all he wants for christmas . . .

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

i’m glad so many of us are groovin’ on the henley idea—i’ve grown so enthusiastic in imagining it as a henley, that i’d feel i was “settling” to knit it as something else now. i think a shirty-type sweater is just the thing for this soft, sport weight yarn from knitting notions.

i’m ready to get going—i wound my yarn this morning in between bookkeeping and photo editing (i have a mountain of photos to edit today; writing this post is my second break from that task).
since this is handpainted yarn and the skeins vary a bit (one skein varies a lot, but i’m hoping not to have to use much of that one), i’m keeping the cakes that came from each skein together. i have found that i usually get a whole front or back from one skein of this size; it matters more to me that the whole front matches than whether the front matches the back exactly. if i think i’ll need more than one skein for both sleeves, i’ll knit the bottom part of each sleeve from that odd skein; it won’t show as much as if i knit the sleeve cap from it, or one whole sleeve.

am i babbling? sorry . . .
i never used to be OCD about whether one skein matched another exactly; in fact, i prefer to let it be what it is and i’m still ok with variations in shawls. but since i’ve put myself in the position of having to photograph each sweater in detail, i’ve noticed that the camera makes a big deal out of differences you don’t even see with the naked eye. so now i’m careful, but i try not to make it a chore, you know?

meanwhile, i’m making progress with my green lace cardigan too

i’ve got both fronts finished and they seem to be the right dimensions, once they’re stretched a little (phew!). i did the decreasing and increasing ever-so-slightly different on one side than the other and i like the second side better (it varies only a smidge at the waist there). no way am i pulling out the whole first side again to make them match exactly for one little eyelet, but i’ll do the back the new way.

once i get to that point. tonight, maybe, unless i start the blue henley (probable).
even if i do start the new sweater, i’ll almost certainly spend a little time on the green one too. it’s a little disconcerting to me that i’m all hung up on knitting sweaters i can’t wear much til next spring, but there you have it.

heh, i should be starting david’s christmas sweater. eh, maybe after rhinebeck . . . or maybe i’ll get that pattern out and start a sleeve—it might make good car knitting.

omg, you’ll never believe what he wants me to knit him NOW (cue in the theme from jaws).

i don’t even know where i’d get yarn that size, much less the desire to knit with it (except by referring constantly to the photo; isn’t my husband clever, choosing a sweater that contains an adorable bare-chested boy?? he doesn’t fool me a bit, though).

i said, “you know that’s gonna be heavier than your whitfield jacket, right?”
he totally looked at it and said (i kid you not), “i dunno, it looks fairly lightweight to me . . .”
ok, heavy might not have been the right word—but, the description says the fabric is three times the usual thickness.
i know this is knit on hatefully big needles, too.
BUT. i’d do anything for this man . . . and, it will go quickly.
of course, i won’t knit exactly this sweater; i’d design my own. this is the look and spirit he’s hankering after, though. any ideas on how i can get out of this?
maybe i should just buy it for him . . .

i swear, i won’t complain ever. again. about knitting him socks . . .

33 thoughts on “all he wants for christmas . . .

  1. I know! What is it with them? Freaky Consort saw my Scholar’s Jacket that I made from Cheryl Oberle’s book, and now he wants one too. But. He doesn’t like cables. He doesn’t like scratchy, heavy wool. He doesn’t like buttons OR pullovers. Or sweaters. He likes soft shapeless stockinette vests out of something that pills immediately, loses its shape, which he wears non-stop until it felts from being worn to death, like a teddy bear dragged all over the neighborhood. Sigh.

  2. Ha! We must love them, because we keep them around and knit stuff for them. At least your man is adventurous in his clothing choices. My husband is OK with anything I knit for him, as long as it’s a blue sweater in stockinette. 😉
    Oh, and tell David we want to see him modeling it with no shirt on underneath when you’re done. Maybe that will change his mind.

  3. The closest yarn to that which I’ve seen would be the sheepsdown from Schoolhouse Press. It’s 2-3 sts to the inch!!! New colors coming in, too, this Fall!

  4. Is it the total sweater he likes? Any chance a heavily cabled sweater with a shawl collar, knit out of a less bulky yarn would be an acceptable alternative? Of course he did build you custom cedar closets for your stash.

    If you do knit that sweater I second Lorette’s photo modeling suggestion 😉

  5. Haha,I cannot imagine you knitting that sweater, but I know you will and I know it will be gorgeous. And, don’t all men wear their huge bulky sweaters shirtless???

  6. ooh I love Lorette’s suggestion!

    could you get away with some light fluffy yarn that knits at the same gauge — mohair or something exotic?

    I hoped that knitting it might slow down your pattern output so we could try to catch up … but I guess not, if you think it will knit up fast

  7. You’ve got to love men! Do you think he’d notice if you knit something in that spirit in a slightly less heavy yarn? I mean, if he doesn’t think it’s heavyweight… The eye candy definitely makes looking at the picture anything but a chore, though 😉

  8. If I were you, I’d agree to knit it for him on one small condition – he agrees to model it for you (and agrees to let you take pictures of him) if he poses exactly the way the young stud does. Maybe that will get you out of the situation 🙂

  9. You could just spin the yarn. After all, how much can it be in that gauge, 500 yards?


    Oh, and tell David he doesn’t have to get the tatoo before the modelling session. We’re not unreasonable.

