After seven years of knitting and nearly eight years of marriage (8 years on October 21), Grant finally decided to let me knit him a sweater. :D
It's not that I haven't tried. Oh, I've tried. However, perhaps part of the problem is that I was trying to knit him sweaters with leftover bits of Wool-Ease. Which is 80% acrylic, and not colors he was really excited by ("Hey, I have 14 balls of Woods print! You like Woods print, right?" "…").
So this time I made him grope my yarn in order to pick out a fiber, and we went to the website to look at colors together, and then I ordered some of the tentative first choice and one ball of the tentative second choice. Of course, that meant the second choice came in first, and so I ordered more of that. :D
Then we needed to find a pattern. And you know something that this whole process has taught me? Don't give people too many choices. Seriously. If I thrust three types of wool at him and say "pick one!", then it's easy for him to make a decision. If I gave him one ball of every kind of fiber in my stash, there's no way he could make a choice. Looking at colors wasn't tough — there were a lot of colors, but only a few were of interest. Then we narrowed it down to two — and again, it was very easy to make a choice between two colors.
As I was saying, then we needed to find a pattern. I suggested a couple different things — plain? Textured? Cables? Grant said that he liked Aran patterns. Armed with the knowledge that too many choices is kinda dangerous, I grabbed up my copy of Arans & Celtics, marked five or so patterns I thought he'd like, and showed them off. They got responses like "No", "No", "No", and "Hey, that's kind of neat", and finally "Oh! I like that — would you like knitting that?"
\o/ \o/ \o/
And so I have begun! I have completed the back piece and started on the front piece. At that point, it's two sleeves and a lot of seaming. In the interest of making the seaming really easy on myself, I have added two knit stitches of selvage per side on each piece. (In retrospect, I could have knit this in the round, but I was being cautious.) I'll want to block the pieces before trying to seam them. (I may end up blocking the back piece today, since it's done and I want to see what it'll look like blocked.)
The only alteration (besides the selvage stitches) is that I've done the shoulders in short-rows, and rather than binding them off, I plan on doing a three-needle bind-off. However, instead of just picking up stitches for the collar, I really did bind them off. I'm trying to remember who it was that pointed out that a bind-off at the collar is done for a reason, to add stability to a sweater. Ah ha! It was the Yarn Harlot. I have been there and done that with neck bind-offs, and I will not repeat that mistake this time!
So far so good. The sheep are helping.