MANSWAP #8 The 1966 Green Polo neck sweater

posted in: SWAP, Uncategorized | 28

Firstly – I finally finish the trousers. As ever I have not reached perfection, but I have got to good enough. Gus really likes them. I will give you some properly modelled photographs at some point. Here is a picture of them still in the process – unhemmed and with tailors’ tacks – but tried on with Jumper no 1. Such a cozy, comfortable outfit for a man in winter – cords and a wooly.

Gus in cords and Lore jumper

Secondly – what has happened to the Sewing with a Plan? The Artisan’s Square website seems to have disappeared – any one know what is happening?

Thirdly – I finished the third item – my second knitted item.

Pattern, yarn and needles

The 1966 polo (turtle) neck sweater is from Patons and assumes you are going to use a creped Bri-Nylon, Terelene or similar “modern” 1960s acrylic yarn. I however used cashmere!  I bought DK cashmere from Colourmart, in Holly. It was beautiful to knit, although this company takes yarn from companies that weave or machine knit cashmere, and then spins it into thicker yarns. So each strand is a little separate, giving an issue with it splitting apart. So you have to be a careful to catch all five ply in each stitch (I imagine there is a technical way to express this, although I am still learning the terminology).

It was a big, straightforward sweater; traditionally knitted and sewn together. A little ribbing, lots and lots of stocking stitch (one row of knitting, followed by a row of pearl) for acres, then a a bit of shaping for the armholes and neck. A couple of sleeves. Finally the collar. This involves something which sounded rather ugly – knitting it flat, then stitching it “with wrong side facing, sew up half the seam of polo collar, turn to right side and sew up rem. half”, so that the stitches don’t show when it is folded over. Although I know very little about knitting I thought the polo would be much better created with circular needles. So that is what I did, and I really liked the effect.

I stuck to the pattern and it’s a good pattern.  I think the length is too short – I added lots of extra length as Gus hates a jumper or top that rides up with wear (I am the same – I like a proper tuck in). However I may have added too much in this instance.

My technique is improving I think. I didn’t drop any stitches or make a big mess anywhere and I actually quite enjoyed the “boring” knitting involved. While I really love the look of the flashy, colourful knits others produce (and I would love to do colour work myself at some point), my guess is that plain coloured, plain knitted jumpers that fit probably get worn more than something too unique. Especially for a man.

MANSWAP Jumper 2
Gus in the Green polo neck

Making up

This part troubled me. As a seamstress I should have no fear of sewing seams. But I did. I sat and contemplated sewing this together for a week or so. I don’t really know how to do this job properly. I know many knitters put lots of effort in getting this stage done perfectly – making all the difference between a home made looking item and a professional one.

My sewing together is rudimentary and I just used hand stitches I am confident with – overstitching and back stitching. Many of you told me to do mattress stitch, but despite watching You tube I did not manage to crack it this time. I will have to have another go next time I make something like this.

So I am satisfied, more or less, with this item. I don’t seem to get the quantities of yarn right, and I have lots left over. So, as dark green is a colour I love I will make myself something nice in due course.

28 Responses

  1. indigotiger

    I love the pieces that you have been making for Gus.

    The Artisans Square/Stitchers Guild site has been down for about two weeks now. DragonLady, who owns the site, has been working on recovering the data and getting it running again, but there have been multiple problems. The site was not hacked, there were issues with the hosting service. I found all this out by looking over at the Patternreview forums, there is a thread there where folks have been posting encouragement and periodically DL posts an update.

  2. Brenda

    Gus looks quite happy with these, and I think your work is admirable! 🙂

    You may enjoy top-down knitting patterns since they are generally knit in the round and don’t require any seaming. The last time I had a sabbatical from work, I decided to try to learn something challenging- to knit a sweater I would wear out of the house- and top-down knitting was very appealing to me. I learned to knit using videos on YouTube. I did wear the sweater once and it was too hot. Maybe someone found it at the Goodwill and is enjoying it!

    I’ve read about the AS site on Ruthie’s blog- It sounds like a lot of work to get it back up. How do these things happen, I wonder?

