All projects I knit are knit with love, but sometimes a project comes along that is extra special and seems to stitch in a little more of me than expected. Sometime last winter, I want to say February-ish, I started a sweater for my husband. I was so happy because he actually asked me to knit it- I wasn't inflicting my weird obsession with fiber on him, he really wanted a sweater and he really wanted me to make it. I am happy to report I finished it...before the new year, even. (Yes, yes, I appreciate it, but you can stop cheering for me now.) I am even happier to report that we survived the sweater curse. Apparently it's a thing- you knit a sweater for your partner and your relationship falls to pieces before it's done. But I will say, I think knitting something for someone so close to me is what made this project so special. My husband and I have had a difficult year; not in our relationship but more just life things coming up and slapping us in the face. And through it all I worked on the sweater. I look at the finished work and I see in the cables each of the trials we faced this year. Every section has some memories that are very specific to, let's say, just the left sleeve or the collar. With it all said and done, this 2017 sweater project makes me feel proud. Proud because all of those intertwined cables that represent our challenges have made us stronger and that despite some of the upsets we faced, we are together and we are strong. (Also, there is some personal pride because it was probably one of the more technically difficult knits I've tackled.) I love my husband and his sweater is filled with that love.
As for the pattern itself, it is lovely. I really like the cable work that Ms. Anikeeva includes in her designs. She does a beautiful job, too, of making lovely men's knitwear that is also masculine. While there are delicate components and a lot of pattern and interest, the overall appearance of this sweater is very "man." It is balanced, the cable work is not overdone. (I have seen some sweaters where the cable work is absolutely stunning, but there is so much of it crammed together that it makes me a little dizzy. This cardigan did not have that problem.)
I chose to use KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in "Flagstone Heather." It was a nice yarn to work with, but the main reason I chose it is because a sweater, especially a men's sweater, needs A LOT of yarn. I was trying not to make the first sweater I knit for my husband cost almost $300 in supplies, and the KnitPicks yarn was a nice option that was also economical. I am sure one day I will knit a $300 sweater, but this was not that day. I really loved the pattern in tweed, though. (I'm a sucker for sweaters in tweed.)
Summary: This cardigan has great cable work. It has a balanced appearance and the pattern is well written and clear. I even got to try some new techniques, like a tubular cast-on. The collar is also great, it is bulky and warm, worked in short rows to build height around the neck. I would recommend this project for someone who is comfortable with cables, patient, and has some experience with garment knitting. The difficulty rating on this pattern is "intermediate" and I think that's pretty accurate.