A Sweater for My Man

I promised last week that I’d share the whole sweater-picking process Hubby and I went through, and I am absolutely a woman of my word. First we talked about the sweater he’d seen on vacation and I tried to figure out what it was he liked about it. Eventually we came up with a gist – he wanted a light weight sweater with “not too much” texture, especially on the lower half, and a “thing” near the neckline that could have been a shawl collar or modified shawl collar or even a henley neckline. He also definitely wanted a pullover and not a cardigan.

With that in mind we went to the miracle that is Ravelry’s advanced pattern search. I keyed in fingering weight, since that seemed to be about the heaviest of any of the things in our closet he thought would be acceptable, and I’d really rather not knit a man’s sweater in anything lighter than that! Then I checked “pullover”, “male”, “adult”, and “has photo”.

options

While 105 options is significantly fewer than the same parameters would’ve given me for a women’s pattern, it’s still a rather overwhelming number. Luckily Hubby was feeling brave and plenty patient, not to mention totally unembarrassed to eliminate most of them out of hand (honestly I’d have done the same). We eventually discovered that he has a taste for Brooklyn Tweed patterns, which helped narrow down the choices significantly.

brooklyn tweed

There are 7 men’s tops currently published by Brooklyn Tweed, but the Husbeast has Strong Opinions about appropriate sweater weight and the acceptability of things like ribbing on sweaters, so none of them was quite right. We decided we would use a few of his favorite features from the sweaters for inspirations and I would design the perfect husband sweater just for him. Then I dragged him out to multiple yarn shops and craft stores to fondle yarn. I swear I had no ulterior motives. 😉

It is frequently difficult to find sweater quantities of a yarn in an LYS, especially man-sizes, but I wanted him to at least see colors and touch fabrics in person before we ordered the necessary amounts. He was still surprisingly hard to impress, as everything was too bright or too fuzzy or too “They want you to pay what for that tiny little ball?” for our purposes, especially in sock weights. Much to my surprise, in spite of his initial “Ew, acrylic” comment we wound up with a synthetic yarn. It turns out Woolike is much softer and nicer than his original conception of acrylic. The fact that he won’t have to worry about hand-washing or accidentally destroying it was appealing too.

woolike

It helps that it also comes in a nice, deep navy that we both liked. It’s almost unnervingly inexpensive as well. Good thing, because it turns out you really need a truly stunning amount of yardage to make a fingering weight sweater in a men’s large! I spent most of my (very limited, sadly) free time this past week doing up the math for the pattern, and may actually be able to get to knitting in the next few days if I find some time between yarn shipments for my actual paid knitting (and of course, the day job). More details to come!

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19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by caityrosey on September 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah. I’m pretty much doing everything I can to avoid knitting a plain stockinette men’s sweater. Mom threw herself on that unexploded grenade. Dad wanted something light and plain.

    Reply

  2. I had a similar discussion with my husband, which covered all the same basis except he was perfectly happy for me to use an Aran weight yarn. But everything else, colour, shape, material took ages to decide. But I am working on his jumper now and hopefully he will love to when it is finished.

    Reply

  3. You’ve both put a lot of effort into choosing the right pattern and yarn so you deserve success. I’m looking forward to seeing your progression with this project.

    Reply

  4. I think you’re very brave to make a man’s pullover in such a lightweight yarn. It will take you aaaaaaages won’t it?

    Reply

  5. I’m so impressed that he’s fully engaged in the process. I bet the result will be fabulous in that rich blue.

    Reply

  6. Posted by caityrosey on September 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Dang it. I read the title, just the title, and felt so guilty. I have a sweater for my man I need to finish. I need to pick up and knit the collar and stuff. But I don’t wanna

    Reply

    • Hahaha I have a few projects like that myself. Hubby looks questioningly at the pile of yarn for his sweater every time I pick up anything else though. Sometimes I just need a little something that’s already written to take the edge off!

      Reply

  7. Sounds sooooo familiar! 🙂
    I found some good ideas by searching in the Projects (rather than Patterns), selecting fingering wt and pullover as categories, then searching in project notes for “husband” or “boyfriend”. That turned up sweaters people had actually made, as opposed to patterns.

    Reply

  8. He will look dapper in anything Brooklyn Tweed! Your man has good taste! 🙂

    Reply

  9. […] that sweater my husband asked for last year? He’s been wearing it since the weather turned, but today it […]

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