Two little Ensos in the sun…

Today we were lucky enough in Melbourne to have beautiful Spring-like sunshine! Technically Spring is still a month away, but the sun is tricking us all – even our daffodils are blooming early!

Pattern: Enso jumper by Renee Callahan. 
Made before? These are the two versions I have made, and I have another WIP
Will make again? Definitely, I love how this fits and how easy it is!
Adjustments? These are cropped versions, and in the vest I have left off the sleeves and the rib neckline.
Inspiration: A similar cropped version I saw at The Wool Kitchen’s stand at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 (another Helen!)
Yarn: The pale version is made in Dandelion Yarns Organic Merino, the vest is in Marvel Denim Effects 12ply from Spotlight.

In 2017, not long after I had arrived in Glasgow, I travelled to Edinburgh for the Yarn Festival. At the time, I had been living with one of those horror-story housemates you hear about, and I’d just been rescued by a wonderful couple who let me rent their spare room. Fiona, a complete stranger, had heard me discussing the situation with my boss, in a wine store, and out of the blue gave me her number and offered me the spare room. The kindness of strangers!! I will always be so grateful for their help.

Anyway, I was pretty blue when I went to EYF because of this uprooting, being homesick, and generally questioning whether moving to Glasgow had been a good idea. EYF came at the perfect time – I felt connected to a community again, I made plans, I became optimistic, I spent far too much money! I met Katie from Inside Number 23 Inside Number 23 (who is pregnant! Yay!), saw Kirsten from Yarngasm/Voolenvine from afar, although she was too busy to say hello to, and met fellow Australians the Fruity Knitters (Andrew & Andrea) who were lovely and made me far less homesick.

And I bought this yarn.

At the Wool Kitchen stall, there was a sample knit of the Enso Jumper knitted up in one of their beautiful yarns. I was smitten. Unfortunately, they’d run out of the colourway I truly wanted to knit this up in, so I dithered and wandered some more. It was then that I found this yarn from Swedish company Dandelion Yarns, which you may still be able to purchase at Loop in the UK. The yarn is beautiful, it is an organic merino sportweight. Unfortunately, I can’t remember or find the name of the colourway.

Helens Enso Jumper Side View Fern and Thread
I love how the garter stitch panel links up to this curved waistband! As a cropped version, this feels perfectly modern to me and very wearable.


Helens Enso Jumper Front View Fern and Thread

For both versions, I simply followed the instructions for the body until it had reached my natural waist, and then I started the hem band instructions.

I knitted this on my own, and it was my second jumper only. It did take me the better part of a year, as I kept putting it down for a few weeks at a time when I didn’t know what an instruction meant. Once I knew what the techniques were, however, it was a really easy knit and I would definitely recommend the pattern.

I finished this in December in Glasgow, in the fifth Glaswegian flat I had stayed in. I wore it almost every day for the last few weeks there. This jumper will always remind me of sitting in a colourful couch watching the Marvelous Mrs Maisel, a honeysuckle-scented perfume I bought at Lush while Christmas shopping, trudging through snow and ice to have breakfast at Papercup cafe, and one long, cold walk on Boxing Day by the Kelvin River (which I really shouldn’t have done because I definitely had the flu).

If you look closely, you can see a little hole in the back which my lovely mother has darned… note to self, make sure you weave-in ends!

Helens Enso Vest Back View Fern and Thread
In a way, this vest version was a homesick-knit too, because I started it when I had just moved back to Melbourne, and spent my nights knitting on the couch waiting for a Scottish friend to wake up so I could chat to them on Messenger. Yes, I get homesick easily, it is one of my many flaws. It’s also one I am happy to have, because it means I’ve truly loved the places and people I’ve discovered and lived in/with.


For the vest version, I decided to leave off the arms, and the neckline ribbing. Since looking at these photos I’ve decided the curling at the neck annoys me, so I will probably knit a rib to add to that tonight. I haven’t worn this as much as I thought I would, either, so maybe that is a sign I should add sleeves.

I have got a WIP of this in a grey version of the Marvel Denim Effects wool. Since I started knitting that one, I’ve realised that I have around nine different grey jumpers and cardigans, so I definitely don’t need another one! I might finish it and gift it to a friend or one of my sisters. At the moment, though, I have other, more exciting knitting plans to work up.



Do you have any recommendations of Australian or Kiwi yarn dyers? Let me know in the comments below!

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