I started this last November and unfortunately (well, for him) it got left aside until we came back after Christmas.
Here’s the fine print!
Pattern: Top-down set in sleeve pattern from Barbara Walker with some modifications.
Mods: The most important modification I made was about an inch’s worth of short rows on the back, before the armholes, and an inch’s worth of short rows on the collar. I also obviously modified the pattern to include a placket for the zip and the ribbed collar.
Yarn: Karisma, a superwash 100% wool DK from Garn Studio, from The Constant Knitter. What can I say? I love this yarn. It’s definitely not the softest but it is perfect for mens’ knits. The yardage is great for the price. I got something like 15 balls. Of those, three were the contrasting colour but I ended up only using one. So I think that would put this sweater at the €35 mark!
Needles: 4mm all the way, even for the ribbing.
This was my first time putting a zip into knitting. The only reason I even contemplated it was because the original impetus behind this sweater was to make it look like another beloved, but very bedraggled, sweater with a zip-up collar. I was always put off by zips because I thought it would be fiddly and annoying. This one totally proved me wrong and I had it done in about half an hour. I tacked it in, set my sewing machine to the longest stitch it could do, and then adjusted the teeth under the needle for a thick fabric. I went slowly around and it worked out great. I hand-sewed the edges down on the inside so they wouldn’t be too rough against the skin. All the same, I think I will get some grosgrain and put some facing on it.
It fits really, really well. I put this down to his willingness to try it on whenever I requested. When it was first finished he thought there was too much room under the arms. Now that it’s been worn a bit, it has been declared “just right”.
A big bone of contention with Alb is sleeve length. He has short arms and usually the sleeves on his tops and sweaters are too long. These were carefully measured! Although my initial instinct would have been to knit the cuffs to the wrist, he actually prefers a cuff that comes down a little over his hands.
Knitting for men is a fine art. You can never tell what can throw off the balance. For example, there was initially some reserve for the lighter grey stripes in the ribbing. It might have been too fancy. But the stockinette was “nice and plain” (tell me about it). It is both long enough and short enough – and definitely warm enough. I think it is safe to deem this sweater a success!
PS The Knitting Olympics are starting soon! Check out the Yarn Harlot’s post about it – or if you’re on Ravelry, join in on one of the many teams (woo! go Team Ireland!) or just knit your heart out for any number of the events. I’m not sure how much time I’ll be able to devote to it but I think I should at least participate in the WIPs-Dancing event and finish off that Minimalist Cardigan.