I've seen several books on men's sweaters and all of them are well-made and classic, but most of them bore me. I want more variation than classic styles and different techniques and patterns. The last sweater I made I used Cascade 128 Peruvian highland wool. Guess what? BIG MISTAKE. After all of my hard work and all the "ohs!" and "ahs!" from everyone who saw it -- the ungrateful thing PILLED in no more than a few months after I finished it and started wearing it. I purposely made it a couple of sizes larger so I could wear a couple of flannel shirts and a t-shirt underneath it. I had put in all kinds of Celtic and Danish cable designs, and designed my own collar with Celtic pewter clasps at the throat. I topped it with a Medieval hood done in Dragon Scale with a 3-kneedle selvedge that allowed the top of the hood to lay flat. It was a dark charcoal with almost a bluish undertone and totally blocked the wind when I wore it outdoors. The overall effect was a sort of Merlin/Falconer look that was both rustic and practical. And it started looking awful in no time.
The one before I had made with dark brown Lopi Icelandic wool and it behaved beautifully. That one went to my younger brother, who asked me to make him something that would keep him warm while he was out on his sloop. I gave that one a shawl collar with a closure made from part of a deerhorn and again it had the rustic, male Celtic look. He could wear the shawl collar flat or make it stand up with the use of the deerhorn clasp. The collar opened in a sort of swirl off to one side that gave it a casual, almost careless "swashbuckler" sort of look. His friends all wondered where he got it and I almost started taking orders for them until they saw how much they'd be paying for yarn plus labor.
Any responses are welcome.