Monday, 11 February 2013

Knitting for Men - the Hot Rod Sweater

I love knitting. I love knitting hats, scarves, gloves, and other small projects that only take a couple of balls of wool and can be finished quickly. Even better, I like knitting 'in the round' because less sewing is involved. But when it comes to knitting actual garments to wear, I'm pretty hopeless. I can't begin to count how many jumpers and cardigans I've started and then unravelled because I just got bored with them.

This was nearly the case with a jumper I started knitting for Mr Needles back in August. But after lots of fits and starts (it took at least 6 tries before I was happy with the colourwork on the sleeves), I finally finished it. And here it is!

The pattern was from 'Stitch 'n Bitch Nation' by Debbie Stoller, the woman behind 'Bust' magazine in the US, and who helped kick the crafting movement up a gear. 

 This book is one of several she's written, such as 'The Stitch 'n Bitch Handbook'  and 'The Happy Hooker', (it's about crochet - get your minds out of the sewer!) Even though not many of the patterns are to my liking, the instructions and technique diagrams are great, and I love that she took a craft like knitting and put a feminist spin on it.

Here's a close-up of that troublesome, yet ultimately satisfying colourwork:

 The red flame was added using an intarsia technique, then the yellow was added using Swiss darning, where you embroider the colour on the finished piece.

And here's the man himself wearing it:

As well as the jumper, he's sporting a fancy sling on his left arm, the result of slipping over in the recent snow!

One thing I realised making this jumper is that knitting mens garments is so much easier than ladies - hardly any shaping, not too many fiddly patterns (except for the colours in this case), just big square shapes. And Mr Needles is one of those 'always cold' people, so I expect more handknits will be coming his way!


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