The sweater was made with Classic Elite Skye Tweed, which I got on closeout at their outlet store. I bought every skein they had left in the orange colour, and I was a bit nervous that I would run short. So, I decided to start this sweater in the middle with a provisional cast on.
Immediately after I began I realized that not only did I have two different dye lots on the main colour, but one of the lots seemed to be spun a lot tighter than the other. Honestly, if you held the two strands of yarn side by side you would think they were two completely different yarns.
I was determined to make this sweater with the Skye Tweed. So, I pressed on, alternating strands from the two different lots for each round (luckily I had the same amount from each lot).
I knit the body of the sweater up six inches, then knit the sleeves (also with a provisional cast on), and joined them for the yoke. I had originally thought I would work the yoke directly from Elizabeth Zimmerman's charts, but I quickly realized it would be way too shallow for me. So, I improvised after the first chart.
Once the yoke was worked to the last round before the collar I pulled out the provisional cast on and knit the rest of the body length. When I was done I was shocked to see how much of the yarn was left. So, I decided to use a hemmed edge.
This was my first time working hemmed edges in a knitted garment, and I was pretty pleased with the results. The sleeve and body cuffs have crisp straight edges. The neck was much more difficult, and there is a slight pucker at the back. I am being assured that I am the only one who sees this. I should have had someone take a picture of it while I was wearing it yesterday.
The sleeves also ended up a touch shorter than I expected after the yoke was finished. This was no big deal, since I had used a provisional cast-on. It only meant they started to taper a bit sooner that I had originally planned. They still fit just fine.
Also the two different dye lots really don't show in the finished product. The yarn that seemed so much thinner bloomed when I washed it, and I am guessing that it missed some final stage of washing/softening during production.
When I finished that sweater I immediately move on to the Icelandic wool I had spun for a sweater this summer. Here is the first foot of the body (Yes, I am doing another seamless sweater) worked with the three different shades of gray.
The finished yarn is even bulkier than I anticipated, and is knitting up super fast. I'm getting 3 stitches to the inch on size 10 needles, and I'm almost ready to start the yoke. The top half will be done in two tones of brown.
I also learned to sew a zipper into a knit garment this weekend. I'd done this once before, but had been very unhappy with the results. So, a couple of months ago I had written to Denise, who taught the steeking class I took at my LYS about a year ago, and asked her if she would consider teaching a class on installing zippers. She wrote back saying that she was no longer teaching knitting classes, but would also be interested in learning better techniques for installing zippers. She invited my brother Gerry, and I to come over to her house for a day of experimenting with zippers. So, we all knit some swatches, and searched our knitting libraries. I have to say that I was shocked with how little information we found.
I ended up using a technique I found in an out of print Barbara Abbey book, The Complete Book of Knitting, that I picked up for 20 cents at a quilt fair. It recommended putting a firm crochet chain on the inside edge of your selvage, basting in the zipper, then hand sewing it to the crochet chain. I'm pretty happy with the results. It's not perfect, but it is so much better than my previous attempts.
Denise got beautiful results sewing in the zipper by machine. Check out her blog for details.