Well, I've finished the sweater - here's a photo of the finished product. Sorry for the mirror shot:
Despite my previous post on my collar dilemma, I ended up making the mock turtleneck - partly because I ran out of charcoal gray wool and didn't have enough to make the full-on ribbed collar. But I like it anyway. Here's a close-up of the collar area:
And here are some thoughts on the process:
1. Despite the fact that I got gauge on size 8 needles, the sweater is on the small side - it fits, but it is quite clingy, fitting more like a glove than perhaps a cardi should. I still like it - it's super comfy and warm, and the design is pretty sleek - but I may try to block it up a bit after Christmas.
2. I can't seem to get lengths of sleeve and body quite right on any sweaters that I knit - they're either too long or too short. For this sweater, I lengthened the sleeves to 19" and the body to 13" (I knit the 36/37" size). I definitely should have lengthened the body - to at least 14" if not more (you can see in the photo that my T-shirt is sticking out the bottom!) and the sleeves are pretty good, but could probably be at least an inch longer. (I'm 5'10" with long arms!) Oh well - maybe one day I'll get it just right.
3. This was my first experience with sewing a zipper into a knitted garment, and I was pretty scared of screwing it up... but it came out pretty well. Bonne Marie's instructions on her website were great and very helpful - I followed them exactly, and used my sewing machine to insert the zipper.
4. I knit the pieces on straight bamboo needles, but when I got to the collar and the front bands, I switched to circulars - I used my Denise needles (around 32" long) so that I could see all the stitches and make sure they were spaced evenly. This really helped a lot, especially for the front bands.
5. All in all, this was a great, fast sweater to knit - and I may even do it again someday, in different colors (and larger). I was thinking that it may even make a really cool guy's sweater - maybe by eliminating or reducing the ribbing along the side seams - what do y'all think?
And that's enough of my babbling! Happy holidays, everyone - and thanks for a great knitalong!