by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence
Available for $4.99 on
Also part of the "Worsted Basics Collection" on Knit Picks.
Featured in Wool of the Andes Worsted, opal heather.
Skills needed: v-neck, button holes, increasing, decreasing, knitting in the round (sleeves), set-in sleeves, whip stitch, extended color
First, I apologize for the lack of a decent picture of the whole sweater. It has not rained all summer, and since I finished this sweater, it will not stop raining for me to take some pictures. I will take the rain over sweater pictures any day, though. I will call these pictures "good enough" and move on.
I started this sweater about a year ago. It was hard for me to finish not because it is a difficult project, but because it hasn't been cold! I thought I'd work it up in the fall for the winter, but the fall never seemed to end here. Last winter was unusually warm, hardly dropping below freezing. With the warm, drizzly winter, it was hard to stay motivated to knit a sweater. Now it's the end of September, and the heat still hasn't let up! I'm ready for some cooler weather, so I bit the bullet and finished this sweater, hoping perhaps its completion would herald in a chill for the start of fall.
Surprisingly, this is my first full-sized sweater I've tackled. It had a lot of elements I was interested in learning. These included set in arms, pockets, shaping, an extended collar and a button band worked as you go. So, without frills, this seemed to be a great learning project. Also, I love grumpy old men sweaters. Sure, it's call a "boyfriend" cardigan, but if your boyfriend is wearing a cardigan such as this, you're dating a grumpy old man. There's nothing wrong with that, but let's not kid ourselves.
The end product turned out well. I choose the same yarn as recommended in the pattern. In real life, the opal heather has blue, grey, and red all mixed together for an overall blue/grey color. (The flecks of red can only be seen when you do a close inspection.) It feels like a wooly sweater, but not scratchy, so I think it's a nice yarn choice if you want an economical option but still quality wool. The fit of the sweater is interesting. If you do the shaping (there are instructions for shaping as well as no shaping) in the waist, the body of the sweater is fitted. It's not snug, but there is not a lot of ease for me and I am a thin woman. However, the arms are big, meaning they have quite a bit of positive ease. It's not a bad thing, it makes the sweater great for throwing on around the house, no matter what clothes you already have on. However, the fitted nature of the body makes me feel like it looks a little more natural left open. Either way, it is comfy and actually looks better on than as shown here. Lastly, I love the length. As you can imagine, a sweater for a man would naturally be longer and the designer of this sweater showed respect to that fact. Both the body and the sleeves are long, and I love that.
The pattern was complete but a little frustrating. If you do choose to make this sweater, you need to read all the way through the pattern a number of times. Of course, before you start it is always a good idea to read through any pattern in its entirety. However, this pattern is broken down into sections, some of which need to be worked simultaneously...so if you think you can just chug along and do the sections sequentially, you will be disappointed with the results. As long as you always look a little ahead, things knit up smoothly.
Summary: While the pattern is a little confusing, it does include a lot of useful skills and is a great basic pattern for a larger sized cardigan. I would recommend buying the pattern collection, as it is much more economical than buying only this pattern. A bonus is all of the patterns in the collection are great basics and would be an arsenal of resources for anyone who wanted to branch out but needed a good, solid place to start. If you already know how to knit sweaters and are not looking to bolster basic skills, there are better looking "boyfriend" cardigans out there.