In 2014 I blogged about knitting for Christmas Jumper Day. This year the charity Save The Children is once again planning a seasonal woolly jumper fundraiser on Friday 18th December, but the charity has also teamed up with Make A Wish and Macmillan Cancer Support. For details of how to get involved go to this page. There will even be a special programme on ITV on 18th September to celebrate the campaign.
So - the big question is what to knit? Kitsch festive jumpers have ruled the roost and the stores for the past few years but there are other designs that give a festive feel without screaming 'IT'S CHRISTMAS!' in your face a la Noddy Holder.
Last year it lay half-completed on my needles but now my Susan Crawford Perfect Christmas Jumper is finished and waiting until it's near enough to Christmas to be worn. I customised it to suit my short figure by removing a row of pattern to make the body shorter and also calming down the voluptuous shoulders.
Here are some other patterns perfect to become your Christmas Jumper of 2015:
1. Kate Davies Boreal
This jumper falls into the quietly-festive category. Whilst it's not overtly Christmassy the snowflake patterns and cool colours give it a joyous, wintery feel. This design will last you right through until February.
|Image courtesy of Kate Davies|
This bright and fun design appeared in issue 54 of Knit Now magazine, which should still be available in your local newsagent's. It capitalises on the Scandinavian trend for yoke designs and will be an enjoyable challenge for an intermediate knitter. Personally I would change the background colour to red, but this would make it a tad more Christmassy.
|Image courtesy of Knit Now magazine|
This year Rowan brought out a pattern brochure called Winterscape to support its Alpaca Merino UK yarn. Sarah Hatton's Fair Isle yoke design Etherow has a lovely, festive feel and the use of a merlot-coloured yarn rather than red adds to its rich depth.
|Image courtesy of Rowan|
4. Sue Stratford's Merry Christmas Jumper
Download this pattern free from knitting website The Yarn Loop, the online home of Knit Today, Simply Knitting and The Knitter magazines. It's unashamedly Christmassy and certainly will win you a lot of laughs on the big day. The pattern is taken from Sue Stratford's book Merry Christmas Sweaters To Knit.
5. Sirdar Christmas Jumper With Trees
Another yoke design but this time the pattern's snowflakes fall all the way down the body of the jumper. It's billed as a tasteful Christmas jumper and certainly is a suitable design for those of you adverse to reindeer and pom poms. I featured this design last year but have included it again because the Yorkshire firm baa ram ewe has knitted up the design in its own Dovestone DK yarn, released in 2015.
|Image courtesy of baa ram ewe|
6. Tin Can Knits' Snowflake Sweater
The beauty of this design is that it's available in all sizes from baby to adult. If you knit it in more muted colours it's less Christmassy, but whip it up in red or green to maximise the festive effect. I adore the sparkly yoke.
|Image courtesy of Tin Can Knits|
7. Purl & Jane's Christmas Reindeer Jumper
I have the pattern and yarn just waiting to knit up this fun design that in my opinion is a little more cool than kitsch thanks to the reindeer's square edges. The pattern's sizes range from 32 to 50 inch chest. Hopefully I'll have started and finished it in time for Christmas Jumper Day 2016!
|Image courtesy of Purl & Jame|