I predicted it pretty well...about a month to put buttons on and block and blog. I know my procrastination tendencies well! Although, in my defense, a lot of other knitting has taken place in that time.
Thank you all for offering up button opinions. The winner based on comments was the middle silver ones with the matchy colored ones a close second. In the end, I took the sweater and buttons to my knit group and once they saw them in person, the overwhelming choice went to the colored buttons (the photo I posted didn't show how well they matched). I was leaning that direction as well and went with it. Even in this photo with natural light, I'm not sure you can tell how well they match, but trust me!
Tons of people have knit this pattern for good reason. It's a beautiful pattern that flatters many body types...and while there is interest the first few rows, the rest involves miles and miles of stockinette. Sometimes stockinette is a necessity in life...almost a comfort. Which makes it a great 'first sweater' pattern for someone wanting to make the leap into sweaters.
I knit with the recommended yarn simply because I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So as a gift to myself for finishing up pre-lims last year, I splurged. I love the colors Madelintosh has to offer and I love the yarn itself...so very soft. It did grow on blocking but I counted on that based on comments on Ravelry and thus ended up with a perfect fit. The only downside to the yarn is how every skein is different. I didn't alternate skeins (that would have taken this from a nice, easy comforting knit to an annoying knit) and I think I got lucky. On the back there is a spot of dark that doesn't really match the rest of the sweater, but that's all within one skein. And there is some evidence of a slightly lighter skein around the middle of the sweater. I personally think it's just part of knitting with hand painted yarn and it's not enough to bother me. But other folks on Ravelry haven't been so lucky. Something to consider.
I only made minor modifications. I added more stitches under the arm and didn't do the chest decreases. The only change I'd make if I did this again would be to add even more stitches under the arms to increase the upper arm circumference. I'm realizing that many of the patterns being produced now seem to be made for women that don't have arm muscles. I actually have biceps people! So this is a modification I'll likely have to make for many patterns. Also, I think I'm going to end up crocheting a chain stitch around the neck before much use to keep it from stretching any more. Again, a common modification for folks using Madelintosh.
All in all, I love this knit and I have fond memories stored in each and every stitch. I apologize I don't have modeled shots. Somehow I lost my remote for my camera (guessing it may be in my truck or sitting out in the mountains of SW Oregon) and I'm still waiting for its replacement to come. Next FO waiting in line to be blogged about will have modeled shots I promise.
Now playing: How Many Times by Rocco DeLuca & The Burden
(this is the best youtube version I could find of this song but head to itunes and check out the live version available...beautiful song)