Back in the fall, I decided I would make a cardigan for Brice. I had actually never made anything for him (the two camera straps made out of remnant cotton tape don't count). Brice's daily uniform is a fitted black t-shirt and jeans. He 's always warm, even in winter. I would't even try knitting him a scarf because he wouldn't wear it, and he prefers hats with a brim, which I don't really know how to make. But when I saw this pattern, I knew it would be perfect for him.
The pattern is Slade by Michelle Wang, It's included in the BT Men pattern book by Brooklyn Tweed, but I purchased it on its own on Ravelry.
For yarn I used Berroco Ultra Alapaca, in Charcoal Mix (Brice picked the color himself). It's a really soft and warm yarn and a pretty affordable.
The sweater is knit in pieces and seamed together at the end. Based on Brice's chest measurements, I made the second smallest size. My only adjustment was to make the sleeves narrower and longer. I probably could have made it one size bigger, although B doesn't like garments that are too loose...
This is probably the most complex sweater I've knitted in terms of construction. My previous sweaters and some intricate stitches, but construction wise were pretty simple. This one had a tubular cast on on each pieces, stitches to pick up all along the front, a collar band and button holes. I got quite confused by the buttonhole process actually, and couldn't quite make sense of the instructions so I did a bit of googling and eventually figured it out. The whole thing took me about 2 1/2 months, which isn't that bad considering!
When Brice first tried on the sweater, I was actually a bit disappointed. The sleeves were a bit too long and tight (so much for my adjustements), the armholess were also too small, the overall length was too short in my opinion, and the band for the shawl collar was bound off too tight, with the front corners being pulled up. The only thing I could correct at that point was the collar, so I undid the bind off of the entire collar band, and used this technique for a stretchier bind-off. It worked really well.
Brice was thrilled with his sweater though and didn't seem to mind any of the flaws I was seeing. He's been wearing it non-stop since I finished it. The sleeves have actually loosened up a bit so they're not as tight as they used to be. I think the sweater might have lenghtenned a tiny bit too, from hanging on the body, The only thing that won't change of course is the size of the armhole. You can tell that it makes the shoulders too short as well, and the collar doesn't really fold into the "shawl" style, but it lays flat on his shoulders, which I'm ok with.
Overall after my initial disappointment, I'm actually happy with the result. I think I started off with a certain idea of what I wanted the sweater to be, and when it didn't turn out prefectly like I imagined, I had a moment of doubt. I've definitely come around (even if some things still bother me a bit).
On Saturday Brice went for brunch with his running group. He wore the sweater and they all complimented him on it. Later on that night, we saw his friends again at a party (I was meeting most of them for the first time) and all of them individually said "You made Brice's sweater!"right after we got introduced. Goes to show how criticizing we can be with our own work, but in the end, it's nice to take a step away from the flaws and appreciate the finished product as a whole.
For the photos we went to one of our favorite spots for easy week-end strolls, and for once I was the photographer and he was the model...That was a lot of fun.