Dude Knitting: Brooklyn Tweed Bradbury!

Hi, guys! Ever have an unfinished project that just haunts you? Every time you get the itch to start something new, you feel a twinge of guilt? Well, this sweater was one of those, so I’m really excited to finally be done with it!

Now, I love to knit, but I haven’t done much of it for Blake. He has very particular taste and if something doesn’t meet his specifications, he just won’t wear it (see: the scarf I crocheted for him right after college… I don’t think he wore it even once!). But when I saw the Bradbury pullover in the Brooklyn Tweed Men’s Volume 2 collection, I knew that he would like it. No cables, no collars, no textures- just plain stripes! That’s his jam. πŸ™‚

Brooklyn Tweed Bradbury Pullover | Ginger Makes

Bradbury is designed by Julie Hoover, and the suggested yarn is Brooklyn Tweed LOFT. I had never used a Brooklyn Tweed yarn before, but I decided to splurge on it for Blake’s sweater since I’d heard that it was very light and airy. I saved up my pennies and got Man Friend approval for a colorway combo of Almanac/Sweatshirt.

The thing that I like most about Brooklyn Tweed patterns is that I always feel like I’ve learned something new by the time I’ve finished. In this case, I learned the tubular cast-on and bind-off, the sloped bind-off, and a different way to knit stripes in the flat. I have to admit, though, that when I first downloaded the PDF, it took me a few weeks to dive into the pattern because it seemed like a much more complicated project than I’d originally thought and I just didn’t want to get started!

Brooklyn Tweed Bradbury Pullover | Ginger Makes

This raglan pullover is knit flat from the bottom up and seamed, with visible raglan seams. It took me 5 months to knit it, although I didn’t knit very aggressively, just here and there as I felt like it (I cast on last May and I’ve never been much of a summer knitter, but I’d hoped to finish in time for cold weather). Then I spent a month procrastinating on seaming things up, tried a few times, failed a few times, then let it sit on my work table for, ohhhh, six months. I felt terrible every time I laid eyes on it, but I just didn’t want to try seaming it again! For some reason I couldn’t get things to line up right (I think I was picking up the wrong bar between the stitches on one side, so I kept having a different number of bars on one side than the other, if that makes sense) and that was really visible in a striped garment. Finally I decided that I HAD to finish it for Blake’s birthday at the end of May, so I gritted my teeth and just stuck with it until I was done.

Here’s where I should mention, like other knitters have, that it’s just not possible to seam with LOFT. It broke over and over, even when I twisted it to add tensile strength, so I had to buy different yarn in as close of a color match as I could (I ended up using Cascade 220 Fingering because it was the cheapest thing I could find). Honestly, this annoyed me, because I’d already spent so much on LOFT that the last thing I wanted to do was buy MORE yarn, plus, now I have an entire skein (minus a couple of yards) each of two different colors taking up room in my stash, neither of which I’m particularly excited to use for another project. Ugh!

Brooklyn Tweed Bradbury Pullover | Ginger Makes

Because I was making this for Blake and he is really picky about fit, I was really careful about checking the finished chest and sleeve measurements, and about both swatching and blocking accurately. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me to check the finished garment length (from neck to hem), and it was really too short for Blake. I shouldn’t have assumed that the designer’s hem length would be what we wanted… ugh! When he tried it on, it looked really stupid (actually, the length was great for me!). So, I reblocked the entire sweater aggressively and was able to gain about an inch of extra length, which isn’t perfect, but at least it’s wearable now. It annoys me a bit, though, after spending a small mint and countless hours of my life knitting a men’s sweater in flat stockinette in a fingering-weight yarn!! But I’m not about to frog the whole sweater just to make it longer so it’s going to stay as it is (that’s the downside to knitting bottom-up… trying it on as you go just isn’t an option). I also feel like I see some pulling at the armscyes in these photos, but I didn’t notice it when he was wearing it so maybe I’m just being paranoid!

At the end of the day, Blake is really happy with the sweater and not miserable and sad as these photos might suggest (at one point in the photo session I asked him if he thought he was smiling, ha!). Frankly, I’m just happy to have this project off my work table and in his closet!

Brooklyn Tweed Bradbury Pullover | Ginger Makes

So tell me, have you ever knit something for any of the men in your lives? How did it go? Any success stories or project recommendations?

Finally, one last order of business- the winner of the Wool and the Gang giveaway, as chosen by random.org, is… Lee! Give me a shout and I’ll get the kit off to you!

45 responses

  1. That is a handsome sweater, you have nothing to be ashamed of. It will be handsome in ten, twenty years. Can we say the same?

    Over the last twenty years, I knit a number of things for my spouse, and he didn’t care so much about any of them UNTIL my children turned into adult sized people who found these sweaters and hats and wore them. They are all pretty skinny;the kids tend to just get longer not wider, so adding rows adds years of wear. There is still one very sad Cashmerino sweater that is very pilled and frayed, but damn it’s still cozytown.

