Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blessed Sweater

Forget sweater curses; this sweater is blessed.  It's made with love for the man I love who has tolerated knitting needles left in dangerous places, has payed for yarn I have yet to use, has moved his Dune collection over on the bookshelf to accommodate more knitting books (To be fair, the Dune series is obnoxiously never-ending.), has almost fallen asleep in yarn stores, has dealt with my moodiness when something I made was too big or too small, has willingly held up his hands for me to lay a skein over while I wind a ball, and has eaten supper on the couch because sweaters were blocking on the table.  Yes, finally, after eleven years, he's getting a sweater out of the deal.


I would have sooner if I'd had confidence that he'd want one or even wear one.  We live in the South; it was in the seventies on Christmas Eve when these photos were taken.


The deets-  It's called The Classic Sweater for Guys from Knit Cafe.  To make it, I used seven or eight balls of Patons classic wool in Jade Heather, held double with size 9 needles.  I cast on the correct number of stitches for a size small (remember, things I knit in Patons have always grown wider with washing) though he usually wears a large at, say, the Gap.



After cast on, I joined to knit it in the round all the way to the armhole shaping.  First, I knit 1.5 inch of 2x2 ribbing because I knew the sweater would roll up the back.  I'm so glad I did that.  Once I was 15 inches from the cast on edge, I began working each side separately.



 I knit the sleeves two at a time, flat, on my circular.  Since I had two balls of yarn per sleeve, I used loosely tied plastic grocery sacks to separate the balls like ghetto yarn bowls.


I followed the shaping for a size small but made them a little longer.  If they were still too short, I could always add a 2x2 rib to the cuff.  I wasn't sure how the rolled cuff would look, but it turned out fine.




I rarely get photos of him, so bear with me as the knitwear brings out the model in him.





Such a manly, rugged sweater!  (Above- before I cut his hair, below- sans pompadour) 



A note: When binding off stitches for all of these sweater pieces, save a long enough bind off tail to use for seaming shoulders together and sewing sleeves up.  This will reduce the amount of ends you have to weave in after it's finished.  I always forget to do that!


After sleeves were finished and shoulders seamed, I picked up stitches for a seamless neckline.  Picking up stitches is one of my least favorite things to do.  Really.  The pattern photo shows an obvious line where these stitches are picked up but it's symmetric and kind of design-y looking.  I spent way too much time trying to reproduce this look on a 3 day knit.  Finally, I just did whatever looked semi- balanced.  I only knit 9 rows of neckline because I didn't want it to roll down all weird like we used to roll our tube socks when we were kids.  Remember, when you'd start at the top rolling tight and keep going to the ankle then walk around like that for fun?  Okay, maybe not, anyway, it's not a good look for a sweater.   Now, that it's finished, I doubt that would have made a difference, though.



All that was left was setting in the sleeves (Did I say picking up stitches was my least favorite thing?  I lied.  Setting sweater sleeves is.)  Then I washed and blocked it with a couple more sweaters, hijacking the dinner table again.


The results:  It isn't too big, he likes it, it does match his eyes (guys don't really care about stuff like that, though), and after wearing it for these photos he deemed it "a really warm sweater."   Plus, I think he looks really handsome in it.


This is how his father stands.  
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