Hurray, my first completed sweater for 2009! This sweater was a labor of love, a project inspired from the cables in this Rebecca pattern. The yarn is double stranded so that it would knit to gauge - I used Cascade 220 in cream with an alpaca tweed that I bought at the Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck back in October. I knitted the body in the round, making 3 decreases for the waist, and three increases for the bust. I used the cable pattern in the front AND the back, so I casted on the same number of stitches (78?) for each side. I knitted the sleeves in the round, after picking up 50 stitches for the armhole, knitting 3 rounds in garter stitch before doing the rest in stockinette. After doing six inches for the sleeves, I decreased two stitches every four rows 10 times until I had 30 stitches left. I ended the sleeves by doing 2x2 ribbing for 2.5 inches. For the shoulders, I bound off 11 stitches for each shoulder with a three-needle bind-off. For the cowl neck, I picked up the rest of the stitches from the front and back that were not bound off for the shoulders, picked up a couple of stitches from the sides, and knit in the round for 8 inches. I did the last 4-5 rounds in seed stitch (purl, knit, purl, knit to the end on the first row, then knit, purl, knit, purl to the end on the following row). I bound off loosely, weaved in the ends, and voila! Since this sweater is tighter fitting and thicker than most of my sweaters, I didn't dare block it - I wore it to work yesterday and it has kept me comfortably warm in my freezer box of an office. I am also happy to say that despite the sweater having a cowl neck, it is not itchy or irritating in the least. So far, so good!