For a while I have been on a quest for the perfect sweater to knit for my husband, Doug. Despite having been together for 25 years, I have only knit him two sweaters – one was knit 20 years ago, and the other around 5 years ago. This summer Doug has lost 30 pounds and looks so great I want to knit a knock-down dead gorgeous sweater for him to wear. Choosing one has not been easy, partly because there just aren’t as many sweaters being designed for men. I narrowed down the field to half a dozen; first, two lovely sweaters designed by the fabulous Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. Jared not only designs really wearable sweaters but is a photographer with a great eye and a very successful knitwear entrepreneur. I thought long and hard about Brownstone:
I like Brownstone, and furthermore, many knitters on Ravelry have knit this for men of all sorts of shapes and sizes and it looks great on all of them. The downside is miles and miles of plain stockinette stitch. I am in the mood for a more adventurous knit. Another Jared Flood design caught my eye, Ranger, a really nice cardigan in an interesting all-over rib:
I went so far as to swatch for this one; I am so in love with the colours in Rowan’s new tweed line, that I wanted to knit something with them (in addition to the Peerie Flooers hat). I made a swatch for Ranger in the colour Burnsall, but this wool is too fine for this cardigan. I knit this swatch with a US8, two sizes larger than called for on the ball band, and it still falls short of gauge. Another great designer of men’s sweaters is Todd Gocken. I particularly like this new design, Marshall, which is absolutely yummy. However, I think that perhaps my man would need to shed 20 years along with his 30 pounds to do this one justice. (You never know, I am still keeping it in the queue.)
All of Todd’s designs are yummy (as are his models). Another one of my favorites is Expedition:
Another sweater I particularly like is Selena Lee’s Grant Park Pullover, from the Twist Collective:
Through all of the searching, however, I kept coming back to this:
This pullover, Brick, is designed by Hanne Falkenberg. Hanne is a great Danish designer, who only sells her sweaters in kits, packaged with her own wool brand. I have knit one of her sweaters before, and thought the design was ingenious, and the wool lovely, light, lofty, and warm without being overbearing. It washes well, and the colours are so beautiful, and the colour combinations quirky and unique. I am astonished, given Hanne’s popularity, that I am the first person on Ravely to list Brick as a project. I can’t believe people aren’t racing to knit this one. I chose colourway 2, which has a lovely charcoal grey,combined with poppy, cerise, and brick red. I ordered the kit and it arrived so nicely packaged, as do all of Hanne’s kits. Here is the swatch, I got perfect guage going up a needle size to a 3.75mm (US5): I cast on on Friday evening, while sharing an excellent bottle of wine (a 2004 Pommard 1er Cru from Domaine Coste-Caumartin) and watching a lovely quirky film (Stranger than Fiction) with my family. Saturday morning when I woke up and looked at it, I realized that good wine, good films and knitting mosaic stitch don’t mix. I didn’t even bother to rip, but tossed it aside and started over. I was then obsessed and stayed in bed knitting all morning (I love Saturdays). Here is what it looks like now, after a day of knitting. Emma photographed it, on top of one of Doug’s sweaters, so that you can see the shape emerging. Brick is knit side-to-side in one piece with the neck, sleeves and bottom ribbing added later.