I'd swear off such horrible pomo title puns, but I really don't think that's the end of it. Sorry folks.

As you might be able to guess I'm finished with the Norway sweater, that I've been working on for most of the last month. As we don't have a camera here quite yet, I'm not going to be able to offer you pictures, but rest assured that pictures of this sweater, past completed projects will be posted eventually. For the record, I haven't sewn down the steeks (they're fastened, but I haven't cleaned them up) woven in ends, or blocked the sweater, and I hope to have before and after pictures for that, so stay tuned.

I'll offer a more in depth description of the final project when I have a picture, and explain exactly what modifications I made, but right now I'd just like to offer the lessons I've learned by finishing this sweater, because I think that's the best way to reflect. And I like making bulleted lists. So there.

  • Yarn Choice: Cascade 220 is really great yarn and I should use it more.

    Don't be so egger to mix yarn from different manufactures (unless it's clear they used the same mill, because even though two yarns might look the same on the hank, if you make a sweater with them, it will be clear that they are in fact different. Furthermore, while this isn't entirely a bad effect, it is one which should be used with careful consideration.

  • The Three Halves of a Sleeving: More of an observation than a lesson, but I think the whole "sleeve island" concept, and the reason why sleeves are so tedious, deals with the fact that that sleeves have three 'halves'. The first half, goes really quickly, because the knitting is new, the second half is a soul sucking black hole. and the third half goes really quickly because the finish line is so close. In honesty I think each half is pretty close to a third of the sleeve length wise (but clearly not knitting wise, because of how most sleeves taper), and it might surprise you that it doesn't really matter which direction you go in. That's what I think.

  • Back neck shaping is a good thing. This was the first sweater that I did that had a back neck steek, and it was a bit bothersome, but I really really like the way that it looked and the way that it feels, so I think this is something that I'm going to continue to insert in my future projects. This technique allows the back of the neck to contour to the neck a bit better, and I think the collar lays flatter as a result, and I think if you look at mass produced sweaters, most of them have gentle scoops in the back. And here's the cool thing. One might think that having another steek would increase the annoying factor of the sweater. Wrong! When I was binding off, I just three-needled straight across the back, and treated it as one steek. It was potentially less bothersome than only having one steek. So there!

  • Make Collars Shorter: I think I have a secrete crush on cowl necked sweaters, and have made many of the necks of my most recent sweaters, too long. Collars needn't be as long as the bottom hem, and in many cases can be much shorter. If your neck is cold, put on a scarf, that's what they're for. Sweaters become much more wearable if the collar is less obtrusive.

  • Keep Sleeves Wide: The past couple of sweaters I've made have suffered from having sleeves which are in fact too narrow at the end. this, is I think the one ill side effect of knitting sleeves off of the shoulders... It's too easy to get carried away with the decreases and go to far. Tight forearms are just unpleasant and having the sleeves of whatever you're wearing underneath bunch up there is icky. Yes, icky. This isn't enough to keep me from making sleeves this way, but enough to remind me to stick an extra stitch in-between each decrease on the bottom half (third) of the sleeve. This isn't to say, that one should avoid a rather radical decrease for the cuff (especially in cases where corrugated ribbing is employed.), but before that point, just watch it.

So there you have it.

Cheers, sam

ps. circa 10:30pm: I just finished blocking the sweater, and it's my new favorite sweater. it's a bit big, which I have to keep reminding myself is better than a bit small, and since I don't really swatch properly, It's better to err slightly on that side than not. Anywhoo... It's really really nice. Full report forthcoming still