Tuesday, March 23, 2010

J's Fair Isle Hoodie: The Concept

My husband is a picky dresser. He doesn't wear sweaters, at least the traditional kind. Most of the tops that he wears have zip-necks or saddle shoulders. I know that either EZ or Barbara Walker explains how to make a saddle shoulder in one piece (or top-down, I can't remember which) but I have accepted the fact that figuring out all those measurements is too much for me, given the little time (and patience) that I have. I am more than happy to let someone else do the calculations and pay for the trouble. Therefore, I have been looking for a topdown or seamless or one piece pattern for a man in the style that my husband would like. I showed him numerous tops in my knitting magazines (even the seamed patterns, warning him with the caveat that I would need to find one that I could knit top-down). Nothing ever caught his attention, until I knit a hoodie for my nephew. "I would wear something like that," he said. After a couple of months searching for a pattern that I would actually use, I found it - the Hackeysack Hoodie in Son of Stitch and Bitch.

I looked through my stash for yarn. Because I have never knit anything that big before, I soon realized that I didn't have enough in any one yarn to use for the project. I visited my favorite yarn store and initially chose the yarn used in the book: Brown Sheep and Noro. Neither worked (although I did keep the Noro - too pretty). Then I thought I would try Berocco Lustre. Too thin - must have been the tencel, but I hated knitting with it and it just did not seem substantial enough for a man's hoodie. Finally I found it - Plymouth Select - a wonderful superwash merino. Soft, springy, machine-washable, and lovely to knit with. I chose a dark teal
(I eventually bought out all of the skeins) and decided to purchase a skein of dark purple for the stripe, instead of the Noro.

I read others' notes on the pattern on Ravelry and started to worry when I realized that I ignored the gauge - 14 sts for 4 inches. For worsted yarn??? When I read that the designer heavily blocked her garment, I made the decision to recalculate the stitches and hope for the best.

Well, I recalculated it for the hood and the body and so far it is working. I had him try it on and the ease was just right. Whew!