Curse of the Love Sweater?

Or the “Boyfriend Sweater Curse”, however you want to refer to it, is something people talk about and make some hesitate to knit for him. Picture this: You’re dating this special guy, you decide to take the big step and knit him a sweater. You painstakingly research over which pattern he would like or you design it yourself. You agonize which yarn and color would look best to match his eyes and his physique. You spend weeks constructing the perfect sweater for him and present it it to him with all of you love and heart and time put into it… and shortly after, he promptly dumps you.

Is this a curse or merely a coincidence? Is there a way to fend off this curse? Ignore it? Knit a strand of your hair into it secretly? Superstitious or not, life is too short. Knit to your heart’s content for whomever you want!

Am I following my own advice? Damn straight I am! Knock on wood (Hey, it’s an ounce of prevention.) So begins my journey into the SOS, “Significant Other Sweater”. I think it’s aptly titled and much better than the BS, “Boyfriend Sweater”. If the curse rears its ugly head, then it will be dubbed the latter.

Ever since I started knitting (and I started for purely selfish reasons: to make myself some really cool sweaters), I wanted to be able to make a sweater for my best friend/boyfriend. I wanted to make him something that he could be proud to wear and didn’t make him itch (the latter that was a requirement from him). I picked up Jo Sharp’s Family (Book Number Seven). After seeing the Classic Wavy Cable, I decided that was the sweater to make. It’s simple, yet textured.

After stumbling upon a decent deal on Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton, I started on this project. I had to decide on my game plan. I had the 25 balls of Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton in indian ink all set and ready to go.

The tools required are a pair each of (US) size 6 and 8 needles, size 6 circular needle, and a cable needle. I admit, I didn’t make a swatch gauge. <gasp> The sweater is oversized, so I’m pretty sure I’m OK. If not, I can keep the sweater for myself.

I recently bought the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles and figured this would be the perfect project on which to start using them. The feel is different from the bamboo straight needles that I am used to, but my wrists and hands are appreciative. Plus, I was able to verify my gauge on the cord after a few rows.

This sweater is comprised of 3 stitches: K, P, C4F. Since I’m a fairly new knitter, I’m quite proud that I have been able to make cables. The next step for me is to make cables without a cable needle. I had already signed up for “Cable Needle Freedom” at Stitches Midwest 2004 in my attempt to cable sans needle. However, since it’s not until next week and I recalled a detailed explanation in the winter 2003 issue of Vogue Knitting, I decided to prepare myself for this class and begin my SOS project. Although initially intimidating, I was quite pleased with the results and the time saved using this method. I think I can tackle Cr6F cables and so on with less fear.

I must say I really do enjoy the Denise needles. It’s great to be able to knit one row on a circular needle, decide to do the next few rows on a pair of flex needles, then go back to a circular needle with a longer cord.

Here is my current progress on the SOS: Classic Wavy Cable sans cable needle:

Here is a close-up:

Not perfect, but not bad for a newbie hack knitter, if I do say so myself. It’s a dark sweater so the imperfections and the strand of hair are nicely hidden. Did I say “strand of hair”? I meant, “brand of care”, as I reach for some Eucalan.

So far, I’m 53 rows into the front part of the sweater. It’s used up about 2.5 balls of yarn. Instead of joining a new ball of yarn an the beginning of a row, I decided to go the Russian join way and graft the end of the working yarn to the beginning of a new ball of yarn.

The journey continues…


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