The first time I didn't like the way I picked up stitches on the front sides of the neckline.
Knowing better, I continued knitting the ribbing anyway. Avoiding reality, I threw the sweater in a heap without binding off and let it age for a few days. Facing reality, I picked it up to make sure I still didn't like what I was seeing and frogged the neck ribbing completely off to start over.
For the second neck attempt, I picked up less side stitches (13 instead of 17) and like the results much better.
I followed the pattern as written for the neck opening. The neck is a little too high and a little too snug, but not unacceptable. Doing it better would require frogging the front and back down to the beginning of the neck shaping.
The deciding question: Will I wear it the way it is?
The answer: Yes. Call it done and move on to the sleeves.
Note to myself: For a pattern where I'm going to substitute ribbing for a turtleneck, make the neck opening a little wider and a little lower. Just a little.
The front and back are joined at the shoulder seams and the neckline completed. The sweater has been washed and given my version of a blocking - smooth it out on a flat surface to dry. That's how I'm going to wash the sweater after wearing it, so to calculate a good fit that's how I block it now.
Next step is to measure the vertical gauge accurately over the complete stitch pattern sequence. Then I can calculate the sleeves to fit my arms with the top of the cabling stitch pattern ending right at the shoulder seam.
- Knit separate, flat, and bottom up like the pattern. Sew in after knitting.
This is the easiest knitting option, the most difficult finishing option.
- Top down, flat with picked up stitches and short rows.
Is this possible with the cables? It might be fun to try.
- Top down, in the round with picked up stitches and short rows.
Best way to get a perfect fit.
No sewing required when sleeves are done.
Entire sweater needs to be spun around in lap.
Knitting in the round, gauge may not match front and back.
Frogging to get it right guaranteed.
I'm indecisive at the moment, but leaning toward trying the second option.
Pattern: She Said Aran by Barbara Venishnick
Yarn: Cascade 220, 100% wool worsted weight
Color: 8708 Violet
Needles: Options #5
Gauge: 28 stithces/29.5 rows in 4 inches on lower sweater. 26 stitches/33 rows in 4 inches for upper sweater.