16 June 2011

It's About Darn Time!

I've been married for four years, this coming August. Before that, we were "together" for about three years. All told, Husband and I have been basically inseparable for nearly seven years. In that time, I've knit him hats and mittens and scarves and who knows what else... but I've never knit him a sweater.

I tried once. I bought some awesome local yarn, and we even went to the farm together and met the sheepies who grew the wool. He picked out a pattern and I cast on... and knit maybe 2 rows? This yarn did not want to be this pattern, and it was just wrong. Wrong! So I stopped. I haven't even bothered to frog those two rows. The yarn and needles are still in the box on a shelf, waiting for me to do something with them. Anything. That shelf is like a big void in that room. I can't even look at it.

But recently, Husband actually started making noises about wanting me to knit him a sweater. How many dang sweaters have I knit for myself? How many babies have I knit for? And then one day, of his own volition, he picked up my copy of Son of Stitch n' Bitch and found two different sweaters he liked. "You could maybe knit me one of these," he said "Which one do you like better?" Because he is subtle like that.

Ohhhhhh that Husband of mine, he is a smooth operator.

So I picked the one I thought would look better on him: Biker Boy (Rav link). This is a basic zippered cardigan. I've never done anything big with a zipper before, so even though it's a pretty simple pattern, there is still a challenge built in to this experience. The pattern has a dumb skull inset and some other silly color detailing, but we're just keeping it solid gray, no frippery. Skulls aren't really Husband's style, but he's excited that the double-layer neck will give him some extra insulation in the winter. We went to Northeast Fiber Arts to choose some yarn together (setting myself up for success this time), and I cast-on on Easter, after I took a looooong nap.

Here's the beginning. Most of the body -- I did some while he was away traveling, so stopped at a point where I thought I should measure it on him but he wasn't around -- and the cuffs of the sleeves, started when the body got too big to carry in my purse. Thanks to the awesome Knitpicks Options needles that Husband gave me for Christmas, I have that... uh, option.

The yarn is Cascade Rustic -- a 79% wool/21% linen single-ply blend. He wanted something tweedy, but NEFAC has trouble getting tweed to sell so they don't stock much. We went with this interesting not-quite-tweed instead. It's soft, and not as splitty as I was afraid it would be (given 220 Superwash's proclivities, I steer clear of most Cascade yarns now), and I've been pretty happy with it. Not a yarn I expect to want to knit with again in the future, but not one I'd turn down if the situation called for it.

Husband is happy with the sweater so far. Occasionally he looks over and says, "Oh, that's really niiiice" when he sees me working on it. Like I said, smooth operator.

And I guess he has to be, if he's ever going to get a handknit sweater from me. Seven years is a long wait.

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