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Darien’s birthday sweater

April 2, 2011


Another side-by-side comparison! Sadly, no props were needed.

Attempt #2 from the awesome book of men’s sweaters where I got the sweater vest pattern that turned out so well last year. It’s a full-fledged cardigan with a dramatic shawl collar. Unfortunately, I guess yarns have changed somewhat since the book was printed, so I couldn’t find “gigantic” weight yarn that would give me the required five st/two in. I tried doubling up some worsted and that got me to approximately the right place, so I went ahead and ordered some Shine in Sailor from Knitpicks. I purchased it completely based on color. I didn’t realize until after I got it how limp it would be. It’s much softer than the wool I worked with on the sweater vest. Not at all scratchy. I decided that softer is good, and so is cooler, since he tends to run warm anyway (it’s cotton and modal, some kind of beech wood fiber).

The great part about knitting with such a huge gauge is that it knits up super quick. I could see such fast progress each time I picked up the project, and I also conceded that even if it didn’t come out perfectly, at least I wouldn’t have spent forever on it. I think the instructions were a little looser than the last pattern, relying much more on measurements than row counting, which probably contributed to a slightly larger size than I intended. It was really hard to measure since it was pretty heavy by the time an entire front, or even sleeve, was knitted, what with the yarn being doubled and all. Even when I laid it out on a table, I couldn’t really tell how much I should account for the natural weighing down of the fabric. More than I did, as it turns out.

Inspiration struck after dark, and my flash does not do the color justice.

One huge mistake I made was not joining only at the seams. Because of the floppier yarn, the weave is looser than the sweater vest, so now I can see ends popping out everywhere. I realized at the end that I had bought just enough balls to finish, so maybe it’s good that I didn’t run out trying to be more cautious about my joins. Still, I’ve been constantly pushing the ends back in, trying to figure out how to get them to stay hidden.

I’m not as proud of it as I am of the sweater vest, or even the cardigan I made myself (post of that to come), but it was fun, and Darien seems to like it a lot. He says he will wear it for “lounging, reading, thinking, and at the office.” As long as he likes it. I do love the color, and it is soft and cozy.

Obviously "scotch drinking" is going on the list, too.

Technically, I think my finishing skills improved a lot on this one. I like my seams a lot more than on previous projects. I always think that once the pieces are knit it’s almost done, but it actually takes quite a long time to carefully sew them all together. I think I spent two entire days on the seams alone.

Possibly the most adventurous part about making it was finding the buttons, which is harder than you might think. We tried the UWS flea market last weekend, but couldn’t find a vendor selling buttons. However, via the magic of the interweb, I found a store that sells only buttons. It’s called Tender Buttons and it’s on 62nd St between Lexington and Third Ave, a street that is remarkably picturesque. The staff is kind of surly, but they have an amazing selection. I was too chicken to take a picture of the wall of buttons from inside the shop because of the aforementioned staff, but I snapped one of the outside. We found some lovely buttons that look like woven leather, but I think they may actually be wood. They perfectly complete this not-quite-perfect project!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2011 3:51 pm

    So which one is the professional model?

  2. Julia Bates permalink
    April 7, 2011 3:05 pm

    ANYTHING handmade is perfect!!!!


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