My 11th sweater of the year is FINALLY done. And oh my gosh what a beast it was. This was by far the sweater that took me the longest amount of time to knit, used the most yarn and gave me the most frustrating moments. I have knit sweaters for my long-bodied, long-armed husband before this, but the intricate stitch and cable patterns made me feel like I was knitting a never-ending sweater.
In reality, I should keep my complaining to a minimum here because it was my idea to knit him such a complicated sweater. I was annoyed he kept asking for super-simple pullovers and declared he would never wear anything so “fussy”, part of me took that as a challenge. One of his favorite films is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in which an unwilling world-traveler spends an extended part of the movie in a deep burgundy fisherman’s style pullover, skateboarding down a mountain towards a volcano. As soon as I found a yarn color similar to the sweater Ben Stiller wears in the movie, it didn’t take long to talk my husband into letting me knit him his own adventure sweater.
I found the Dreams of Aran sweater pattern from Drops easily, it’s been a favorite for years on Ravelry. Knit in just about every color over the years, for men and women. It’s knit from the bottom up and pieced together. All in all, I didn’t make many changes to the pattern as it’s written. Since my husband is slim and long, I knit for the Medium, but followed notes about length for the Large size. I would have probably made more increases on the sleeves if I was ever going to knit this pattern again, because they seemed a little slim to me.
Beyond taking forever to knit, (the honeycomb cable and the seed stitch panels are to blame for me getting bored and setting this sweater down so many times) when it came time to attach the sleeves to the body, things were confusing. Many sections are attached to each other with very hard right angles. Some of the harsh shaping can be fixed with blocking, but there are still some areas that pucker. I’m not sure why the pattern doesn’t use more slanted shapes for bind-off areas. Once the sleeves and body were attached I had my husband pull the sweater on to check it out and immediately panicked that the neckline was going to be huge. I basically knit the whole neck section in terror that I might have to take everything apart and re-knit pieces. Thankfully, adding a few extra rows in before starting the folded collar seemed to help and the collar is just fine.
The bright side is that my husband loves it, he’s worn the sweater just about every day since I finished it. I knit it with sport weight yarn instead of DK because I wanted something a little lighter that he would be able to layer throughout the winter or wear on its own when the weather is mild. I used Cascade 220 sport in Burgundy.
Here is the breakdown of the modifications I made:
1. I followed sizing for the Medium, with the length of the Large.
2. I omitted the rows of garter stitch from the edge of the body ribbing and the sleeves. (I did knit the garter stitch rows for the body, but took them out after the sweater was finished. I left them off completely when I cast on the sleeves)
3. I knit two additional purl rows before starting the ribbing for the collar.
You can see more information on my Ravelry project page.
Right now I’m about half way through my 12th sweater of the year. I’m knitting Big Sister by Kate Oates with Snoqualmie Valley Yarn from Tolt Yarn and Wool, dyed with red cabbage by Local Color Fiber Studio. Since I have two more months left in the year, I’m going to make my best attempt to finish as least one more sweater to make it a baker’s dozen this year. Right now I am seriously considering Adamantine by Erica Knits.