I have found Jane Ellison's Queensland Collection Book 9 to be one of the few design books I have chosen to purchase. Why? I recommend you clap eyes on this remarkably simple, inspiring and easily modified set of baseline instructions for some of the best looking mens' knitted clothing I have seen in ages.
Oh, yeah...I'm so transparent...the models in these masculine, classic and well designed togs are...shall we say...easy on the eye? But I digress...
I have cast aside all the instructions for making piecework, modifying it all to do it in the round with blessed few seams...four so far, two eight stitches long under the arms and a three-needle cast-off on the shoulders.
As I have learned, patterns are merely guideposts. Damn, you have to stick to good knitting skills to get it to all work, none of which are acknowledged or hinted by the designer. This is why I like great technique books and writers who share knowledge...not just information. Big difference!
I chose to make the Harrison, a 2X2 rib with 10% fewer stitches to address the laziness of the yarn and my vanity. Hey, sweaters for bodybuilders! Someone's gotta do it.
I had to rework everything, because I chose BabyTwist Alpaca to make the thing. I steeked the arms and the neckline. Found thin but remarkably tensile reinforcement sock yarn in a near match color to crochet the steek locking stitches and to prevent the shoulder seams from drooping to my elbows. Alpaca yarn is soft, melting soft, and rewards the knitter with indifference and slouching unctuousness, like a brooding teenager. Twisting the knit stitches every other row gave it a crew cut and muscularity...my kind of garment!
The tube of the body is now finished, awaiting the steek stabilization, seaming of shoulders, pick up of sleeve stitches for the downward journey, and finishing the neckline...a three and a half inch climb up the neck, three buttons to allow it to get over your head.
I envision the work will continue at my snail's pace knitting, but I love the process. I chose a raspberry red for the bottom, and a dark red tweed color for the top and arms. The color transition is a simple 2 row-4 row alternation of 24 rows. I know what caught my eye was the lighter color on the bottom.
I suspect I'll also enjoy wearing it in midtown in NYC, as I catch people who see the worn object when finished. I should get a few nonchalant stares, smarmy gawks and sly about-turns. Priceless!