I have completed a second top-down raglan v-neck sweater, and I'm much happier with this one than I was with the purple sweater. In fact, I may be in love. It fits perfectly, it looks good, and it's deliriously soft and warm.
When I launched this project a year ago -- A year! -- with 11 skeins of Knitpicks Andean Silk tucked into a bag, I had only the vaguest idea of what the sweater would look like. A v-neck pullover for sure, because they're great over turtlenecks. Rope cables down the arms, because I love cables. And a better fit than the first v-neck. But then I saw a pullover in a catalog that had a big wishbone cable down the front. Yum! Did I mention I really love cables? So . . . small rope cables down the arms and a medium-ish wishbone cable down the front.
The gauge on #5 needles was a tad tighter than with the purple sweater – somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stitches per inch, so I kept to the same cast-on, figuring that the cables would help pull in the sleeves – 25 stitches for the back and 8 for each sleeve. The front just grows from increases.
All went well until I had joined the V and done the first twist on the wishbone. Oops! I had forgotten that the cable panel would need to flow into the v-neck. See all those purl stitches that flow up from the cable and gradually end at the side of the V ? They began life as knit stitches. Never before have I dropped stitches so very far down. Deliberately! But down they went, about 15-18 rows, and back up they came, this time as purls. Much better.
About two-thirds down the body and halfway down each sleeve, I decided to finish the neck. This gives me a better idea of what the completed sweater will look like when doing try-ons. In search of something different I dove into my ancient copy of "Complete Guide to Needlework" and turned up something it calls "overlapping band." You just K1P1 a one-inch wide band long enough to go around the neck and whipstitch it into place overlapping the ends.
The only decision remaining was what to do with the hem and the sleeve cuffs. I had thought originally that I would just do K2P2 at the hem and K1P1 on the cuffs. Exactly as I had done before. But this yarn didn't want to be ribbed. Yes, it did actually say so. "I'm smooth and soft, and I want my edges to be smooth and soft too," it said. And so it was.
I really like top-down construction. But my next sweater adventure is going to involve steeks, because I've never done them and I'm dying to try, and I'm not sure if you can do those top-down. More research is required.