Joyride Sweater

When I’m looking for a pattern to knit, my first port of call is often to pick up a big pile of knitting magazines and go through them, pulling out patterns that appeal to me. I do this periodically, and file any patterns that I may wish to knit and recycling the rest! As I was going through them, I came across Joyride sweater in an old copy of Knit Now magazine.

My New Year Resolution for 2017 was to knit a sweater for myself. But I wanted to choose the right pattern, as this was my first sweater for myself, so I didn’t want it to be too complicated a project.

Joyride Sweater 1

This pattern is available for free on Ravelry and is designed by the Drops Design team. I set the pattern aside as a possibility… Then I looked at the sizes and yarn required.

In the last few months of 2016, I was feeling tired and found myself without my usual knitting mojo. I pushed myself to finish all my Christmas gift knitting obligations, and then put down my knitting needles. I didn’t knit anything over Christmas or into the New Year. An absolute drought for me. Hence, I was trawling through my old magazines looking for inspiration.

Joyride Sweater 4

I’m not really a garment knitter. I’ve knit many Sasha doll sized sweaters but haven’t knit a sweater for myself since I was in my early 20’s. Back then, I just bought yarn, cast on, and had some fun!

So I wondered what was stopping me?

I’d always think it was mainly cost. Not so much in monetary terms but in time. What if I spent all that time knitting a sweater and it didn’t fit me or look flattering?

Joyride Sweater 3

I’m not a slender person at the best of times, not that I don’t try to shed some of the extra pounds that have accrued over the years, but really, a sweater project that requires 22 balls of premium yarn, as a first sweater project, has too much invested in it, if I mess things up. At least that was what I’d tell myself.

The style of the sweater was also a big issue for me. A skinny fitted sweater is not a good look on me. I prefer to camouflage any bulges. For me, knitting a sweater, is not going to be a particularly quick project. Lots of patterns don’t go up to the size I want to knit, as I prefer a bit of positive ease rather than negative ease, which can be immensely frustrating.

Joyride Sweater 2

I read through the Joyride sweater pattern (like Dumbledore, I also love reading knitting patterns!) and decided that I’d knit the sweater in the specified yarn. Choosing to knit Joyride sweater was a reasonably priced option as the Drops Karisma that I bought from Purple Sheep Yarns (who specialise in Drops yarns) didn’t break the piggy bank!

Joyride Sweater 5

I wasn’t sure about the colours ’11 Orange’ and ’62 Dark Mustard’, so I bought a couple of different colours to give me some choice. In the end the main change I made was to swap the orange for ’45 Light Olive’. I also used a slightly darker shade of grey than the one that was specified. I chose ’44 Light Grey Mix’ as my main colour. The other colours used are ’39 Dark Old Rose’, ’73 Petrol Mix’ and ’60 Blue Turquoise’. I did consider switching one of the blue shades for a dark purple but decided not to.

I knit a swatch and actually obtained the correct tension using the suggested 4mm needle size in stocking stitch. Since then, I’ve realised how lucky I was to have this happen for my first sweater project!

Joyride Sweater 6

Taking a deep breath I cast on and knit the garter stitch edge, then continued on for 2 balls of yarn in stocking stitch… I became concerned about how the edge flipped up and wouldn’t lie flat. I had a look on Ravelry and noticed that some other projects had the same issue. Maybe this problem would have gone away with blocking, but I didn’t really want to finish a sweater and find that I didn’t wear it because the lower edge flipped up. I’m not sure why this happened and if anyone can suggest what I could have done to prevent this I’d be really interested to know.

So I frogged…

I cast on again and decided to knit the rib using k1, p1 rib using the smaller needles. I wanted to retain the look of the sweater so I thought I’d knit about 2.5cm/1″ of rib initially. So it wouldn’t be obvious. But I changed that to 5cm/2″ instead. Then I switched to the larger needles. I was loving how the gorgeous grey wool was knitting up and am glad that I chose this shade instead of the paler pearl grey. For me it feels like a sensible choice as it won’t show marks so easily. I used Karbonz interchangeable needles.

