A knit-along is scheduled on Fringe Association. It's for knitting a sweater top down without a pattern (but with guidelines). I am not going to knit along, but maybe knit alongside. A sweater's worth of ruby yarn has been sitting in my stash, crying out to be a ski sweater. I plan to knit a drop shoulder (not raglan) sweater. I plan to knit top down (but not in the round). I am combining two patterns (not going patternless). Those three reasons are why I am not joining the KAL. But I would really like to complete this sweater before the snow flies.
The KAL starts August 15. In preparation, I dug the yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash) out of the stash (no simple task), swatched a bit on US8 needles (too loose), switched to US7, then swatched a collection of stitch motifs from "Denmark" in the Ethnic Knitting Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and the Andes.
The stitch motifs are, from right to left: a bit of garter, stockinette, seed stitch, moss stitch (small checks), a 3x3 moss stitch (just to see what it looked like), checks (4x4), a bit that looks like basketweave (an accidental experiment), diagonals, seed-stitch triangles, solid triangles, 8-point rose all-over (yeah, I can't see it either), reverse stockinette, and some more garter. The sweater patterns calls for large checks and triangles, but I am not loving the checks. I'm leaning toward the moss stitch and seed-stitch triangles, with seed stitch edging. At least, that is how I feel today.
The pattern in this book is for a drop shoulder pullover, knit from the bottom up. I plan to follow the instructions in Knitting from the Top for a Dropped Shoulder Ski Sweater, but not knit in the round. I have knit sweaters in the round before and they make me look like a barrel. Also, I tend to overestimate how big to make them, then am stuck with the size. If I knit the front and back flat, however, I could redo the side seams if I wanted to slim the sweater down. Theoretically. I also want the back welt to be longer than the front because I really plan to wear this sweater while cross country skiing and would like to not feel a breeze down the back of my pants.
The yarn has more drape than I would prefer, but I purchased it on site at Webs when they were having an anniversary sale and it was the exact color I wanted. Superwash wool doesn't have the loft of plain wool, but I get so hot when skiing I think I will not miss it. (Gah - I am already second guessing my choices and I haven't even started the darn thing yet!)