  10. Men! You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em!

    And I agree with Lorette: If David wants that sweater, he has to agree to model it shirtless for all of us to oogle at…the sweater, that is. LOL

  11. I just have to let you know that I love, love, love, love, love the look of that green lace cardigan.
    I will be first in line when you release the pattern, for sure. Yum!

  12. Cant wait to see the finished product Ann, I know you can do it. I started the Ivy Vines Cowl today and really loving it. Using silky wool from Rowan RY yarns. Now i see the new Leaf designs Cowl up today. I guess I will just have to knit faster!

  13. Lopi, maybe? Or just a nice handful of pencil roving? But the yarn from Schoolhouse would probably be a better choice.

    You look at that sweater and say “ewww”. I look at that sweater and think “Three days. Tops. And then back to dolly knitting!”

  14. I got a good chuckle out of the sweater story (it looks lightweight – ha ha!!). You totally amaze me…that you could look at that sweater and come up with your own design. (goes off shaking head…)

  15. Oh man, I just finished a cushion cover in Rowan Big Wool which I over-dyed, knit using size 17 US needles–what a pain in the butt. Yes, every stitch fills up a half inch of space, but every stitch takes so much movement! The feel of knitting at that scale is just all wrong to my hands! The idea of doing a man-sized sweater in enormous yarn on enormous needles makes me ill. And then you’d have a thick, chunky, over-sized sweater. Note how the model is all bent out of shape by wearing it! He can barely stand, poor dear! For the sake of your shoulders and his, I say get him interested in a decent gansey!

  16. heh, well, i think the sweater will be totally cute on him; i can picture it working out pretty well. but i agree with robin’s suggestion that you try to make something similar out of lighter-weight yarn; i don’t think he even knows what he’s getting into with superbulky.

  17. I don’t know what you should do, but if you design your own do you think you could arrange for the magazine model to do pictures in your version? Maybe while you’re at it, you can design some knitted undies for him, too!

  18. If he’s like my husband telling him he has to model it just like the boy in the ad for the blog would be enough to put him right off the idea. If I felt he was still tempted, I’d point out I meant wearing leather pants (well, they look like leather pants anyway) as well.

    At least it will go fast. And at least David gives you really specific ideas of what he is after. Mine just says “professor sweater” and that’s it. What the heck does that mean?

    Actually, I think I’m gonna stick up for David here. Those big thick chunky sweaters are like a blanket you can wear. It’s easier to carry with you than an actual blanket. And it’s kinda nice to be able to snuggle up into it. Although, unless the yarn has a LOT of air in it, it IS going to be kind of heavy and I would think too warm. Unless he’s not planning on turning on the heat this year.

  19. I bet he’d be doubly thrilled if you spun it and knit it too. How about if you spun it and then did a 4 strand cabled yarn. As you said, you’ll probably design it anyway – he just likes the look of the cables – and since I’m assuming he’s not a 6′ guy, you’d want to tailor the cable size to not overwhelm his physique. Oh heck, have a dye party and dye it yourself too. Your spinning group would probably love a dye day – ours does. We use 22 quart turkey roasters (electric) or Weck canners instead of messing with all that stove and propane stuff. It’s loads of fun and you can do your last wash and rinse and then spin it out in your washer (I’m not telling you anything new) and in 24 hours – ready to spin. Even Rit dye makes wonderful colors and they have a chart on their site now that tells you how much powder of their different colors to mix to get the shade you want. Or, you could sneak out to the store and just buy it considering the lack of copious spare time you have. I just got on a roll here….

  20. Maybe your David is more astute about knitting than the average guy because he is around it all the time. I am guessing that if you got some natural colored yarn and made a cardigan with cables in the same configuration, a shawl collar and the same boxy garmet outline, he might not even notice if you made it from a much lighter weight yarn. I know if the color and outline of the sweater were the same, a little detail like sport versus bulky would not dawn on my husband.

  21. Heh, heh, David has good taste! I suppose ya could use a heavy worsted like Candide (do they make that anymore?) or a few more stitches in worsted? It’s definitely gonna be a challenge…:)

  22. The last time someone wanted me to knit a sweater coat in heavy yarn, using massive needles, I pled carpal tunnel syndrome … 🙂

  23. hope you had a safe trip to Rhinebeck & back, and a pleasant satisfying time with your friends.

    If you do decide to indulge your hunk with a kindred sweater please remember Ed is a whiz at making all sizes of big needles,(circs and straights) even the in-between sizes such as US12/8.5mm, US14/9.5mm, and up. 🙂

  24. Well, I think Rowan “Cocoon” might be a good choice. It’s 12-ply bulky, almost roving really, and rather light for the bulk. I used US10 ebony needles to knit the Swallowtail shawl. Great stitch definition and a beautiful “hand” when finished. You can see it on Ravelry–I am ‘hayseede’.

    It’s so soft, he can wear this one barechested!

    School House Press: the Bartlett yarns (as someone mentioned above) are a possibility too. The 3-ply is 145 yds/4 oz. I get 3.25 sts/in. on US10.5 needles. I am knitting Meg’s shawl-collared vest which has four 6-st cables and it shows very well.

    The bulky Bartlett is 80 yds/4 oz. It’s like the Rowan Cocoon in that it’s more like roving–not unspun, but just barely spun? EZ said somewhere that this was perfect to knit a baby blanket to put on the floor for baby’s kicking exercises!

    Jamieson’s (not to be confused with J&S) also makes a bulky yarn called Soft Shetland or Shetland Heather, formerly called Aran Shetland. 92m/50g, 4-5sts/in. on #6-8 needles. But you could go nuts and knit with two strands! They have lovely colors….

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