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”.
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.
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.
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!