I made the Lorelle jersey up for me (size small) and it is a lovely jumper. My son Gus admired it and asked for one for himself, but without the zig zags. I said I would think about it and have a try. It will be the first item in our joint Sewing with a Plan 2017.
Regular readers know I am an almost complete beginner when it comes to knitting. In fact the Lorelle was my first garment ever. Since then I have managed a striped T shirt and a ski jersey. So for project four I will be knitting this jumper, but adapting it for Gus. I am thinking of this project with a mixture of excitement (creating something off piste, yay!) and making something to fit a man (very different shape to me), but also thinking I have done this once before so it is bound to be easier. And then Stephanie’s very clear advice (I know advice that comes from experience) that men are considerably bigger than women and making up the fabric is the key part of knitting, so there will just be many more hours involved in actually knitting.
To get an idea of what might be required I got Gus to pop on my sweater. He made me swear not to share the photograph with you. So I won’t. Long story short it was pretty tight across the chest and shoulders, but not too bad in the body. I discreetly sent the photo to Kari-Helene, Lorelle’s designer and asked her not to laugh. I told her I wanted to adapt the pattern for Gus. I love Kari-Helene – she doesn’t say what you might expect, eg no can do, men are a different shape, buy my pattern X for men. No. She is a cool woman and she fanned my excitement. She wrote:
I promise I am not laughing. 🙂 It is very fetching!
But in all honesty, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
I think you would have to add some rounds in the body before joining the sleeves on, but that is just working a few more rounds to add extra length. Easy.
Then I would probably also add a few extra rounds in the yoke. Where you are working the zig zag in the pattern you are working straight without shaping, so I would probably work this part just straight, changing over from reverse to normal stocking stitch when you feel it is right. Then maybe adding a few more rows evenly over the next few decreases. But it is hard to say just how many. What I would recommend, to make it easier to go back should things go wrong, is to insert a lifeline at a suitable point. It basically means to add a contrast colour thread through your stitches at a point where you would want to unravel to to make it easier to pick the stitches back up again.
I hope this was some helpful advice and good luck!
A lifeline! I had never heard of that before and it is good advice. I didn’t actually do it as I felt fairly confident this time, but it is a great tip.
I meant to buy the wool from Purl Alpaca, but they have slightly changed the recipe of the light grey to include a bit of rusty red, just a little bit. It is a great colour but I wanted a definitely cool grey so I looked elsewhere. I bought a Peruvian product, King Cole DK consequently somewhat cheaper than the UK Purl Alpaca, but a very similar shade to my original. If anything very slightly deeper, and very slightly bluer. And theoretically a slightly thinner yarn.
I made up the Large size (for bust 39 – Gus is chest 38). Maybe I could have started with the Medium and then moved to large at the underarm stage, but I thought a tubular shape would be best. I like my sweaters to be a bit big and I hope Gus does too. But the extra few inches, compared to my 34″ bust version, really took so much time. And I felt there was an acre of knitting fabric in my lap. But when I measured it, and held it up against Gus it looked about the right size. I think this whole thing of making for Gus shows me that I rely so much, in making clothes for myself, on my instinctive understanding of my own body. I have an internal, “the body in the mind”, view of myself that is (at least in terms of dimensions!) fairly close to reality. Without this guide for Gus I am in danger of making up his wardrobe in a way that is actually too small for him, and closer to my size. Which would be a bad move!
Apart from that I did what Kari-Helene suggested. I measured Gus’s torso (48cms hem to underarm) and added an extra 5cm to the length. And then, once I had joined the sleeves, I added another couple of inches in the yoke. I only have to sew it up now, so I will show you how it looks on Saturday.
In the meantime I would like some help. I want my second jersey for Gus to be designed for a man, and I want it to have a polo neck and set in sleeves. Ideally I think a ribbed pattern, or some subtle cabling. I went to Ravelry and search adult men’s patterns. Honestly! I had been warned by Stephanie and my friend Bridget that there are some truly awful stuff on there (as well as marvellous knitting, I admit). There were about 400 pictures. At least 100 were Scando knits with a bulky, boxy shape. 100 were of real husbands and sons and they looked like the male equivalent of “Readers Wives” – often weedy or portly, looking rather unhappy in their home knits. And the rest were either embarrassingly retro or completely dull. There were only two that I “favorited” – both out of print. Any ideas for a trendy parsnip shaped young man with a long neck?