Sweater for My Father, Knitted with Yarn I Spun

I haven’t posted about any knitted projects for a while because I was working on a big project and didn’t want to give anything away.  But now that the sweater is out of the gift box, I can reveal it and the other things I knitted in the meantime.  Today’s post is about the big project, and tomorrow I will write about the other projects.

When I was in college I knitted a sweater for my dad – forty years ago.  He still wears it.  He won’t let Mom wash it because he is afraid it will fall apart.  I noticed, when he wore it recently, that it is much too big for the size he is now.

So I decided I wanted to knit another sweater for my father.  But not out of just any yarn.  I wanted to knit him a sweater I made myself.  So I bought two pounds of wool roving from Island Fibers on Lopez Island.  I bought one pound when we were there the summer before last, and ordered one pound online.  The roving is a nice blend of brown shetland, white merino, and a little bit of light brown alpaca for softness.  It spun up beautifully.

I spun and spun and spun – at work and at home.  Once I spun as much yarn as I thought I would need, I triple-plied it – put three single strands together to create a stronger, more even yarn.  Eventually I had about eight skeins of triple-plied yarn and decided that was enough for Dad’s sweater.

Finding a pattern for the sweater was another issue.  I didn’t want anything too heavy, and Dad likes cardigans.  But it also had to have pockets and I didn’t want it to be too plain because it would be boring to knit.  Finally I settled on “Man’s Cardigan” by Red Heart Yarn.  The name is boring but the sweater had most of what I wanted, although I did add pockets.

I started knitting the sweater in Arizona and knit whenever I could through the summer and fall.  The double cable pattern was complicated which meant I couldn’t knit it in the car or while at work.  I also couldn’t knit it when Dad was around for obvious reasons.  Finally, December 11, I sewed the buttons on the front and was done.

After that I had to wait for Christmas to give Dad the sweater.  I was nervous about it – would he like it?  Would it fit?  Would it be a good weight?  Finally he opened it and tried it on.  It fit perfectly!

I would like my dad to be able to wear this sweater 40 years like he did the first.  But I know this isn’t realistic.  Hopefully, he will love it as much as the old sweater and feel my love surrounding him whenever he does wear it.