Pattern: Jarrett by Kim Hargreaves, from Rowan Vintage Knits
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Colorway 43 (Rusty Brown), 10.5 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo circulars, US 3 and 4
Notions: 7 1 inch wooden buttons from Jo-Ann Fabrics
Began: February 23, 2008; Completed: November 28, 2008
Mods: Substituted twisted rib for regular ribbing on cuffs and button band.
I didn’t want to knit the button bands separately, but instead just picked up stitches from the sides as I went, hence knitting them on. I’m sure there are many who do this and I’m not the first one to figure it out, but I just made this up as I went along. If anyone is interested in the details, I’m happy to do a quick tutorial post. It really made them go more quickly, ensured they were the right length, and cut down on my seaming. All happy things.
I also sewed the shoulder and elbow patches on with the ends completely tacked down, so they don’t have a visible ridge like in the pattern photo. The difference is minimal aesthetically, but an important one functionally. Jason tends to be rough on his clothes, and so I wanted to make sure these pads would stay put and protect the parts getting the most wear: his shoulders where he carries his backpack, and his elbows from leaning while reading and writing. I didn’t want to leave any little ends that might get caught on a heavy bookbag or sharp table edge and result in a pull.
Notes: This sweater has its own saga, as most of you know. When Jason and I got engaged last Christmas Eve, it only took me about 24 hours before I was going through patterns that I thought he’d like. Though I’ve knitted him a hat and scarf before, this was a big deal: my first sweater for him. I thought he’d prefer the sportier options like the Cambridge Jacket, but he went right for Jarrett. Lucky me in that this has always been one of my favorite men’s patterns.
He picked out the yarn and away I went. I’m a loose knitter, so this ended up being done on size 4 needles. Pretty tiny. Jason is a big guy with broad shoulders, and so this took a looooooong time. I knitted shawls, hats, socks, and finished a sweater of my own in between, so I’m sure this sweater wouldn’t take a normal knitter 9 months to complete. It got to the point that
I knew it would be too warm for him to wear it in the spring, so I put it away until this fall. I’ve been knitting pretty steadily on it for the past few months, and finally got everything together last night. The long knitting time was due to my own problems with lots of stockinette; the pattern is well-written and very easy to follow, with lovely photos. It’s such a great book, with many other beautiful patterns as well that are in my queue, both for Jason and for myself.
The yarn was absolutely to die for. I’ve never worked with Silky Wool before, but I will DEFINITELY be using it again. And again. The colors are beautiful (especially this orangey brown J. chose, which looks so nice with his fair skin and blond hair), and it is such a pleasure to work with. The yarn looks rustic, but doesn’t feel it at all. It has a lovely hand and a wonderful drape, and really blocks out to an amazing fabric that’s warm and lightweight from the wool/silk combo. The nylon isn’t noticeable at all while knitting, but I’m glad it’s there; it’ll wear really well, and I can’t imagine it will pill at all. I’m envisioning a nice striped cardigan for myself out of this stuff, for sure.
I’ll leave you with the photos. There are more on my Flickr, and it’s definitely worth clicking over. Jason got a little silly with the modeled shots, and we were laughing a ton while our nosey neighbors undoubtedly wondered what the heck we were doing. He couldn’t wait to wear this sweater, and seems to really love it, which makes all of the time and effort that went into it more than worth it. I love him so much and it means so much to me that he really does appreciate this gift. He looks so handsome in it, and I’m really proud of the finished result; I think it’s an appropriate engagement gift (even though it’s a little late). This will be, I’m sure, the first of many sweaters for my almost husband (fewer than 6 months to go til the wedding!).