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to knit the sweater longer than specified in the pattern. At the time, I think I pictured myself wearing the jumper with leggings. Experienced sweater knitters will laugh when I say that I panicked around this point and decided I wouldn’t have enough grey yarn, and ordered some additional balls of the grey…

I knit the sleeves…

Then the project was left lingering in a bag for several months as I wasn’t able to knit for a while.

Joyride Sweater 7

I finally returned to Joyride sweater towards the end of July. My nieces and my mum had fun helping me choose the colours to use for the stranded yoke and the order in which to knit them.

The great thing was, that when I came back to Joyride, I only had the exciting element to knit – the yoke.

Then I tried the sweater on. Oh. My. Goodness. So disappointing. It looked terrible. At this stage I wasn’t quite sure what I didn’t like about it.

Joyride Sweater 8

I’d definitely knit the body too long. I came to this realisation when I was out and noticed a chap wearing a sweater and thought to myself, that sweater is too long. If it was a bit shorter it would be much more flattering on him. It is odd how sometimes, it is when you see a garment on someone else, you realise what the problem is with your own project.

The next day, I carefully measured 15cm/6″ from the lower edge of my sweater and picked up the stitches on that round. Then I snipped the bottom of my sweater off a couple of rounds below the circular needle. Having cleaned up the edge, I started knitting the 5cm/2″ of rib. I didn’t go down a needle size as I didn’t want the rib to pull in at the bottom of the sweater.

Joyride Sweater 9

It was completely worthwhile in the end! The pattern was very well written and easy to follow. The majority of problems encountered were because of my inexperience with knitting garments. I’d definitely knit this sweater again in a darker colour. I think it would be amazing with a charcoal grey for the main colour.

I love this sweater. It is a very warm jumper for the colder winter months.

Joyride Sweater 10

Lots of people like to choose a word for the year. For 2018 I have chosen Mindfulness as my word. I shall be mindful when I take my medication, I shall be mindful and take time to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views when I am out for my daily walk and I shall be mindful about what I eat. In 2018 I intend to improve my health and energy. I’ve also started a gratitude journal. It helps remind me, that although these may not be the most flattering photographs ever taken of me, I am grateful to still be here to enjoy this inspirational world with the people I love.

Have you chosen a word for 2018?

About Nicolette


  1. How can I thank you again for your insight and reminder?

    Since I’ve heard from you last, my brother died, my husband’s brother died, another baby girl (granddaughter) has been born and my hubby decided to “run for political office.” Yikes!!! All before Christmas.
    So my head has been full and my needles have had many baby items on them.

    yes, Yes, that is something I chose about 6 years ago— a form of taking good care of yourself. It works!
    And somehow I am going to be mindful this week and pick out the colours for my sweater!

    Best to you, too, my dear.
    ps. i Love your writing!!

    • Hi Teri, Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter. I sure you are having so much fun choosing what to knit. There are such beautiful baby patterns and superwash yarns now. It is so exciting to have a new baby in the family. Absolutely, nothing quite like it!

      So sorry to hear about your brother and brother-in-law dying. I’m sure they have both left unfillable gaps in your family.

      Wishing you luck with your husband’s political aspirations! Politics here in Northern Ireland and UK can be a bit trying for the voting public so I can only imagination what it is like for the incumbent politician!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. So far being mindful seems to be working…

      Happy Knitting, Nicolette xxx

  2. willemijn says:

    You look lovely in the sweater, i am knitting my first sweater as well, and find it already fitting a bit to tight (have to loose some weight) ….. or frog it ….
    You look gorgeous!

    • Hi Willemijn, It is great having the option to try on the sweater before you finish knitting the body and sleeves. Did washing your swatch make any difference to the size and gauge? Sometimes blocking can change the size a little.

      I’ve been knitting a size bigger than my measurements to give me a little more breathing space as I think some of the lovely modern sweater designs a bit more fitted than I find comfortable.

      I’ve frogged a couple of sweater projects, most recently, a striped cardigan that just wasn’t working for me, so I used the yarn for a Ravello sweater instead.

