I don't usually use variegated yarns but wanted something interesting for this sweater since it's entirely in stockinette. I really wanted to use Noro Silk Garden, but this is my first time knitting a sweater without a real pattern and I just couldn't justify the cost for something so experimental. What I love about Noro is the transitions between the colors and unfortunately I've never seen another yarn variegated in quite the same way. After much anguish, I opted for Reynolds Smile and I really like it a lot. I think the colors look like they are drawn with crayons! It's also a pretty bulky yarn, so this sweater will be for the coldest winter days.
I'm using Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top as a guide, though I've also consulted Stefanie Japel's site and followed some of her instructions. After attaching the armholes I knit an inch or so only to realize that it was going to be way too big, so I ripped back and added some decreases. The instructions say to increase a set number of stitches every other row until it meets under your arms and then join. Perhaps with a yarn this bulky the increases should have been less frequent. This is definitely a learning experience, but I'm really happy with how it's turning out. I also love that it's so easy to try on the sweater as I go along. It does take a long time to put all the stitches on waste yarn and then put them back on the needles, but that hasn't stopped me from doing so a number of times already.
Soon I will have to make some decisions about the hem, cuffs and the neck. I can't picture ribbing on this sweater for some reason, and I think it may be too thick for a sewn hem. Should I just let it roll? I've already made a bulky sweater with rolled edges so it feels like a cop out. I'm considering a turtle neck, but I'm not sure about that. I think I'll need to look at lots of other sweaters before making any decisions.