Archive for March 2012

In your favorite sweater with an old love letter

March 19, 2012


Pattern: Brownstone by Jared Flood
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool (100% merino), colorway Stone
Needles: U.S. 6, 7 & 7 Harmony wood Options 36″ circular

Back in 2009, I knit my husband a sweater. Well, a sweater vest. I still wasn’t ready for the full investment of sleeves, I suppose. That sweater vest was beautiful. It turned out perfectly, and I loved it. But then my husband lost fifty pounds, and suddenly everything hung on him like flour sacks.


So I promised him a new sweater. And I had in mind something he could take to Toronto and Park City, something that would keep him warm in the frigid rush lines. I showed him patterns, and he picked this absolute new classic by the brilliant Jared Flood. The fantastic website Discontinued Brand Name Yarn had bag lots of this warm natural shade in superwash wool. All the elements had come together.


I swatched and washed. I measured Noel’s newly svelte torso. I did a lot of math; I checked and rechecked. I decided to knit the small numbers to get a large size. I knit a couple of sleeves, remeasured, and decided that I needed to knit medium numbers in the body. Then when I got to joining the sleeves, I had to do quite a lot of finessing to get the numbers right on the yoke. Well, finessing is the wrong word; I went for more of brute force approach. When I first put it on Noel, I thought that effort had failed. Then I washed it, and everything magically evened out, like everything tends to magically do.


It’s definitely … cozy. A sweater to layer, to sink into. Unlike the sweater vest I made for Noel before, this one is intended to be worn with positive ease, with roominess. I probably worked in too much of that. The sleeves are too long (I knit them to the large length measurements with the small stitch numbers), and I should have trusted my swatch rather than shifting to the medium numbers for the body. When will I learn to believe in the forgiving nature of knits? Especially superwash knits, which tend to grow when worn.


But on those cold Utah nights, when this beautiful sweater is a layer of warmth in between a long-sleeved shirt on the inside and a thick winter coat on the outside, in those screening rooms when the collar provides a soft circle of protection from a draft or vinyl seats, this sweater is going to shine. Nobody is going to see its flaws but me, and after awhile, I won’t see them either. Just the strong will of my husband, whom I hope I will have with me for many decades to come, and the hug I can fashion for him out of wool and my needles.