Monday, October 12, 2009

Men's Sweaters

Right now I am knitting a sweater for my husband. I am using Briar Rose yarn, so I was VERY excited to cast this one on. It is beautiful and I keep joking that it is my boyfriend sweater. I have a feeling I'll be wearing it a few times.

I really enjoy making garments for Patrick. Sometimes, knitting for men can be a little tricky. Men tend to be a little more particular about necklines and fiber. Getting the fit just right can also be a challenge. My MIL and I were discussing this the other night and I thought some of you might be wondering about knitting for men too. Here are some tips I picked up along the way...

1. Measure your guys favorite sweater. However, measure the chest AND measure the length. For example, Patrick has a sweater that fits him well across the chest, but he prefers the length of another sweater. I tend to combine these measurements when I knit for him.

2. Know his suit jacket size. I find this useful when making sweaters that are meant to be oversized.

3. When picking the length, ask him if he plans to turn the bottom rib under and where he wants the turned part to hit him. Makes a difference in the overall length.

4. If your guys is tall or long in the torso or arms, buy the yarn requirements to the larger chest measurement. For example, I make Patrick the 40 to 42 size, but I always buy the yarn for the 44 or 46. Covers the extra length in his torso and arms.

5. Knit your gauge swatch with the needle size below what it says, what it suggests, and a size higher than suggested. Wash your swatch how you will wash your sweater. The AFTER WASHING AND DRYING gauge is what you want to match your pattern gauge. The most common complaint I hear is that a sweater is too big because it stretched out after blocking. If you go with the after blocking swatch measurement, you won't have an issue. By swatching with the three needle sizes, you'll be able to tell which size works. You won't have to make a second swatch this way. Be sure to swatch in the pattern it states on the gauge area of your pattern. If it doesn't specify, use stockinette stitch (St st).

6. If you are lucky enough to have your guy around the house, hold up the garment to him often. This helps a TON with length. Remember that it will look a little small because it will probably grow during blocking--unless it is an acrylic and you find that blocking doesn't make much of a difference.

Tune in tomorrow for another little tidbit about knitting for men!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help, Gina. Being unsure about the sizing has made it easy for me to procrastinate starting the sweater. Now I have no excuses, especially since changing to Portuguese syle knitting lets me knit for longer periods of time.

BTW, I did knit PDK a sweater once. It was a simple v-neck. I still have the pattern!


Meg and Pete said...

Such a good model for your sweaters! :) I like the colors for the new one you are making. Can't wait to see the finished product!