    Man, I wish that happened to me (wider not taller) 😦

    Like

  2. What a great sweater! It looks really fantastic!

    If you want even more length in the body, try hanging the sweater up (on a heavy coat hanger with shoulder structure) while wet and letting it dry that way. After a few washes, it really has an effect! Using clips to pin up the sleeves to the shoulders will help stop their stretching along with the body.

    Like

  3. Okay, knitting a whole sweater takes serious dedication. Knitting a whole sweater for *someone else* is just crazy! It looks so good though, hopefully he gets loads of wear out of it!

    Like

  4. I think it looks great!! I have yet to knit anything at all for Ben (scratch that, I did knit a hat, but it might originally have been for me… does that count?) but I do feel your pain about the length and the yarn. Sooo annoying. The finished product really looks wonderful though!

    Like

  5. It looks great and well worth all that effort, I bet it feel good to be finally finished! I would like to knit my husband a jumper, but it seems so much bigger and so much more knitting to do. Sewing is more my speed!

    Like

    • Oh man, I have to admit that man-sized knitting feels so slow! Even his socks feel like they take so much longer than mine! But it was really rewarding to see him try it on– it’s fun to see loved ones wearing something we made them!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You know me and my poor knitting skills, but man this looks awesome! It kinda sucks that it isn’t the perfect length, but really and truly, in these photos it looks great!

    Like

  7. The sweater looks perfect on him and worn like this over a shirt has the perfect length ..I am sure he appreciates all the work that went into making this gorgeous sweater and I hope he will wear it a lot!

    Like

  8. Right, your guy doesn’t look super happy on these pictures, but I think he’s just trying to hide his enthousiasm bc this sweater looks really fantastic on him and utterly cool.

    Like

  9. I am so impressed with people who knit – that skill eludes me πŸ™‚ this sweater is fantastic and I would wear it in a heartbeat.

    Like

  10. Looks great on ManFriend!!! I would never have noticed the length if you hadn’t mentioned it. It looks just right with his shirt tail sticking out.

    Like

  11. Man sweaters are much more work than lady sweaters. Great work on this. With regard to needing extra length… if you’re feeling adventurous,you can pick-up the last row of stitches before the ribbing and *GASP* cut off the ribbed band. With your newly live stitches, start knitting in rib (You can do this in the round now, since you’ve already seamed the body together) until you’ve reached your desired length. The stitches in the ‘new’ band with be going in the opposite direction, but only the very observant will ever notice. And, it’s totally worth doing, if it means the difference between wearing/not wearing the sweater. πŸ˜€ I’m sure you can find a tutorial online if this explanation is lacking, or I can try to better explain how to do sweater surgery, if you’re interested in trying.

    Like

    • Ooh, I had no idea that was possible! Thanks so much! I’ll wait and see how he feels about it and will definitely give this a try if the length bothers him when he wears it. Thank you!!

      Like

  12. So impressive – fingering weight yarn! As a beginner knitter, I really fancy making something Mr Wardrobe would love to wear again and again, but it sounds like so much work I’m not sure I can face it. Like your dude, mine has very particular taste…

    Like

  13. This looks amazing Sonja! Blake should be smiling with glee! Whenever I take John’s photo, I always say goofy things and make him laugh otherwise he looks like he’s at a funeral. I have totally had projects like this, and I totally get that it feels so good to have them done!

    Like

  14. Sonja, this is such a beautiful sweater, your hubs is indeed a lucky guy! It was well worth all of the effort and wait.Someday I would love to learn to knit and be able to make something for Will.

    Like

  15. If it does end up being too short, there is one more option: you can unpick one row above the ribbing putting stitches from both top and bottom onto holder needles, knit onto the live stitches up from the ribbing section however much you’d like to knit, then kitchner stitch the bottom back onto the top. It’s a fair amount of work, and isn’t really easy with sticky yarns, but it is better than unraveling the whole thing. I’ve done it, it’s a few hours work but worth it.

    Like

  16. Crickey such dedication! I’ve made mine a scarf (too wide, too short, frogged, knitted wider and longer yet never worn) and a beanie. He’s so fussy tho I can’t see a sweater in his future. Hope your guy loves this!

    Like

  17. I made a beautiful scarf for my husband one Christmas; he loves it and looks great in it.
    It’s the Staggered Rib pattern (free on Ravelry), and I made it in a tweedy Alpaca, in grey. Only
    trouble is, after he saw a guy wearing a longer scarf, now he wants me to make his scarf longer.
    I still have almost a whole skein left. Now if I can just figure out which is the bound-off edge,
    and find some time between now and when it gets cold again…

    Love your blog!

    Like

  18. LOVE this sweater. Sad to say I have knit two hats and a pair of fingerless mitts for my husband with 0% success rate of him actually wearing any of them, even though he picked out the yarn and pattern himself. Alas…

    Like

  19. What a beautiful sweater! I once knitted a Norwegian sweater for my husband and it took me about a year and countless hours of knitting in the train. I’d do it again if it didn’t take so long πŸ™‚ I’m a big fan of BT, but I have to admit I had some hem issues as well. The secret may be in the blocking, as you did…

    Like

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: