Sweater Saga – or: Don’t Try This at Home

Like many Interweave Knits subscribers, I fell hard for Jared Flood’s Cobblestone sweater from the Fall issue. I flashed the photo at the husband, he approved (with a few suggested modifications to suit his own style and the intended use), I considered the stash for about a nanosecond and settled on some Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggart Tweed that had originally been purchased to make a gansey for him. The yarn is quite a bit heavier than the suggested yarn, but John is perennially freezing, so that works out well, all the more so since he wanted to have a good, heavy sweater he can wear while fishing.

Swatched, measured, washed, remeasured, yep, okay: the yarn grows a bit with washing, but washed swatch measures out at this per that, mmmmumbleokay… run numbers through this handy converter, yep, mumble… so if I make the smallest size in the pattern, it should come out to fit him. Cool. (It should be noted that I did the same drill for his red ribbed cardigan last year, which resulted in an admirable garment).

The knitting began – it has already been noted that Milo loved it.

Yep, he still likes the knitting

We had a few fittings, where this knitter felt rather pleased with herself.

One of the final fittings for Cobblestone

Okay – who remembers the line about pride and gravity being a bad mix? Yes, that’s a good show of hands…

Upon the request of the recipient, I brought the neck up to make more of a turtleneck, and threw in an additional short-row at the back for good measure. Finished. John, my favorite blockhead, refused to wear it until it had been duly washed and blocked (well, dried flat). Can anyone see where I’m going with this?

Now, let’s not always see the same hands.

After about 2 days of drying (the McTaggart Tweed is nothing if not thick), I had John try it on again. Remember that bit about the yarn growing when washed? And how I was feeling pretty smug about it fitting so well? Yeah. That. Post-washing, we had a sweater that would perfectly fit my 6’4″ father. For the record, my husband is about 5’11”. John looked like a small boy wearing his big brother’s clothing. The body bagged at the armpits. The sleeves flopped down around his hands.  We shall not dwell upon the shoulders that would have accommodated football pads.

Several words passed through my brain which shall not be set down here, as they are unsuitable for cultivating the ladylike image I have so carefully nurtured in writing this blog. With a sudden rush of blood to the head, I took the sweater, marched upstairs, chucked the offending garment in my front-loading washing machine with a dollop of Eucalan, and set it for hot wash, cold rinse.

Someone revive the knitter in the back. She seems to have fainted dead away.

Since the sweater that emerged needed no delicate handling (for it is… rather dense, and unlikely to stretch), it spent a day or so drying on a rack in front of the fire. Result?

Portrait of a man, a dog, and a finished sweater

It should be noted that I had a secret weapon in Ravelry – someone had tried to make Fuzzy Feet out of McTaggart Tweed, and found that it is not good felting yarn, despite appearances that would lead any reasonable person to believe otherwise.

And now, nothing remains but for me to post a gratuitous Milo picture. The reader is welcome to imagine that he is either crowing in triumph at my unlikely sweater rescue or laughing his fuzzy butt off at me for being so dense throughout an entire month’s worth of sweater knitting.

I wanna ROCK!

Have a lovely Sunday, I hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep, dear reader.


  1. I was so worried as I was reading that you had to rip it apart and start over – I’m not kidding – I almost stopped reading. The thought of putting in all that work and not having it turn out is too terrible to contemplate – I’m so glad it did. And it looks fabulous. Hurrah for felt-resistant yarn.

  2. Sorry to panic you, Lianne! I probably wouldn’t have ripped it out – rather, my Dad may have gotten an unexpected sweater for Christmas…

  3. Sheesh! At least it all turned out okay in the end. :)

    Milo is adorable (as always) – and he certainly understands (like most cats) how to lie on colors that flatter him!

  4. Oh, well done! It looks great.

    I like that pattern too. I showed that pattern to Matt and he was all, “meeeeh.” Plus, most yarns are “too itchy.” There’s no way I’m going to knit that man a cashmere sweater, especially when he can’t even pick a style he likes.

  5. Nice looking sweater (and a nice looking man, too!)

  6. i so would have done the same thing! in the wash you go….you are a brave brave woman!

  7. That was extremely witty and very brave. It looks lovely.

  8. @SashaDevlin @clpolk You wanna gasp again? https://t.co/9OAK456T67

  9. @VoireyLinger LOL. From my old blog: https://t.co/9OAK456T67