Thursday, November 22, 2007

Finished: Seamless Hybrid

What better way to show my husband how thankful I am that he's in my life than by knitting him a sweater?

Pattern: Seamless Hybrid by Elizabeth Zimmermann (Knitting Without Tears)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian highland wool), color 9465, five skeins, and color 8401, approximately 1/4 skein (for contrasting hem facings)
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) 32" circs, 16" circs, and dpns
Started/Completed: September 11/November 21
Recipient: The Mister

I am thrilled with how this sweater turned out. I finished it last night at Hurricane Knitters and promptly tried it on; the girls made me go to the ladies' room to look at it in the mirror, and I must admit that for a moment I was seriously tempted to keep it for myself. The moment passed, however, and The Mister was happy to have it to wear to Thanksgiving dinner this evening, where it was much admired by the rest of the family and friends who were there celebrating with us.

I started this sweater with a swatch using three different needle sizes and asked The Mister to pick the fabric he liked best. It ended up working out well, as he picked the needle size that just happened to work out for using the numbers EZ gives as her examples in KwoT -- a 40" chest size and a gauge of 5 sts/inch. It made for minimal math to complete the sweater, which was extremely helpful considering this was my first adult-sized, designed-to-fit EZ sweater. It was tricky enough to figure out how to get all the pieces to fit together (figuratively, of course) without worrying about my math skills.

What you can't see (because I was a little absent-minded and forgot to take any pictures) are the contrasting hem facings. I used some light gray Cascade left over from The Mister's Cambridge Jacket and followed Jared's directions, for the most part. I did make one modification, and that was to use the contrasting color for the increase row right before the purl turn row. This allows a little bit of the gray to show at the bottom hem and the cuffs, and I thinks this adds a little interest to an otherwise pretty neutral and plain sweater.

I think my favorite part of this sweater is the saddle shoulder. I opted to carry it along the back (so that it looks like one strip of fabric that's perpendicular to the rest of the body) instead of a third saddle in the middle back. The actual knitting of the saddles was a bit tricky, what with the circular needle holding the front and back stitches and a couple of dpns used to work the shoulder stitches back and forth. Tricky and awkward, yes, but not difficult. It was the one part of the sweater I was most worried about, but in the end it turned out perfectly.

I used a simple 2x2 rib for the collar, which thankfully did not need to be reknit. It's a tad bit snug going on, but it hugs the neck nicely, preventing any chilly air from getting in.

Overall, this project is a winner as far as we're both concerned. I loved this pattern and will definitely be knitting other versions of the EZ seamless sweater in the future. While on paper it looks like it took a long time to knit this, in reality it was a pretty fast knit; I was knitting several other projects at the same time (including a sweater for myself) and the appendicitis and subsequent hospitalization greatly cut into my knitting time. What really amazes me most is how little yarn, relatively speaking, I wound up using. I had started with seven skeins and started worrying it wouldn't be enough soon after I joined the second skein for the body. It's nice to know that I can knit the same sweater again and won't have to overestimate my yarn needs -- and I can knit myself one with some 220 I already have in the stash!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving (if you were celebrating) and had as warm and cozy a day as we did!


  1. That's a beautiful sweater and the Mister makes a great model. Congratulations on a job well done!

  2. It looks fantastic, what an accomplishment! The size is perfect. My husband wore his sweater at T-Giving dinner and I was proud as well. Isn't Cascade 220 such an all-purpose wonder??

  3. Yay for finished sweaters! I love the saddle shoulder. It looks great!

  4. Wow! That looks fantastic! Nice job, SJ! :)

  5. What a great sweater! And I totally dig that saddle shoulder detail!

  6. Sarah, it's great! Sorry I missed seeing it "in person" as I missed the hurricaners this week. Looks fabulous.

  7. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Gurl!!!! you outdid yourself. I'm so proud of you. Look at it, it's gorgeous. Now you need to aim the camera a little higher and let's take a look at the gorgeous face of Mister. He looks hot waist up!:)

    Anyways, I'm still chugging along on mine, top down. Don't know now if it's going to work as nicely as yours turned out!

  8. Smokin hot fingers! What a great sweater! I think I'm going to have to add that book to my bookshelf and give the sweater a try. I can't believe it took less than six skeins to knit. Guess I'm used to ARAN sweaters! Great job!

  9. Anonymous7:53 PM

    What a very handsome MAN sweater!! That last picture from the side/back shows it off so beautifully!!
    Such a fortunate husband!!!

  10. a perfect gift! amazing work! it fits him well :)

  11. Great job! It looks fantastic on him : )

    P.S. I do love the way you did the saddle shoulders.

  12. Love it, love it, love it. Your version definitely inspires me to knit DH his, but since he never (rarely) wears sweaters, I'm wondering if it would be worth the work. Maybe I'll just sit and admire your photos of it instead.