I finally, after the dust of August had settled, got down to brass tacks. The neck opening has been steeked, stitches picked up and the collar knitted, and the sleeves been seamed to the underarms.The steeking itself, contrary to the old saw that one should never take scissors to knitting, was no sweat, I used the crocheted steek as was discussed in Eunny's blog (http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/01/the_steeking_chronicles_part_i.html). This particular steek anchors the stitches very nicely and it has some stretch, which is very important for the neck opening.There is one point to keep in mind when doing this steeking ~ use yarn of a contrasting color when crocheting the anchoring chain stitches. This will make it very easy to see the 'ladders' that must be cut and save your eyes from strain. Don't worry about the contrasting yarn showing through on the right side of the finished sweater, because it won't. The nice thing about knitting and designing a sweater from the top down is that you can try on the work-in-progress, take note of issues and come up with some creative solutions. Unfortunately, the solutions bumped the pattern from intermediate to experienced. I apologize to those hoping for an easier pattern, but knitting a fabric from sleeve to sleeve came with its own set of problems when trying to fit it on the human body. I love challenges and will keep working on it.
I've already outlined the pattern and drew up what I want the sweater to look like. There are quite a few techniques involved and if you are unfamiliar with them, I've listed articles from CAST-ON that may help you. These articles can be found on www.TKGA.com.
~On Your Way to the Masters:Tension Problem by Arenda Holladay. This is a good article when dealing with cables.
~On Your Way to the Masters: Picking Up Stitches by Arenda Holladay.
~ On Your Way to the Masters: Ribbing Increases by Vanessa Montileone.
~ On Your Way to the Masters: Seams - Part 1 by Arenda Holladay.
~ On Your Way to the Masters: Seams - Part 2 by Arenda Holladay.
~ On Your Way to the Masters: Keys to Successful Duplicate Stitch by Kathryn Mates.
I most likely will add this list to the sweater pattern.
Happy Holiday and knit on!