  3. Annie

    Nice work Kate, my, you’re a quick study, the neck join is very neat I’m not sure I could’ve done it as well, I always get gaps.

    One tip that might be useful when knitting flat is to knit the first stitch of the row and purl the last, this keeps the edges flat and easier to join together. Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits has very clear knitting videos on YouTube and one covers mattress stitch.

    Gus looks good doesn’t he?

  4. KathleenS15

    Beautiful jumper! I’m sure that being a plain style it will get worn and worn and worn. I found the Craftsy class Seaming Handknits very helpful.

  5. Mags

    It’s great, and I can’t believe how good your knitting is, but you must get into mattress stitch, it’s a revelation. I’ve been trying to get onto the artisan link as I have finally picked my swap sewing!

  6. Demented Fairy

    I tried to respond to the Artisans’ Square query when this post briefly appeared yesterday…then it vanished [some of your blog posts do that occasionally I find…]
    Love the green of Gus’ jumper, and I’m surprised to see the tucked-in look making a return!
    He looks happy with his growing wardrobe, I’m amazed at all your knitting prowess!

    • fabrickated

      Thanks for trying DF. I have the same problem with comments sometimes. With me it depends what machine I work from – my home PC is the most reliable but I invariably try from my phone and work computer and this sometimes lets me down.

  7. ceci

    What a great outfit – the sweater is a revelation to this very rudimentary knitter who now needs to look up mattress stitch! Rows and rows of purl in a splitty yarn sound dreadful.


  8. Dagmar

    The trousers and both sweaters look so flattering on your son – what an achievement and tribute to your quick learning and perseverance. I can’t wait to see more pictures of the trousers to see how you finally overcame the various fitting issues that arose. From the front they look terrific – comfortably cozy but not slouchy in the manner of stereotypical New England college professors who bought one wardrobe featuring cord pants when they started out 30 years earlier and never updated it after that. And the green of the second sweater is a stunning colour on your son.

  9. Su

    Great work on the pants and sweater. Don’t give up and keep trying mattress stitch – seams will be so neat and not so bulky compared to overcasting (makes me shudder to think of the bulk).

  10. Bridget

    Bravo on all that one colour knitting! It is only the change of colour that ever keeps me going on a project. I agree about learning mattress stitch, it is a far superior finish and gives the best tension in the seams. It might be easier to learn on a light coloured wool though where it is easier to see the stitches.

  11. Pearl

    I like that sweater on Gus – looks nice and cozy! Regarding mattress stitch – knit up a couple of swatches, and seam them together. It helped me figure out how to work the stich. And, because I was essentially sewing together samples, it didn’t matter if I messed up – I wasn’t going to wear the swatches 🙂

  12. Aida

    That’s a great sweater and looks great on your son, yes a bit long but since he wears it tucked in it is not an issue I guess. I’m knitting now my first sweater in circular needles and sewing those seams is what bothers me too, maybe three needle bind off is the solution, I’ll try that first before sewing the seams.

  13. Wendy

    Kate this looks so good! You and Gus have done a fine job of choosing colors that suit him. Can’t wait to see the next item!

  14. Naomi

    Gus is looking haaaaawwwttt! Well done Kate! I would wear all these garments myself, and certainly get a second set for Alex so we could be matching husband and wife outfit people 😉
    I know you will be able to see the “good enough, not perfect” in your pants. But no one else will ever notice. And Gus will clearly get so much wear out of them. And the jerseys are delicious. You are so talented!

  15. mrsmole

    Wonderful results and the more you get into each garment don’t you have a real appreciation for the people behind the scenes who design and make samples before clothes are released unto the public? Gus is looking very smart and comfortable at the same time. Your journey has been very entertaining and thank you for sharing every step with us, Kate!

  16. The Material Lady

    Wonderful sweater (and I have just looked up the cashmere supplier whom I will certainly be using so thanks!) and Gus looks great in it. For someone still pretty new to knitting you are getting fabulous results Kate!

  17. Sue

    Persevere with the mattress stitch if you can. I adore this jumper, the colour and the style, and it suits Gus so well. He looks thrilled with it, as he should be.

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