Happy 2016, Darlings! I, for one, am so happy to be looking at 2015 through the rear view mirror. Already 2016 has gone better than expected, and I'm excited to see what else this year will bring.
My first project for the year was actually finished last year. I promised my SO a sweater for his birthday in November. Technically it was finished the day after his birthday...but was blocked and ends woven in prior to visiting his family on Christmas Eve. Whoops! Either way, he's got his sweater now and he loves it, and that's what matters, right?
(Oh gawd he's so dreamy)
My favorite knitting projects are the ones that I've made with Liz and Michelle. Comparing notes, yarn choices, and adjustments, not to mention the fabulous photo shoots at the end, make the knitting process so much more enjoyable for me. We decided to team up and each knit the Lumberjack sweater for our menfolk.
For SO's sweater, I chose Knit Picks Swish DK. Josh knew he wanted a red of some sort, so when the Knit Picks catalog arrived, I opened it to the centerfold of yarn colors and told him to pick one. He chose Garnet Heather, and it knit up beautifully.
Michelle chose an amazing silk and wool blend for Mike's sweater...
...and Liz bought an incredible wool in Paris for Felix's version.
For the photos, we ended up at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, where we took photos for our first sweater together, the Ingenue. Of course, we had to recreate a photo from that shoot for this one :)
Ok, let's talk about the pattern. I swatched and got gauge on size 5 needles, and all ribbing would be done on size 4 needles. Based on Josh's chest measurement, I decided to knit the Large (finished chest 40.9").
Josh is a tall guy. A really tall guy. I knew some adjustments would need to be made so the sweater fit him properly, specifically adding shaping into the torso of the sweater, as well as adding length to the arms and torso. Because the pattern called for about 1800 yards for the Large version, and adding in some extra yardage for the length, I ended up ordering 17 skeins (2,091 yards total).
I ended up with 8 more stitches before casting on for the bottom of the collar, so I only cast on 10 stitches instead of the 14 called for by the pattern. When I got to the separating for sleeves, my count was at 364 instead of 368, and after speaking with Liz and Michelle about the bulk of the sleeve, only cast on six stitches for underarm instead of 8. Even with taking those stitches out, the sleeves are still a bit bulky. The sleeves also didn't need any length added to them! I was very surprised about that. As you can see, they are a bit too long on Josh, and whether that was the yarn choice, the pattern, or the blocking, or a combination of all three, I don't know. He does like the length, saying it is a very rare thing to find something that is too long for him.
For the torso shaping, I decreased four times over 32 rows (decreased a total of 16 stitches). This shaping, plus the reduction in underarm cast on stitches, created a fitted silhouette that I really like. I ended up ripping back and adding five more inches for torso length, which made it slightly too long for Josh, but he likes it (he can lift his arms above his head without showing his shirt underneath).
A close up of the collar. I love how the collar turned out, and Josh picked the button from my stash.
Overall, I'm pleased with the result. I was disappointed that I ended with too much length, but Josh likes it and wears it almost every day, so I'm telling myself that that is what matters most. I was also disappointed that I only used 12.2 skeins of yarn for this project, about 1500 yards total, 300 less than the pattern called for. I now have 4.8 skeins left in my stash, and while it is a pretty color and I don't mind overbuying slightly, I feel like 590 yards is a bit excessive.
Since Josh likes this sweater so much, I've offered to make him this sweater next time... but I'm going to do some knitting for myself first ;)