Tuesday 4 November 2014

Get Knitting For Christmas Jumper Day

The charity Save The Children has declared that Friday 12 December will be Christmas jumper day, encouraging everyone to get in the festive woolly spirit and raise money too.

Full details, how to sign up and a downloadable craft guide are on the Save the Children website. The suggested donation to the charity is £2 per adult and £1 per child. Why not get your workplace or children's school involved? Just two pounds can pay for life-saving antibiotics to treat three babies with infections.

Of course Christmas jumper day is also a chance to support British wool and designers, eschewing high street chain store tat made in poor conditions abroad with acrylic yarn. Knit your own jumper to your taste, whether bright and bold or festively subtle, and you can guarantee you'll want to wear it year after year. I've browsed the best of British patterns to bring you my list of the top eight Christmas jumper patterns.

1. Susan Crawford's Perfect Christmas Jumper
This is currently on my needles. Two sleeves down with the back and front to go! I love the 1940s puffed sleeves and the reindeer intarsia motifs. I'm using Titus wool from Yorkshire yarn shop extraordinaire baa ram ewe. Crawford's pattern costs £4 in downloadable PDF format.

Photo courtesy of Susan Crawford
2. Rowan's Sasha Snowflake Jumper For Men
This is a great freebie from Rowan's website. The jumper is knitted in big wool and therefore is quicker to knit up. The snowflake on the front is rather subtle and is perfect for a man who wouldn't be seen dead wearing Father Christmas and pom poms over his chest. Download the pattern straight from Knit Rowan's website. The designer is Marie Wallin.

Photo courtesy of knitrowan..com
3. Sirdar Country Style Sweater
Another subtle Christmas jumper, this time for women. The pattern from Sirdar costs £2.95 and has a lovely Christmas tree motif around the yoke. This one is for Winter and not just for Christmas! Sirdar's Country Style DK isn't 100% wool, having nylon and acrylic spun in too, but it is a more affordable yarn if you're stuck for cash.

Photo courtesy of Sirdar
4. Wendy Sweater Knitting Patterns For Men And Women
Turn the kitsch factor up to the max with Wendy's his and hers reindeer sweaters. The pattern costs £2.69 and if you knit them up quickly you and a chap will be sporting them in style on Christmas Jumper Day. Just don't forget to mention that you're making an ironic statement! Wendy Mode DK is 50% merino and 50% acrylic and like Sirdar Country Style DK is pitched towards the budget end of the market.
Pattern courtesy of Wendy
5. Love Yarn Christmas Jumper by Fiona Bennet
I'm loving the Christmas pudding, snowman or reindeer yokes on this design by British Army wife Fiona Bennet. The pattern is pricey at £7.50 but it's good to know the money is going to an artisan designer rather than a faceless company. Sizes range from small to extra large. Bennet recommends using Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran. One of the benefits of this pattern is that the body is plain, meaning that it's easy to alter the length to suit your body size and shape.

Photo courtesy of Fiona Bennett

6. Stylecraft Children's Sweater
Stylecraft yarns hail from West Yorkshire and this Christmas jumper pattern for children will keep them bright and warm on Christmas Jumper Day. Choose from Father Christmas or a snowman to adorn the front. The pattern costs £2.99. Sizes range from age 1-2 years to 10-11 years. Stylecraft DK contains 25% wool.

Photo courtesy of Stylecraft

7. Coats Crafts Christmas Jumpers For All The Family
They're free, loud and proud! Knit comedy Christmas jumpers for all the family with these patterns from Coats Crafts. Sarah Hatton designed these jumpers using Patons Fab Big DK. The 100g balls retail for around £1.79 and offer great value, although sadly they contain no wool, being 100% acrylic. You could ask your local yarn seller for a wool yarn to substitute instead.

Photo courtesy of Patons
8. Purl & Jane's Child's Reindeer Sweater
Purl & Jane's Knitting Emporium is based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and they publish their own range of patterns. This child's reindeer sweater is perfect for the Christmas period and the best news is that there's also a woman's version too! Both patterns cost £3.95. The recommended yarn is Mirasol Miski aran weight yarn, although it can be substituted for a British version.

Photo courtesy of Purl & Jane
What do you think of these Christmas jumpers? Do you have a favourite I've missed off my list? Please let me know in the comments box below.

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