I've two hand knit sweaters that saw much use over the last week or so. Both are raglan sleeve, top down construction in a chunky to bulky+ weight yarn. One is a hooded pullover, the other is a cardigan. Because of the yarn (actual) weight both were very saggy around the shoulders, and not snugging up against the back of my neck. I was actually considering frogging and re-knitting the cardigan at a tighter gauge. Instead, I decided to add a row of crochet chain stitch around the shoulders and back neck of each sweater. It didn't take very long at all, and the sweaters fit much better now, and the hood on the pullover fits better. I learned something too. Next time I'm knitting a top down raglan, I'll use a very firm cast on for the neck edge, and figure out a way to reinforce the increases as I continue to shape the neck. Depending on the yarn, I'll probably work with a smaller needle size to get tighter gauge. If I'm working the other direction, bottom to top, well, bind-offs tend to be tighter anyway. But, when I knit the hooded pullover, I intentionally made a neck seam to give that area more support, and it still ended up needing reinforcement.
On to planning. Pretending to be a wise knitter, I swatched different stitch patterns with the yarn from the frogged Pinwheel sweater. I craving cables, but doubt that cables and the hand dyed color of the yarn are a good match. There are plenty of other types of stitch texture to explore, and so I started. I even included a cable section, just in case I was wrong about the cables. I wasn't.
Here are some closeups of the parts I like;
About halfway through the sample I was ready stop and toss it all in the dye pot, and I very nearly did. Sticking with it payed off, I really like the last three stitches. If I'd given in to the call of the dye pot, I might never know how fun these stitches are.
Now its back to swatching, making larger samples of the stitch patterns in the last two pictures. I want to use at least some of them together, and need to find out if they play nice together. I'm sure at least a few of them will.