Monday, May 5, 2014

The seven-year sweetheart sweater

In the knitting world, there is a legend whispered among women over the clicking of the needles, a legend that tells of the tragic end that has befallen many a knitter. The legend has a name, murmured in fear or shouted in rage. That name is

the boyfriend curse.

For whenever you knit a sweater for a boyfriend, inevitably the relationship ends before the sweater is done.

Fortunately, I waited until we were married a few years to start a project for my husband. Of course, were that curse to befall me, I would have gotten a nice long reprieve from the curse, because my (first?) sweater for my husband took a mere seven years to complete.


The Sweater Saga

I began this sweater after Christmas 2006. I was hoping to get it done in time for his birthday at the end of January. I finished the front and the sleeves and was working on the back when his birthday came, so I surprised him with the pieces and told him my plan.

Next, I was hoping to have it done for Valentine's day. But in the intervening weeks, when I reached the armholes of the sweater back, I discovered that I'd knit 2/3s of this large piece in the wrong size. AGH. I had to take out all of that knitting—and then I needed to take some quiet time away from this sweater.

Sometime in the next few years, I pulled out the yarn and needles again and knit back to the armholes—in the right size this time, but then I put it down because I needed to find the pattern again to work the armhole shaping. A couple years later, I finally finished that piece and blocked the pieces.

Then seaming. Ugh. I hate sewing the pieces together, but I took advantage of some TV time to get this done.

Six months later, I was ready for the final step: knitting the neckband. After six long years, it was finally done! And then my husband tried it on—and the neckband looked terrible. It was like bacon neck, but standing up. It was ridiculous.

No way could I let a sweater I'd worked so hard on end up looking like that. So finally, last month, I pulled out, ripped out the neckband knitting and started over, making the neckband much tighter.

The finished product!


The pattern: Leo by Kristi Porter, from Knitty Fall 2004. I picked this pattern because it was suitably low-key. Since this was originally a surprise, I wanted to play it safe with the design. I'd fished for hints about what he liked, and I was pretty sure cables and most other design elements are out, and this is now my go-to sweater for guys who want an understated, classic look. Or guys who balk at the idea of (gasp) a stripe.

The yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Jade. I'd originally purchased this for me, but decided to use it for my husband's sweater because I'd love to see him in it!

Now we just have to wait for the weather to get cold again.

3 comments :

Kristen said...

You are my hero for posting this! I have a sweater (for me) that I've been working on for two years. I'm inspired to dig it out now :)

Jordan McCollum said...

Yay, Kristen! You can do it!

Yeah, the last time I made a sweater for myself, I waited two years to do the seaming and neckband. And then it was too big. :(

Just Jaime said...

Looks amazing!! I'm really impressed.

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