Knitting for Ben

You may have noticed from my list of projects on my Blogiversary post that only one garment was for Ben – the Brooklyn jacket. Ohh, and a rather fine pair of Space Invader socks!

I promise you that this was not because I’m a horrid selfish knitter or because of some kind of fear of the “Boyfriend Jumper Curse”. The Boyfriend curse is the one that goes, “The minute you make your boyfriend a jumper, it scares the be’Jesus out of him and he dumps you”.

Ben is one of those annoying men who rarely wears a jumper – if it’s freezing he’ll wear a long sleevedt-shirt under a short sleeved one. Or turn the heating up!
I have in fact made him 3 garments, Brooklyn that you’ve seen and two others that I’ll blog in the coming weeks. These three are the only jumpers he possesses.

How’s that for a knitterly bragging point?

“My boyfriend only wears my handknits…He doesn’t own a shop bought jumper….” 😉 I could get irritatingly smug with that one couldn’t I?

The truth is, I badger Ben to death trying to find things to lovingly knit him. Usually with the responses of “I’ve got enough jumpers!”, “I hate scarves – I’ve never worn one!” or “Gloves? I’ll loose them then you’ll kill me!” My suggestion of a string on each glove going up the sleeves and across the back of his coat resulted in “robust” response and the threat of a severe tickling 🙂

Recently, my only success for him was this….

It’s a liner for one of his car’s cup holders so he can put his ipod in there without it scratching as it twizzles around while he drives. He was genuinely impressed when I sat down and a crocheted it to the right size without a pattern!

I made a circle of double crochet, then spiralled round and round without any increases so the sides turned up. It’s made from an oddment of Rowan Magpie Aran that’s been in my stash for at least 10 years!

It helped pull it to the perfect shape when I found it fitted exactly over a tumbler full of a very hot, whiskey laden “hot toddy” for my flu – medicinal purposes you understand! Hic! 😛

Imagine my surprise and pleasure when, I showed him yet another pattern book and he said,

“That one! I really like that one. Will you make it for me?

It was this from Jaeger JB28 – the men’s book by Martin Storey.

Yep, it’s the one from the cover – I guess he’s caught that from me!

All the garments in JB28 are named after rock stars – Ben was completely sold on the jumper when I told him it was named “Bowie” – a huge favourite of his!

I dragged Ben to my LYS to choose a colour, happily pointing him at the sale yarn…of course the colour he really liked was full price! 🙄

We chose Rowan Pure Wool DK in Cypress (shade 007) which knits to the same standard DK tension as the original Jaeger Matchmaker DK. It’s a lovely teal tinged bluey colour.

Once Cherish was done, still flu ridden, I wrapped myself up under a duvet on the sofa and whipped up the back.

The yarn is lovely – soft, squidgy and not splitty. Nice stitch definition too.

Here’s an unpressed close up of the “suitable for flu knitting”, straight forward pattern…

Then it struck me….

The pattern called for 13 balls – the yardage on the Pure Wool was actually 5 yards longer per ball so I wasn’t worried about yardage. I did however buy 14 balls because I tend to add an inch to the length because Ben’s rather tall and slim. Better to be safe….

The back had taken nearly 5 balls…Hmmmmm…if the front took the same I had to get the neck and both sleeve out of 4 balls – eeekkk!! 😯

I emailed Linda, my helpful John Lewis Rowan rep, from my sick bed, to see if she had any more of my dyelot in stock. More “Eeekkk” – completely sold out of that colour and out of stock at the warehouse! Linda is on the case and hunting me down some more yarn..

I consulted with my fellow guilty knitters – They pointed out that Bowie had drop shoulders so won’t need as much yarn as fitted sleeves…I felt slightly better but still worried.

I decided to keep going and see how it went, plans forming in my head about how to mix in other dylots into the sleeves so it wouldn’t notice – every other row? Every other block in the pattern? The neck could be different and it wouldn’t notice huh?

The front took 4 and 1/4 balls……

Can I get a sleeve out of 2 and a bit balls?? Watch this space….

2 Responses

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  1. Arianwen
    Arianwen January 21, 2008 at 8:18 pm |

    That is a lovely sweater. I love that teal colour I seem to knit in that colour a lot. Mario owns sweaters made by me – he only wears them when he has flu! Might show him this though.

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