09 February 2010

Bill's sweater

There is a rumor amongst knitters that a relationship with a boy is doomed to fail if the knitter makes him a sweater.

Bill and I have been going through an especially stressful time lately, and when I'm stressed and don't know what else to do with myself, I knit. I figured, we're already married, and a sweater can't hurt, right?

Emboldened by some offhanded comments by Bill (i.e., "This yarn would make a nice men's sweater"), I set to work. This is a vintage pattern for a men's Irish fisherman's sweater. It was a pretty fun knit, made from Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool, my current fav affordable, naturally colored wool. It turned out pretty nice, and it fits him well. Lots of texture, and a cute little cable running up each side of the button band. My first saddle shoulder construction, as well as the first pieced sweater I've done in a long time (knit the button band separately? really? well, OK...).

Apart from the usual knitting thoughts, I learned several things from this sweater. Bill is both apathetic and quite opinionated about various issues related to garment design. He really preferred a three button cardigan, but he didn't care what it looked like. He was also pretty worthless when it came to picking out buttons.

But now he has a nice wool sweater. The yarn is pretty inexpensive, and rather than being a work of art, I see this sweater as a production piece. At the risk of sounding too ego-centric, I think I knit this sweater more for me than for him. I don't mean that I'll wear it more than him (although I might steal it occasionally, especially if it smells like him). I mean that I knit when words seem to fail me, and when I don't know any other way to convey my concern, love, and support. I knit when I hear about babies being born, I knit for birthdays, I knit for friends who are ill. I hate greeting cards, and sometimes my words don't sound right or are misinterpreted. But a sweater? Pair of socks? Any other knit? You can bet that I thought about good wishes for that person with every stitch.

I've already picked out Bill's next sweater. I'll use LB Fisherman's Wool again, but the darker, chocolate brown color. The sweater will be the awesome Cobblestone Pullover from Interweave Knits a few years back. I figure, we made it through one sweater, so the risk is worth it.


Abi said...

Yeah, I keep explaining to Todd (my BF) that, while knitters demonstrate affection through knitted items, I understand that there's nothing he wants, so I won't knit him something he doesn't want. But if he should, at some point, happen to want some item that could be knitted, he should let me know.

John said...

Cool Sweater...and Irish to boot.