Friday, 13 May 2011

Chris' Brownstone

Chris in his gorgeous Brownstone pullover

Voila Chris' most recent FO!

Pattern: Brownstone by Jared Flood (Ravelry link).
Yarn: TFA Green Label Aran Weight in Chris' very own One Of A Kind colourway.

Chris and I collaborated on this knit and it worked out really well. As soon as I saw this pattern on the Brooklyn Tweed blog I knew that Chris would love it. Towards the end of March he enthusiastically cast on for version 1 of this sweater (the sweater pictured here is actually version 2) and with very little help from me, he knit the entire thing in roughly one month. Sounds great right? Wrong, that sweater unfortunately turned out excessively humungous! I don't know where he/we went wrong! Chris is tall and slender, he's just shy of 6'3" and based on his measurements, the measurements of his favorite sweaters, and the measurements on the pattern schematic, we opted to knit him the size medium. His gauge was bang on, and his finished sweater matched exactly what the schematic said it should, but once he put it on it was clear that it was way too big. It fit him much more like an XL than the trim medium we were going for. It's nobody's fault, there's nothing wrong with the pattern or the knitter, but together we just made a bad call when choosing what size to knit...

Chris in his gorgeous Brownstone pullover

Because there is nothing worse than working on a sweater for a month only to have it be unwearable, and I was worried that this catastrophe would ruin knitting for Chris forever, I offered to help him knit version 2, this time following the instructions for the size small. I knit the sleeves while he worked on the body, I then joined the sleeves to the body and got him started on the yoke, I worked on it while he wasn't looking, and in about 8 days we had a completed sweater! It's amazing, we must knit very similarly because you really can't tell what parts he knit and where I took over. We're a good match ;)

Chris in his gorgeous Brownstone pullover

Chris dyed this custom colourway specifically for this sweater and I'm crazy for it! It's sort of a very subtle, soft version of Shadow. It's grey, but sometimes looks pale blue... it's dreamy. We didn't alternate skeins and though there is minimal pooling it's so subtle that it's not distracting and Chris doesn't mind it. In fact, he finds that the subtle shifts in colour really add to the hand dyed/hand made look. 

Chris in his gorgeous Brownstone pullover
Even though he doesn't look very happy here, trust me, he's thrilled with his new sweater!

The sweater is gorgeous and looks really good on him. It was definitely worth knitting twice in order to get it just right. Now that he's got the recipe for his perfect shawl collar pullover perfected, he says he just might knit a few more. We did a few simple mods, lengthened the body and sleeves by a couple of inches in order to accommodate Chris' tall frame. We also omitted the first set of short rows (since in the first big sweater we did both sets of short rows and the finished sweater really drooped in the back, there was just way too much material for Chris, this version sits just right.) And I made up my own way of making the tabs that loop over the toggles. I did a crocheted chain with the yarn held double to make it nice and sturdy and I sewed them to the wrong side rather than the right side. The collar lays perfectly flat and worked out really well. Lastly, I knit the collar on larger needles than the pattern called for (the pattern said to use 4mm and 4.5mm needles for the collar, I used 4.5mm and 5mm needles) I like a pretty generous collar and became a shawl collar pro when working out the details of my I Heart Aran sweater!

Chris lovin' his new Brownstone Pullover!

This sweater is awesome. I think that Chris looks incredibly handsome in it, and I couldn't be prouder of him for having knit it (at least most of it) himself. Go Chris!