Balboa and eating amazing food last weekend?

  6. I used to live in a condemned (student) house in Dunedin and the possums in the roof drove me mad. Great jumper! I am one and a half sleeves away from completing my first cardigan – lots of cables too…..better get to it!

    1. Ugh, I hate that creepy hissing/cackling noise possums make, so creepy. Sounds like a traditional scarfie experience though! Hope you get your cardigan finished before it gets too cold (though I find cold weather is a great knitting motivator!)

  7. Amazing! Such beautiful cables I’m quite in awe! Yes introduced species are always a terrible idea for other habitats. Makes you want to travel back in time and slap those stupid stupid men….

    1. Thanks Sarah 🙂 I can understand why they wanted a fur trade, it’s just a shame they picked such a robust animal! Though at least it wasn’t something big and toothy, I guess…

  8. So impressed with this jumper – the cables look terrific, especially against this gorgeous seaside backdrop. Plus I had no idea you could get possum fur knitting wool! I’ve never noticed it on sale in the UK, but apparently it’s stocked by Hulu in Devon/online, so I might have to investigate…

  9. I’m also late to the party with reading my blogs… 😉 That is utterly stunning. I am so jealous!
    I am so going to pick up knitting this winter! If you’ve got some suggestions on simple tops to start with (not sure I can handle socks, even though there is less of it than a sweater), or share some of those YouTube videos you mentioned last weekend, that would be awesome. I may have to ask for help every now and then too 😉
    Well done, it looks superb!

    1. Thanks Kristina! My first piece of advice would be to join, it’s got everything you could ever possibly want to know about knitting! If you can knit and purl, you can pretty much knit anything, but searching Ravelry for beginner friendly patterns is a good place to start. I just plug any terms or instructions I don’t understand into Youtube, if the first video doesn’t make sense the next one usually helps. I can find some pattern ideas and DM you with them 🙂

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