For Christmas, I’m knitting Wayne a yellow tweed jumper using Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky. It’s a blend of merino and angora in a rich mustard yellow with flecks of yellows, apple green and cream.
I bought the yarn intending to make Erika Knight’s “Tweed Cable Sweater”, from her book Men’s knits, which recommends the Debbie Bliss yarn. The yarn is so lovely, slubby and textured, but we wondered whether the bright yellow chunky yarn together with cables might be, as Tim Gunn would say, “a lot of look”, so we went looking for something a bit simpler.
Donegal Tweed Chunky should have a gauge of 12 stitches to 10 cm using 6.5 mm needles but I was getting 13 stitches in my swatching, which produced a really beautiful fabric after washing, so I decided to stick with that rather than going up a needle size.
There are quite a lot of men’s patterns around for jumpers at that gauge and I started out using a pattern for a plain set-in sleeve jumper from Patons book 1232 Inca for men. I should know by now that modern men’s patterns from Patons Australia are quite long, really long actually. Why did I not realise this until I’d finished the whole back? Even though I was making the small size this jumper was going to end up like a sack.
At this point I was flicking through some vintage pattern books which was when I came across the perfect pattern, number 9617 the “Round neck pullover with raglan sleeves” from Bear Brand, Fleischer and Botany book 96 Men’s classics, subtitled “Choose-O-Matic”!
There are a dozen or more patterns, all great classic men’s designs, and each pattern written for multiple yarn weights. Even better, the sizes all start at 38 inches for a finished size of 39-40 inches which was exactly what I was looking for.
I think I could happily knit almost every pattern in this book. I’ve now finished the back of Wayne’s jumper and it looks like it’s turned out just the right size, so I’ve cast on for the front today.