I did it! Twenty-one days from start to finish. Looks like I'll be cozy while in Germany after all.
Evenings this past week were mostly consumed with working out the shirt yoke and collar details, grafting the underarms, weaving in ends and blocking. I decided to go with the 34 stitches across the yoke. I was totally overthinking the whole thing -- 32, 33, 34 -- it really didn't matter. It all came together the way it was supposed to.
I found that the grafted line on the back of the left shoulder is more visible in this one than on the one I made for Jeff several years ago. But I still ended up with that expected little leftover half stitch at the end of the grafting that Elizabeth Zimmerman calls the Schönheitsfehler, or "little mistake of beauty." I like that I was able to fudge it away, but I also kind of like knowing that it's there.
And I also like how the hems and cuffs calmed down and flattened a bit with blocking. Now the lighter Marine color just barely peaks through. I've always liked a photo that Caro posted showing the contrast color when she made a version years ago. In fact, her sweater inspired my first attempt, and thus this one. You can see a bit of the contrast peeking out at the cuff. The colors go so well together. I'm not always confident on my ability to match or contrast colors effectively, but I think I made some good choices this time around. Speaking of cuffs, you might think that the sleeves are a bit long and I wouldn't argue. But I did that on purpose as I have rather long arms and just hate having to pull sleeves down all the time. Not as long as those as of Charlotte Greenwood who played Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!, but still, I have to be careful.
So the sweater is ready to go. And so are the ManU hats that I made for my niece and nephew to wear at the Boxing Day game in Manchester. Here they are side by side so that you can see most of the motif that goes around the circumference. I pointed them out to my brother a few days ago, and he said they would be perfect. In fact, my niece had been worrying about how to "represent" at the game, so she'll be pleased to have something like this. I hope to get some pictures of them at the game.
Glad to have this finished in time. I was skeptical at first. It was one of those "It's so crazy, it just might work" moments. Luckily, it did. Hah -- maybe I should have patched together one of those 80s movie montages with some sort of power ballad playing in the background.
All I need to do now is get some packing done before we go. And some house cleaning. And maybe a bit of yard work. And a bit more shopping. And get some gifts over to my sister's house. And one more chorus performance. Oh, and I need to get something on the needles to work on while I'm "over there." I sort of have something in mind...