A while back, I fell in love with the Elizabeth Zimmermann hybrid sweater as knit by Brooklyntweed -- but then again, who didn't? I planned on knitting one for Jason, so I chose my yarn (Plymouth Encore worsted) in a tweedy dark brown, plus a ball of tweedy camel for the contrast-color hems. Then, like a good knitter, I took Jason's chest measurement, swatched, and did the math.
Math isn't always all it's cracked up to be. I measured Jason's chest, thinking (I thought logically) that I would want to knit the sweater body to fit his body. What's the problem there? Well, Jason has a very V-shaped torso, so his waist is quite a bit smaller than his chest. Also, I aimed for a tiny bit of ease. Can you guess where this is headed? The fact that it's not Jason wearing the sweater in the photo, but my dad, has probably clued you in.
The sweater didn't end up being ridiculously large on Jason, but it was large enough on him that it looked sloppy. To be worn well, I think this sweater should be pretty fitted. Jason suggested that I "knit it smaller" and I must say that I laughed at him mockingly. Reknit the entire sweater at a finer gauge, or with a smaller number of stitches? No way. Not when I could tell that I could solve the entire problem by changing the designated recipient!
The sweater fits my dad perfectly, and he loves it! Of the four sweaters I've given my dad, this one definitely turned out the best -- so really, my miscalculations were a stroke of luck. I've got some ideas for a new Jason sweater, so he's not hurting. (Not to mention the fact that the weather has turned considerably warmer here -- it's not like Jason would have gotten much use out of it anyway.) I'm also quite pleased to have tried out this hybrid construction: I used the instructions in Knitting Workshop, but you can also find them in Knitting Without Tears. I think this version is called the shirt-yoke version -- the saddles are knit across the back and grafted together in the middle. For the neckline, I did a contrast-color folded hem as for the sleeve cuffs and hem.
Though overall I'm quite happy with how things turned out, I have to say that I am not planning to work with this yarn again. It's a blend of 75% acrylic and 25% wool, and it just was not that pleasant to work with. Supposedly it's easy-care, but I felt like it did not hold up as well in my gentle washing process as pure wool does -- it definitely lacked wool's resiliency. Oh well, my dad is such a great knitting recipient that I will happily knit him a replacement if it wears out!