That's what I've spent the last little while doing: dithering about the edge for The Sweater. In fact, I was dithering so hard that I started a new pair of socks for Rick (admittedly, that needed to be done in any case, but I cast on before my new needles came, even). I also took the time to lay in some good books from Audible while I was dithering (and, btw, for any other Audible users out there, they are having an amazing sale on a huge list of books that are the first in a series -- to suck people in, obviously; at $4.95 a book for books like Master and Commander and Outlander, it's a deal on wheels). My theory is that this sweater is going to involve a whole lot of stockinette, so I'd better be prepared.
I started the swatch with the T twist that I am planning to use around the neckline, and then knitted for a while in stockinette on size six needles (this was on Monday when I took the girls to see The Tale of Despereaux, which we all loved).
That's the twist on the top. See why I had trouble describing it?
When I got home, I decided that I also wanted to see what the fabric looked like on size five needles, so I knitted a garter row and switched over. Better.
(Size six on top, size five on the bottom.)
After fiddling a while with that, I knitted on the lace border that I thought I wanted. Meh.
Don't get me wrong, I actually love the way that lace works in this yarn, but not around my waist. It turned out to be a wider border than I'd visualized, and more fussy. I want this to be a workhorse sweater, in an understatedly beautiful way, and something that lacy around the hem wasn't going to do it. So I picked up some stitches along the side of the swatch and tried Plan B.
Really meh. (I should state for the record that I did wash and pin this swatch out to block, and it was lovely and even and straight. However, when I woke up Tuesday morning and went to fetch it, I found that some creature had lain on it in the night, knocking all of the t-pins flat, and causing the swatch to dry somewhat askew. Sigh...)
So I headed back to Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, where I'd found those two borders, and looked some more (I'd already searched every BW I own with no luck). That's when I found the border that you can see on the top photo above on the right side. I knitted that on, and then blocked it and went to bed. It ended up looking like quite the swatch blob. Doesn't it resemble like one of those bog bodies that got squashed all flat and crooked? If I ever figure out which one of them slept on it all night...
The next morning, I dithered back and forth between the first lace border (in spite of my reservations) and the last border (which is called a granite rib). While dithering, I took notes and did math. Lots and lots of math. And I took notes. I spent an hour trying to understand the geometry of a set-in sleeve. I made diagrams. I did more math. (I know, it's pitiful, but seriously, once I really get something, I've got it, so it's worth the upfront work.)
And I drew some more.
Nope, I can't draw worth a darn. Why do you ask?
Then the time came to cast on. I almost went with a sleeve first, except that there is still a small part of me that is considering knitting the sleeves from the top down (even though that'll mean grafting on that t-twist border), because somehow the sleeve cap seems more intuitive to me that way, but starting with the body of the sweater meant making a decision about the border. If I decided on the granite rib, I could just knit that first, but if I wanted to do that lace border after all, I'd need to do a provisional cast on so I could knit it on later.
I went with the rib. I think it has a more subtle look, and its texture looks to me like sand after a wave has passed. It made me happiest. (Do you love that stitch marker, btw? Anne sent them to me last year from Entrelac. I love them so much that I recently got myself some of Entrelac's omega markers.)
I completed two and a half repeats and decided that I liked the way it looked, and headed into the stockinette body. Now I have to check again to be sure that my maths for the waist shaping are right. But I've got at least another inch before I need to start really worrying about it, so I can take a break from dithering for a little while. Does anyone know about the right number of inches to work waist shaping over? I don't know that I'm ready to haul out the sweater books again...