Knitting a Man’s Sweater in Bulky Yarn

black cat sleeping on hand knit sweater

The warmest sweaters are knit with wool but caring for wool is not so simple. My son lives in a cold climate and I’ve wanted to make him something warm. I know he will never hand wash anything in a sink. So, finally I told him that he will never have to wash the sweater. If it gets a spill, rinse the spot and let it dry.

If he always wears the sweater over other clothing, it should be fine.

I’ve been looking for some simple sweater patterns that men would wear.

I’ve settled on the Joker pattern in the Lopi 40 pattern book – Ravelry page here. The pattern uses bulky Alafosslopi yarn which creates a nice thick sweater that will knit up quickly. I don’t plant to do all that colorwork on the yoke because my kids like subtle, dark colors. I’ve used Alafosslopi to knit the Carbeth Cardigan, which had no colorwork. And honestly I found that knitting stranded with two hands was a bit tough to do with this yarn.

Gauge Swatch and Casting On

My gauge is goo with needle recommended. I knit with a couple of black stripes with the main color green to see how well that worked. When there is a long cast-on like the beginning of the body, I do a two-stranded cast on using yarn from two skeins. That way I won’t have to worry about running our of yarn for the Old Norwegian cast on.

Yarn Amounts Used

In the end, this is approximately how much yarn was used. Eight skeins total needed to knit size XL if done in one color.

  • Alafosslopi Green – 6 + a little
  • Alafosslopi Black – 1 + a little

The Joker pullover is knit from the bottom up. Then the sleeves and body are attached and a colorwork yoke is knit. I was not looking for a colorwork pattern, and ended up not doing much of it.

The Joker pattern is pretty straightforward for anyone who is used to knitting a sweater, but does not go into detail. Directions are in cm which I had to convert. Under the sleeves, the armpits have Kitchener stitch to close up the hole.

One note that I hope will be helpful to others, and to myself for next time, is to do a very stretchy bind-off around the neck. I had to rip back and re-do the neck. Binding off loosely is not enough. The neckline curls under so the bind-off is hidden.

How I did the stretchy bind-off: Like this video by Andrea Mowry, EXCEPT I only did 2 stretchy style, then did 2 regular style. I’ve found that doing the stretchy bind-off all the way around will often make that last row way too loose. So I alternated and it turned out great.

Stretchy bind off alternating: Knit one, bring yarn over needle to add another stitch. Knit one – 3 stitches on the right needle. Pass the first two over the last stitch to leave one on the right needle. Do this twice, then do a regular knit one, pass the first stitch over (twice).

Joker sweater rolled collar

We went camping for a couple of days at Long Point Campground, and the sweater was still damp when we returned home! It had been drying for 4 days! So I put the dehumidifier on which helped.

Sweater is finished – March 27, 2023, just in time for my son’s visit. He can take it back home with him! But first, Skittle needed to make sure it was good and comfy.

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One thought on “Knitting a Man’s Sweater in Bulky Yarn

  1. Pingback: Round Blanket Knitting Project for Skittle the Cat – New England's Narrow Road

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