Sweater Five, Installment One: Killybegs

"Bite the bullet"....that should really be my motto from now on!  I've had this sweater in progress FOREVER, like years.  I usually get the knitting done fast and get stuck in the finishing, as in, the knitting of the bulk of the fabric takes me a month, and then it sits and sits (and sits and sits) until I feel like seaming and weaving in ends and putting on buttons.

This sweater, though, sat for a while because I decided to deviate a little bit from the pattern.  It's Killybegs, by Carol Feller in Contemporary Irish Knits (in my Ravelry)  The body is begun at the lower hem with a provisional cast-on and knit up to the armpits.  The sleeves are made in a similar manner, and then all three are joined and the yoke is knit up to the neck.  The pattern then instructs you to knit four distinct pieces of i-cord (one each for the collar, bottom hem, and front edges), sew it on all the edges, and seam the pieces together at the corners, which immediately made me start devising easier (to me) ways. 

What I ended up doing was a provisional cast-on at the bottom hem, which translated into live stitches that I slipped on to my needle when I was ready to do the edging, picked up and knit stitches across the right front, live stitches at the collar, and finally picked up and knit stitches across the left front.  I had to do a little bit of trial and error on the fronts, to figure out the best ratio of pick-up stitches such that the i-cord edging would lie flat, and in the end I think I settled on 3 picked-up stitches for each two rows. 

Once I had all these hundreds of picked-up and live stitches on a needle, then I started my attached i-cord edging, knitting the last stitch of the i-cord together with the picked-up or live stitch.  It didn't actually take that long, surprisingly, and then I grafted the i-cord end to the beginning with the help of this awesome tutorial.  You can compare the corners at the bottom hem (left), which I had to graft, to the corners at the collar (right), which I didn't have to hem:

I think the corners at the collar look identical, while the corners at thebottom hem do not; however, the latter are neat enough to pass muster and also in a place that won't get a lot of scrutiny.

Since the sleeves were knit from the wrist up, I did a provisional cast-on and then just transferred the wrist hem stitches to a needle and did my attached i-cord with those live stitches.

Isn't the honeycomb cable pattern so yummy?  This sweater is quick and simple, and the honeycomb cabled parts add a lot of texture.

Now, all that's left is to install the zipper, and one last good blocking!  This is a bit of a sticking point for me - I've never installed a zipper before, and I think I need to wait until I have a good amount of time and when I'm relaxed.  Then it will be me, a glass of wine, and the zipper.