I've always loved big collars. Maybe it's the dramatic effect. I like something unusual framing the face.
Pattern: #23 Shawl Collar Pullover by Adrienne Vittadini
Vogue Knitting Winter 2004/2005
Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted (100% organic cotton)
6.5 skeins (approx 1066 yards) for a size medium
Needle size: US 7
Such a classic sweater design. I just need to add suede elbow patches to feel like I belong on a college campus circa 1950s in some short story by J.D. Salinger. Ah, disaffected youth!
Instead of knitting the collar separately and sewing it on the main body, I picked up stitches after sewing the shoulder seams together. First I picked up 40 stitches across the back of the neck, knitted across in pattern, and then picked up 4 more stitches for each new row.
Here's a closeup of the picked up stitches. There's a little bar along the inside seam for the first stitch picked up on every new row.
But luckily this doesn't show at all on the right side of the work.
When I got to the straight vertical portion of the collar, I picked up all the stitches in one row (3 stitches picked up to every 4 rows of knitting). Collar with all stitches picked up:
My other big modification was to knit the sleeves directly onto the main body again by picking up stitches in a similar manner as the collar. After knitting the cap of the sleeve, I joined all the stitches and knit the rest of each sleeve in the round.
The cotton creates a cozy soft fabric that's perfect for layering. It doesn't keep its shape as well as wool - it stretched out a bit even after one wearing. But it's just enough warmth for a chilly spring morning.