FO: Killybegs Sweater

1.  What did you learn from knitting this?

There were a couple of new techniques for me with this sweater, which is partly why it took so long.  First of all, I use a knitted-on I-cord edging on the fronts, collar, hem, and sleeves, and I would definitely do this again.  it looks so neat and somehow keeps the stockinette from rolling too much; the only thing that you have to be pretty careful about is the rate at which you pick up stitches along whatever edge you're I-cording to.  I did have to do a little trial and error to find the right ratio of pick-up stitches, but when I got to a ratio that made the edge lie flat, it was sublime.

I also did my very first sewn-in zipper, in twenty years of knitting -- can you believe it?  I went in to this with a bit of planning, because I've never sewn a zipper into knitting before, and because on Ravelry there are a few people saying they put zippers into their Killybegs sweaters and ended up with a lot of rippling (and so they ended up taking out the zippers and putting in buttons or hooks and eyes). 

I consulted Splityarn, Pickin' and Throwin', Purlbee, Deborah Newton's Finishing School, June Hemmons Hiatt's Principles of Knitting and, probably my favourite of all, Margaret Radcliffe's The Knowledgeable Knitter.  Never hurts to have a few opinions, and pick what you think will work the best for you!

I did end up handsewing the zipper, but considered knitting it in like Tangled Twine did for a little while.  I thought it would be great to get the zipper installed at the same time as I was finishing the edge with attached i-cord, and the sweater called for i-cord edging to begin with, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch.  However, I'm going to save this idea for another project, because there would be too much going on for me, what with knitting the attached i-cord, the picked-up stitches, and the zipper stitches all needing to come together at the same time.

After all this, I started off trying to pin the zipper in, before I sewed it, and it was just so bumpy and ripply I couldn't trust it.  So I pinned, then laid the sweater flat (to be sure the edge wouldn't ripple), and basted.  I tried on the sweater, zipping the up and down a couple of times to make sure nothing would catch.  After that, I went through and backstitched the zipper in, leaving the extra zipper tape at the top of the zipper loose.  Lastly, I folded back that extra flap of zipper tape at the top, and stitched it out of view.  After cutting out the basting thread, the sweater was ready to go!  It's beautiful and it's so exciting to have another technique under my belt.  My only regret with this zipper is that although I did have the presence of mind to buy a separating zipper, I didn't go to the trouble of buying one that zips up and down from both ends.  The sweater is a teeny bit tight through my midsection (especially after Christmas, oy) and if I could open it from the bottom end, I could give it a different shape.

2.  Would you knit this pattern again?

It was an easy knit, with just enough cabling to keep it interesting, and I love the way the honeycomb cable dissolves into the stockinette background.  I don't know if I need another identical sweater, but maybe I'd knit one for someone else.

3.  How will you wear your new sweater?

Mostly open, due to the aforementioned tightness, over a tunic top and leggings.  This is kind of my go-to outfit, now that I think of it.  I'll have to brainstorm some new outfits and incorporate more dresses.

Year of Sweaters Tally:  9 (getting so close!)