The yarn was bought from Knitpicks in June of '09. It's 75% merino, 25% nylon, their Essentials/Stroll fingering/sock weight. We wanted Jeff to be able to wear it where we currently live, and not have to move to Alaska. Hence the lightweight yarn. At one point it had more than 350 stitches around. I finished it on October 1, 2012. The background color is Dusk; a brighter blue than the picture shows but still denim. The accent colors are cream, gold, black, and red.
I started knitting in December, 2010, basically knitting around him. He didn't want long, skinny points that looked like a clown collar, the back neck had to be about 4 inches taller than the front. Neither of us wanted steeks and dropped shoulders. So, Faux.
That higher back neck was causing me a lot of problems, and three knitters on the TechKnit list gave me an idea that actually came to me in the night. I cast on all of the neck stitches except the very front neck, and short-rowed, adding in the front neck stitches as I got to them; also adding in enough stitches scattered throughout so that it would lie flat.
On my swatch, I tried holding a color in each hand, but my gauge became unpredictable. So, since I wasn't knitting to a deadliine, or to make money, I would drop one color and pick up the next; then drop that color and pick up the first. It worked just fine. Stranded knitting is not nearly as difficult as it looks!
The back neck motif was done intarsia fashion, not stranded.
Most of the patterns are Alice Starmore's, but I think I 'unvented' a couple. When washed and dried, it felt as soft as a cloud.