I’m leaning toward taking all of your suggestions and keeping the buttonband in the purple. (Because I like the way it looks, and also because it means I don’t have to rip it out and redo it.
So in the meantime, I’ve been bouncing around a bit. I picked up my Solemate sock, knit a couple of rows, and put it down again. Then I picked up the Pinkerton Shawl and finally finished the stockinette portion of the pattern. It’s a fabulous mindless knit, perfect for watching movies. My son just finished reading the first Harry Potter book, so we curled up on the sofa this afternoon to watch the movie. Now he wants to watch the second movie, but he’s got to read the book first. (‘Cause I’m the Mommy, that’s why!) Next up is the mesh lace portion, but I’m not sure that’s as compatible with the German short rows I’ve been using, so some swatching is required before I continue. (The yarn isn’t quite as purple as the camera on my iPad insists that it is.)
And because I’ve still got a serious sweater jones (not to mention a sweater stash that’s quickly reaching critical mass), and because it’s just too hot to contemplate wool, I dug deep into the stash and pulled out some Debbie Bliss Cathay (sadly now discontinued), a cool cotton/rayon/silk blend, and worked up a quick swatch.
As is often the case with me, there’s a story behind this yarn. It was the first sweater’s worth of yarn that I ever bought. I’d seen the Tahoe Cardigan in Knitty Spring 2007, right after I first took up knitting. It looked like something I’d wear, and it looked fairly straightforward for a new knitter, so I added it to my Ravelry queue. And then I went to my LYS during their semi-annual sale, and lo and behold, Cathay was on sale. I scooped up ten balls. I showed the pattern to a woman at the LYS, who didn’t read it very carefully, and steered me toward a 100% cotton worsted-weight yarn for the trim. I got home, read the pattern again, and realized that it was nowhere near right for the trim, so I ordered some yarn online. That yarn was comparable to the yarn used in the pattern, but I just wasn’t in love with it, so I set it aside for a bit, and knit a simple pullover with set-in sleeves. It fit me well, but I didn’t like the seams at the top of the sleeves, which simply felt too bulky in the worsted weight yarn I’d used for the sweater. So then I decided that a super-drapey yarn like Cathay should have a drapey, seamless construction.
And there the project paused, until I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman. I read Knitting Workshop and thought, hmmm, seamless set-in sleeve, that’s what Tahoe needs! But I had too many other things on that needles at that point. (Cough, yes, I still have too many things on the needles right now, but it’s too hot for wool, so that’s my excuse.) So I knit up a gauge swatch this afternoon. When it’s dry, I’ll measure it and start crunching numbers. As EZ’s patterns are more like recipes, I fully expect to make loads of adjustments as I go. (And yes, I know that seams stablize knitted fabric. I will probably need to add a bit of hidden crochet inside, once I see how the fabric stretches.)
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the trim. I bought some silk hankies a while back that would make a neat contrast to the Cathay. I love the idea of using some special handspun yarn to finish it off. (I already have the perfect buttons, made from sea glass, which I found on Etsy, my go-to button source!) Failing that, though, I do have loads of sock yarn, so I am sure I could dig up something. But for now, I have a sweater’s worth of summer-weight yarn to knit with, so between Tahoe and finishing the toddler cardigan, I should be able to survive the next couple of months until cooler weather arrives and working with wool yarn becomes appealing again!