The Charm?

A week and a half ago, I began knitting a sweater for my wife. I’ve never knit with 100% alpaca before, and I have to say that it’s pretty special. It feels both warm and cool at the same time, thanks to the incredible hollow fibers that comprise the coats of Andean high-altitude llamas. Z is a very lucky woman to be getting a sweater like this one, if I do say so myself.

And if the sweater actually takes, then I am going to be a very lucky guy. Back in September I wrote a post about what’s really behind the sweater curse, and how it’s really just a bunch of hooey. I stand by that belief——the odds that Z and I would get divorced over a sweater are probably around zero——but in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that this is my third attempt at knitting a sweater for Z.

Attempt #1

“Merry” from Big Easy, a Rowan publication. I thought it might look good on Z because she and the model above have similar proportions. Well, there’s a reason that model is turned slightly to the side, and has her hair carefully “arranged.” Big busts are nice, and big stitches are nice, but big stitches and big busts together? Uh-uh.

Attempt #2

This is the Toggle Cardigan, a Reynolds pattern. In this case, the fault is entirely my own, and entirely avoidable. I wanted Z’s cardigan to come out exactly the way it appeared in the pattern photo, so I ordered the suggested yarn, sight unseen. Reynolds Lopi, Icelandic Wool. Icelandic sheep must have it in for the locals, because that yarn was both itchy and scratchy. Z made a good faith effort. She wore it to work twice. Then it went off to a yard sale, with my blessing.

Attempt #3

This is the current attempt. It’s the Slouchy Cardigan from Greetings from Knit Café. That fabulous alpaca that I mentioned is Classic Elite Inca Alpaca. What you see here is the completed back, the right front, and the beginning of the left front. It’s off to a good start, and Z has been eyeing it with Ooohs and Ahhhhs. The forecast for this sweater is pretty good. And if it doesn’t take, I’ll settle for the privilege of keeping Z’s neck warm and her feet cozy.


  • anne sheridan says:

    I’m sooo excited to see how this turns out! I brought this exact pattern to my yarn store in Portland, OR and they guided me away from it…since I too have been well blessed by the boobie Gods! Please take a photo of your wife in it!!! Would love to “show them” it CAN be done! 🙂

  • Sean says:

    Looks great so far. If I can ever finish all these darn felted mittens, the baby blanket, and a pair of socks, then it’s time to start the first sweater I have ever made for Darren. At least if he doesn’t like it, I can wear it. A benefit of the gay knitter…

  • Mary says:

    Dear YarnBoy,

    I knitted a sweater for the BF for Christmas out of KnitPicks Andean Silk, an alpaca;silk;merino blend that is wonderfully soft and not itchy in the slightest. Luckily I bought enough to make myself a sweater, too. I’ve fallen in love with alpaca. I want to start raising alpacas so I’ll always have yarn (not really, but you get the idea).

    Good luck. Third time’s the charm, or so they say.


  • flutter says:

    You are so sweet to Z..can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  • carole says:

    Did you have her tuck a bit of the yarn into her bra? I say this because while alpaca feels sooooo soft to my hands, it feels like I’m wearing a porcupine against my more (ahem) tender skin. I just wanted to warn you so you don’t go through the knitting of another entire sweater in vain.

  • Cindy says:

    Ah. The sweater curse. I wish you luck.
    My current version of the curse is related to your current effort at breaking it. I started a sweater for my husband, also with lovely soft alpaca, and 1/2 way through realized that I am allergic to alpaca! It wasn’t so bad when I started, but now- I just pick it up and my throat gets all itchy and scratchy. I sincerely hope that you have better luck! It looks like a beautiful pattern and alpaca is wonderful yarn…

  • Miss Bliss says:

    What a lovely color! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • Eikon says:

    Have faith eventually the knitting POWERS THAT BE (cue the triumphalist deific music) will surely smile on your sweater making attempts.


  • sarah lou says:

    hi there! new to your blog, but wanted to say i just finished the Danica scarf last night. it looks great, thanks for the great pattern offering. i did it for an auction donation so i’m hoping that the fact that it looooooks detailed, though it was not terribly difficult, will bring in lots of dollars for the cause. i will be sure to give you props on the ‘care card’ i include. :o) i’ll be glad to point you to my photos of it or send them to you.

  • Julie says:

    I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who hated “Merry”! My problem was that I’m NOT well-endowed, so I looked like a marshmallow on a stick with it on. I gave it to my LYS as a shop sample. Good luck with your Slouchy. Oh… I love your Danica scarf too, and use it to teach Entrelac. You’re such a wonderful guy… thanks for giving so much to your fellow artisans!

  • denis/e says:

    if the colour i’m seeing on my screen is true – it’s divine!

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