      I’ve been reading a inspiring book by Dr Rangan Chatterjee called The 4 Pillar Plan. I’m reading the 3rd section on adding more movement into my life, which saw us walking on the beach for an hour this morning in the pelting rain. Whilst telling myself it will all be worthwhile in the end! Thank you for the huge compliment.

      I look forward to seeing your sweater when you’ve finished. Happy Knitting, Nicolette

  3. Re: garter edge flipping up — this happens to me a lot as well, and I have gradually learned it’s because the edge is not tall enough. Adding a few more rows of edging should take care of it.

    • Thank you Katherine, that is really helpful to know, and I’ve made a note of it in my Knitting Notebook and on the Joyride pattern. The edge in the pattern was only 6 rounds (3 garter ridges) and seemed a bit shallow. Although, it looked awfully cute in the pattern photo. Many thanks, Nicolette

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Gorgeous sweater, such a great pattern and fit, and you look beautiful in it. The colors are fabulous and it looks so soft and cosy. It really sets off your lovely skin and hair.

    As someone who has had a lifelong struggle with weight myself, may I recommend “Eat to Live” by Dr Fuhrman? Both my husband and I have lost 20+ pounds and brought our blood pressure down to normal within a couple of months. My husband has been able to discontinue his bp medication and has gained a lot of energy. I am sleeping so much better as my sleep apnea is greatly improved now. I hope you don’t mind the suggestion! Only since you mentioned your health… I found the book mentioned on a blog called Fifty not Frumpy and it helped us so much.

    • Hi Elisabeth,

      Thank you so much for the lovely compliments.

      I’ve ordered the book. It looks really helpful. Reading the reviews, his suggestions, seem to be very successful. I look forward to reading the book when it arrives. Have you tried any of his recipe books?

      Many thanks, Nicolette

  5. You look fabulous in the sweater! I agree that garment knitting is a lot of investment in time, and more fit issues to tackle than any other knitting. Socks knitting is so much faster and easier 😀
    By the way, will you be dyeing up more opal yarns? The current batch you have sold out in a few colours I love. I love your hand dyed yarns and have been hoarding all those I bought. I finally started using some last year but silly as it sounds, I need to buy more to replace those I have used!

    • Hi Min,

      Thank you for the lovely compliments. I’m enjoying the challenges that come with knitting garments. It is great learning new skills and trying new techniques.

      I will be dyeing more opal yarn but it has been put off for a few weeks as we are in the process of changing our central heating after our oil boiler stopped working and it is going to take a few weeks before the new gas heating is installed. Sadly cannot dye the yarn until I have a way of drying it! Thank you for your order which will be posted tomorrow morning. Happy Knitting, Nicolette

  6. You look great in your sweater! I love the colours! The sleeves are the right length! Well done!

  7. Ruth Brown says:

    Thank you for this encouraging posting. Your sweater looks lovely, it suits you beautifully. It is nice to have a lighter sweater to wear during the darker months. Admit to being a bit distracted by your lovely dog and beautiful background scenery. Wonder where you were? I shuddered when reading you took scissors and cut the bottom off your sweater!!! How many of us would have courage to do that. But what other solution, could it not have been unravelled from the bottom? The outcome is worth it. I will be looking up the pattern and see what others this same pattern co. makes.

    • Thank you Ruth,

      Bene is a sweetie and a great reason to go for a walk every day. He enjoys them so much. Neil took the photos of us on a beach walk at Crawfordsburn Country Park, Co Down, Northern Ireland. It is a favourite walk of ours. We visit Crawfordsburn for a beach walk when the tide is in as our other favourite beach walk is a tidal beach and we have to walk there within an hour or so either side of low tide. When the tide comes in the beach completely disappears. Bene loves chasing his tennis ball and splashing in and out of the sea no matter what the weather is like!

      I’ve tried unravelling from a cast on edge without much success in the past, (ended up a bit tangled) which was why I decided to cut the sweater. It was easier than I thought it would be once I’d made the first snip. I used my sharp stork scissors and had the sweater sitting flat on the kitchen table. I also put a piece of cardboard between the back and front of the sweater as I didn’t want to risk cutting anywhere accidentally. Many thanks, Nicolette

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