All right, I didn't get this project finished for Christmas Day but that was only because I only purchased the blocking board that I "needed" on Christmas Eve and the cardigan was still drying on the board on Christmas Day. I spent most of Boxing Day sewing in the zipper (another first!) and it was finished by Boxing Day evening. Of course, I was in a nasty mood by this point as hand-sewing a black zipper into a charcoal grey sweater using black thread can make a person slightly frustrated. I actually threw the completed project at him when I tied off the last thread. He asked if it was done. I said that there were two bits of yarn that needed to be woven in. And then, he just let it sit there. "Aren't you even going to try it on?!?" I asked. "You said it wasn't finished," he said, all innocent-like. "It's TWO BITS of yarn," I responded. He quickly put it on and wore it religiously for the next three days. Clever man. In the meantime, my yarn needles ALL went walkies at the same time so those two bits on the collar didn't get woven in until the New Year.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The cabling is simple and the design is straightforward. I'll happily NOT do another zip for a long time but so far it seems to be holding up and it only seems to buckle in a funny way when Brendan slouches while sitting. (Point for good posture, yay!) I was able to adjust the pattern to both our likings. To recap for those who have forgotten (and quite understandably as this was one of my longer motivated projects), this is the Pentagon Aran Cardigan from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature book. I added an inch of ribbing at the hem, extended the length and decreased the stitches in the collar to create the mock turtle that Brendan prefers, and added folded back cuffs (which you can't see because he insisted on facing the camera as if it were a firing squad). I'm very happy that I chose to do the sleeves from the top down since it turns out Gaughan's pattern would have been very tight in the upper arm and shoulder as it was written. That adjustment was a lot simpler than I would have thought.He actually likes it. Really. He just doesn't like cameras. Anyhoo, things I'll keep in mind for the future include: Russian joins don't work so well in this yarn (Mission Falls 1824) and installing zips is a true test of affection.