Paul and I just celebrated our 13 year anniversary and, since I learned how to knit shortly before meeting him, it is also my knitting anniversary. Despite many years of knitting and togetherness, I have only made Paul one sweater and that was 7 years ago! There are a variety of reasons for the lack of Paul sweaters, including his specific tastes for how clothes feel, his tendency to run hot and the challenge of finding a pattern that he likes.
Last winter, we spent a good, long while perusing sweater patterns on Ravelry. I was sad to learn that he does not like shawl collars because I think they look quite charming on men. After much discussion and elimination of all shawl collars, we settled on a pattern for him. The chosen pattern was a surprising one to me as it was modeled entirely by women. The winner: Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer.
Next up on the list of things we needed to navigate prior to sweater knitting: yarn. We wanted to go with 100% wool and needed a line that had a lot of color choices. The winning grey and rust color combination was located in Valley Yarns' Northampton yarn.
What we failed to notice when picking the pattern out was that the neckline is a little low in the front. That fact didn't become apparent until the very last step when I was picking up stitches for the collar. I ended up having to get a little creative with the collar to raise it up in the front. I used short rows to lengthen the front without adding any depth to the back of the neck. I also added an extra button and buttonhole to hold it up. I am not that happy with how it turned out after blocking, but I am hoping it will settle in and look better with more wear. Thankfully, it doesn't bother Paul and he is happy that it has a little more coverage in the collar area after my adjustments.
One last, important decision needed to be made to finish off the project: buttons. Paul is of the opinion that buttons should be there to do their job but not be show offs. He likes it when buttons blend in like wallflowers. Me, not so much. I like it when buttons are a feature or point of contrast, but since I am not the one wearing this sweater, I made a significant effort to find the buttons he wanted. Even after visiting 3 stores, I wasn't able to find any buttons that matched the yarn. Thankfully, I found these buttons at Treadle Yard Goods. They were acceptable to Paul and added a little extra something to the sweater for my eyes.
Since our collaboration has reached its conclusion just as the warmer weather arrives, Paul will need to tuck this away until next winter. Hopefully this sweater will see him through many winters. If I keep going at this pace, it will need to last him 8 more winters.
Ravelry project link