The boyfriend sweater is the stuff of legends – although I never really heard about it until after my boyfriend became my husband and there was never any risk that I would have considered knitting him a sweater before that. My husband is six foot three and fortunately, at least until recently, his mother knitted for him.

Once I started knitting for our children when they were small I did decide to stake a claim as a good wife and knit for him as well. My first project was  a colour work vest, the wool came from a haberdashery store in our small local shopping centre and while wool was pretty icky. I skimped a bit on the size but despite that he wore  it even though the pattern included dusky pink. Several years later I knitted him another fair isle jersey (sleeves!) better wool, better size and which he actually wore quite a bit. It was very eighties which apart from a machine knitted vest was about the last time I made anything for him.

When I was working part time at a local yarn store it became a bit of a joke amongst the staff – would I be brave enough to break the mental barrier and knit something for my husband for the first time in over twenty years. It was a frequent Saturday conversation – the possible patterns and the possible yarn. Then we moved to the warmth of Brisbane and the idea of a warm winter jumper was slightly ridiculous.

Now back in New Zealand and with him facing a Christchurch winter it seemed only fair given his extensive support of the whole yarn endeavour that he got to benefit. And so after serious consideration of what would be manageable without terminal boredom, as well as what would be acceptable in terms of colour – the husband project was cast on two weeks ago. I am relieved to announce that without too much painful effort – I am over halfway up the back! (the photo was taken a little earlier in the project)

The pattern is the Cambridge Jacket by Ann Budd and I am knitting it in Cascade 220 Superwash. I had to drop a needle size to get close to gauge and the fabric still feels a tad loose. Naturally the colour isn’t the best in the photo but it is a deep teal with a fine hunter green tweedy fleck. The bottom gets a single crochet edge to keep it flat during finishing. I’m trying to be optimistic I might get it finished by the end of May – a true labour of love!


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