Read the Directions
I'm glad we're all so in love with my Dale sweater. I am, too. In fact, after being a good Marine wife and making Christmas decorations for the squadron this morning, I decided this afternoon was a nice sunny time to sew the steeks. Plus, I'm trying to ignore the fact that it's 84 degrees outside in November.
So, there I was successfully sewing in the arm steeks. No problems there. And then I went to re-read the instructions for the neck placket. I quickly noticed that I'd bought the wrong size zipper, but since I still need the shock cord for the bottom, that's ok. And then I read and re-read the instructions for what felt like the umpteeth time, trying to figure out the neckband/placket instructions. Those of you familiar with the . . . brevity . . . of Dale patterns know what I mean. And then I realized - she said, with a sinking feeling - that I had neglected a rather important section of the instructions relating to a certain "Pattern IV" that was supposed to hold the place of my placket and make it all nice and tidy. Hmmmm . . . too late for that part now that the sleeve steeks are sewn.
Are you following any of that? Recycling yesterday's photo for clarity, there are supposed to be vertical lines of black with 5 white stitches in between running from the top of the center star (the divet in the middle) to the neck band. The white stitches are the cutting stitches and the zipper goes in between (with some facing added that I still haven't quite figured out). Obviously, I forgot to cast off the 3 neck stitches at that point, which I had realized earlier, but figured I would just reinforce them afterwards. It's this Pattern IV of vertical lines that is missing. I was just cruising along on the pattern, enjoying myself too much to look at the directions.
As an aside, I also realized that the downside of being small and making the XS (which is a healthy 41" in Dale-land), is that I had to cut off some of the fun patterning on the sides - those two side snowflakes are just not there. Le sigh.
So, anyway, what should I do? Any knitters experienced in Norwegian sweaters, feel free to chime in. And everyone, feel free to weigh in on the aesthetics question:
1. Should I put a placket zipper in in spite of the missing vertical lines? Or just add the neckband and have a crewneck? (photos with zipper here, similar sweaters without zipper here and here)
Pro: I had always planned to.
Con: I'm actually completely in love with the way it looks now, with the center star being so prominent and I think it's not as dominant with the zipper.
Pro: I like plackets, zippers, etc. for versatility, and being able to unzip if it I get too warm.
Con: Too warm? It's already stranded Heilo. It's warmer than my parka.
Con: It's easier to make a crewneck.
Pro: After spending a gazillion hours knitting it, what's a few more for the zipper?
Con: It will likely look better as a crewneck given the Pattern IV issues.
2. And while we're asking questions and all, which should I make next?
Lake Louise? Notre Dame? Or have you seen the slightly more modern (and lighter weight, if I used Daletta) Liberec, brand new for the Norwegian 2009 Ski Team?
If it does have a placket, I'm definitely reading the directions all the way through many many many times . . .
3. And, for the existential among us, will knitting all these sweaters convince either my husband or the US Navy or both to move somewhere I can wear them?