This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October is Sweater Month

If it's October, it's sweater month! Both time to start wearing them and time to start knitting them!

Okay, it might not quite be cold enough to wear sweaters. October isn't what it used to be. But I decided that it would be a great month to make some sweaters. I am determined to make one and finish one, and maybe, if I'm lucky, make another. And believe me, I have the yarn to do it!

So last year I started a sweater for my friend Brad. He's tall, 6 feet 5 inches tall. We're talking about miles and miles of stockinette. For whatever reason, I didn't finish this sweater, but the yarn, the needles, and most of the back panel are still here, quietly mocking me. Another sweater I want to make is one for my friend Troy, who is a red head, and who likes green. And yes, the yarn is bought and ready. And if I have time, I'd like to make one for myself, because I bought some gorgeous yarn this summer, and I want to think it will take less room in my life if it's a sweater in my drawer rather than a collection of hanks sitting in a bin.

This does not mean that I am stopping making various Christmas presents, or the last four hats in my Hats for the Homeless series (more on that in another post). Those are the travel projects, the ones that will fit in my bag. Sweaters are at-home knitting, since I don't want to lug that much yarn in my backpack every day.

Brad's sweater is in Lamb's Pride bulky, a mix of 85% wool and 15 % mohair. I chose the colourway Denim, because he said he wanted a blue sweater. You can see in the photo how far I've gotten, and I can assure you that it is coming along quite nicely. The pattern is Easy Bulky Sweater by Yankee Knitter. I've made it before, but I like it, and it's a good solid and very warm sweater that works well for most men.

The sweater for Troy is in Malabrigo Rios, pure superwash Merino. The colourway is Ivy, and the pattern I chose is Flax, by Tin Can Knits (I got it as a free pattern on Ravelry). It's a top-down pattern, knit without seams. I've finished five sweaters in my day, and all of them were done as panels that needed to be sewn together when all was said and knitted. I've never done this, and I'm pretty excited to get started on it.

If I have time to make a second sweater (because the above is only one-and-a-half sweaters, since Brad's is more or less half done already), I want to make the Flax sweater for myself, using Donegal Tweed by Tahki, in a deep blue colourway. I bought this yarn being thoroughly enchanted by the colour and the feel of the yarn, and while I have made two sweaters for myself using bulky weight yarns, and would like to make something that isn't quite so warm. Those bulky sweaters are so warm that I don't feel like I need to wear a coat over them, even when it's wicked cold outside (as we say around here).

Sweaters are such a serious time commitment. I've figured it takes me about six to nine hours to make a hat, about 15 to 25 hours to make a scarf (depending on length, number of stitches, and complexity), and about 60 hours to make a bulky sweater. I reckon it will be about 70 or 80 to make a worsted weight sweater. But I am up for the challenge. I will admit, with some embarrassment that it's always exciting to cast on a sweater, but the stick-to-itiveness of finishing one can be daunting. Sweaters, while most easily knit at home, are best knit while attending knit-night, for support and encouragement from one's fellow knitters. Maybe I'll do both, and bring them with me sometimes to the open knit at my LYS.

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