Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Who is that Handsome Man?

Why, who IS that handsome man that happens to be making coffee in my kitchen? Oh yeah, that guy lives here! He's my husband Dave!

And WHAT is that he's wearing?

That would be one of those Christmas presents that I hadn't blogged about yet. I have been kind of holding my breath, waiting for it to pass the true test of husband approval.

And yes.....

there it is.....


It's the Cafe Bastilles Cables sweater from the cover of Interweave Knits Fal 2003.

There was so much to blog about this sweater...how much I loved the pattern.....the secrecy and stashing it under the sofa.....the stealth blocking in a corner of the attic under a blanket (double layer bulky wool in an uninsulated attic covered with a blanket--it took an eon to dry).....the last minute crisis when I determined it was too short and emergency vertical re-blocking (soaking, hanging on the wall, stretching and pinning like crazy) to gain some length......

But I didn't dare breathe a word of it here. He had no idea, not even a hint that I was making anything at all. I didn't even knit it around the kids for fear of their big blabbermouths.

He opened it Christmas morning, pulled it out of the box and smiled nicely. We all chanted "try it on!" and he unfolded it. Reached in the neck for the tag so he could tell the front from the back and mumbled....there's no tag......

I said "Yeah, and WHY would that be?" He was stumped for about two seconds and then he gasped OHHHHHH. OHHHHHHH!!!!!!! YOU MADE THIS?!?! He really was suprised and so happy.
He tried it on, it was a little too short, and I was disappointed. After all, I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted him to be able to wear it right away. And because of the long cable up the front, to lengthen it I didn't see any other option than taking it apart and ripping both front and back down to the armholes, adding extra length, and putting it all back together.

But then I had this idea and there was nothing to lose by trying it: I picked up stitches all around the bottom and knit down 4" in seedstitch to match the sides and arms. It worked fine. Not just fine, actually, it worked great! Much better than I had anticipated. It looks like it was meant to be that way and now it fits him wonderfully.

It is very cozy and warm and makes him look seriously huggable.


Cafe Bastille Cables, designed by Leigh Radford-Interweave Knits Fall 2003

Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Charcoal, 10 skeins, even with the extra length.

I knit the largest size as per the pattern, and looking back, I should have known that 24" was going to be too short for a men's size XL. I measured Dave's favorite sweater (later), and it turned out to be 27". If I had done that before hand (duh!), it would have prevented the too-short-situation. (But the fix really worked out great, I just would have liked to have skipped the Christmas Eve re-blocking crisis, and instead have been relaxing with some eggnog!)

All in all a very enjoyable knit and I highly recommend it. I would like to make one for myself someday. But I promise, honey, I won't wear it on the same day that you are wearing yours!


Blogger Carole Knits said...

It's a wonderful sweater. And your fix for lengthening it is terrific.

9:13 AM  
Blogger erin/pinkerbell said...

It's beautiful! I'm amazed that it is made from bulky yarn, because it definitely doesn't have that "bulky" appearance.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Laura K. said...

That is one very lucky hubby!

10:33 AM  
Blogger clothesknit said...

love the sweater! what a lucky hubby!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Wow, it's great!

11:00 AM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

Beautiful sweater! Cute hubby!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhh, a wonderful story with a very happy 'ending'. I am still not a knitter and can't imagine you knitting those cables without tangling yourself in the process...it was certainly a lot of work (from my viewpoint), well worth it. Well done.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous emma said...

I am dreaming of making my hubby a perfect sweater - just like yours. It looks great! And what a fantastic achievment to knit it with such secrecy. That must have been the hardest part of the project...

3:17 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

The sweater is absolutely gorgeous. It's clear that there is a lot of love in them there stitches. ;)

9:08 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

O I am so glad to see him in the sweater after having seen it in person. Just wonderful. Tell Dave I think he looks swell. In a good way.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Diane D. said...

What a wonderful sweater! I can't believe you made it in complete secrecy.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Dee said...

Très magnifique!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

Any solution that doesn't involve frogging is a winner in my book. I like the way you think ;-)

The sweater is fabulous!! Congratuations on mainting the surprise.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

What a nice sweater and the seed stitch was a perfect solution!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Beautiful! What size is the XL? I think it would look great on my husband too!

7:13 PM  

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