No one beats Martin Storey for designing wearable pullovers for men. In my opinion, the key to a successful sweater hand knitted for DH is simplicity. The point is not to entertain ourselves crafting flowers and elaborate cables and then asking him to wear them. Honestly, some of the men’s patterns out there are so nauseatingly girlie that even female recipients would blush. Martin Storey avoided this pitfall by designing a monochrome ribbed sweater that highlights the male physique.
The funnel-neck of Trent emphasizes broad shoulders and gives the garment a modern, casual look. The yarn, Rowan Brushed Fleece, is soft and light but warm, perfect for many men who can be surprisingly picky about the texture and hand-feel of fabric they are wearing once they are coerced to put it on.
My husband loves this pullover and wears it three days out of five to work. The lucky man also owns several gorgeous hand knits which in the past his mother tailor-made for him, so I was able to stealthily use those as a guide to his measurements while he was out. Thank heavens for my Maxi, my mother-in-law, because when I washed the sweater and it grew by two sizes, she was on hand to help me fix it. She pinned the sweater while he wore it, then seamed it on my sewing machine and cut off the excess knitted fabric.
Would I knit a garment with Rowan’s Brushed Fleece yarn again? Absolutely, but I would obsessively wet block the swatch. I don’t know if the growing is especially bad in a ribbed garment, but I couldn’t believe how much this sweater increased after washing. Also, the dark grey dye came off in my hands and on my needles while knitting, but that may have been an odd batch. My friend Kristen knitted with the same color and did not experience that problem at all.
Continuing with the formula of simple pattern + quality yarn, I have just cast off a hat for my father-in-law which now needs to be washed and blocked. I used the free Caron pattern, “Men’s Basic Hat” pattern :
The yarns I chose for this hat were String Dolcetto and Oslo cashmere & merino blend yarns.
As deliciously soft and squishy as I had found this yarn to be when test-knitting it at a recent trunk show, I discovered that the Dolcetto yarn was a bit hard on my hands when I knitted it on smaller needles in double rib stitch. Afterwards, I read that cashmere is less elastic than wool, which explains the issue. Next time I splurge on that yarn, I will confine myself to a stockinette project.
A knitter’s work is never done during the holidays, is it? So many gifts to make, so little time! Next on my needles will be a gift for my baby niece, the adorable little hat, Chouette:
Happy Holiday knitting, everyone!