The Guy Sweater. Few projects are more likely to strike fear into the heart of a knitter. You can take a knitter who is unafraid of a myriad of technical challenges, be it intarsia, or steeling, or even every row lace, and then simply say, “Knit for a guy, and let it be a sweater.” Watch them blanch.
Well, last Christmas I promised to make my cousin Dennis (actually my cousin Marie’s husband) a sweater. I knit him socks, but I think they were too warm and thick. But he did like a scarf I made for him a couple of years ago. So I voluntarily offered to knit him a sweater last Christmas.
But there had to be a strategy. I refuse to knit a sweater that someone will not wear – way too much work. So, I knew that I needed a way forward, and I happened to hear a podcast where the dude who wrote Knits Men Love was interviewed, and he sagely provided the way forward.
- Ask the recipient to show you his favorite sweaters.
- Make something in a very similar style, fiber, and color.
From here I can hear the plainitive cries and laughter. What? Knit something that he already owns? Why would you do that? And then I remind us all that many, many women will buy the same top in a variety of colors – because we know it looks good on us and we like to wear it. Well, this is the guy version of that.
So, a few weeks ago while I was visiting them, I asked Dennis to bring out his favorite sweaters, and I measured them, took note of the fiber content. And here’s what I found:
- he likes his sweaters loose – 4-6 inches of ease
- blue, gray or oatmeal color – nothing else
- cotton and cotton-blends for fiber
- crew neck.
- Really, it was that easy.
So, I ordered a few different yarns from Knitpicks (not my usual mo, because I like to support my local LYS) who had a bunch of yarns in cotton blends. I’m using the Cotlin blend in the lovely colorway Rocket.
I even swatched. I kit some garter for fun, and then some stockinette, and then I did a bit of a stitch pattern. After machine washing and drying, I showed him the Swatch and got approval.
And now I’m off to the races. Deadline is finishing by his birthday, in late November. Two for one!