Knit: Smokin’ by Jared Flood
I’ve been wanting to knit one of Jared Flood’s designs for awhile now, so I felt very lucky when my husband picked out one of his designs as something he wanted me to knit for him.
I’m not sure what happened, but this sweater somehow took me for-ev-er to complete…a late start last winter, followed by the hot days of summer and long days working in the garden, which never leave me in the mood for knitting, then knitting projects for the shop and custom orders got in the way…but finally, I picked it up again and completed it rather quickly. And then it’s take me forever to post about it, of course. But we finally took advantage of some nice weather and headed outside to take some photos.
To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with the pattern (there were some errata I had to correct) or the construction of the sweater itself. I’ve heard that sometimes when designers are published in collections edited by a publisher (as this one was, in Son of Stitch n’ Bitch) that errors could be due to the editor, so I’ll give Flood the benefit of the doubt here. If I were to knit this again (which I won’t) I would also add twice as many button holes; only having four means that the sweater gaps quite a bit between the buttons so I’ll be sewing in hidden snaps to fix this. I also followed the lead of another knitter on ravelry and opted for a 2×2 ribbing at the hem, collar and cuffs instead of the garter stitch.
I searched the world for an affordable tweed to knit this in, but affordable tweeds apparently do not exist (I had no idea how expensive that stuff could be!), so we finally decided on Cascade’s Eco Wool in a marled natural and dark brown.
Switching to the rib stitch meant some guesswork on how to construct the shawl collar- so I jumped in and did my best with some short rows. This was a challenge for me, as I take extreme comfort in simply following the directions (yes, I’m Type A). But I’ve been realizing lately that I need to let go a little bit and practice experimenting and using the knitting knowledge I’ve got stored up in my head. It’s also a practice in process for me, as sometimes this means I have to rip out rows and start over; Type A doesn’t like wasting any time. Perhaps that’s part of the lesson- time isn’t actually wasted in the process of creating, experimenting and learning.
Next time I knit something up for my husband I’ll also try to add some width in the shoulders and length in the torso. I get the feeling that Flood’s patterns are written for all those waif-like hipster boys out there, a group to which my husband and his viking shoulders do not belong. Blocking was able to help a lot, but it still rides up in the back as he wears it. I don’t think my husband notices any of this though, as he hasn’t taken it off since I finished it.