There's a few personal rules I've got for my knitting, rules I've learned from the past 7 years of knitting. All knitters have them; I'm sure you've got a few of your own. They save us knitters from making the same mistakes again and again, or from making garments that are almost great, but not quite. I always add an inch or so of length to sweaters, for example. Heel flaps, not short-row heels, please. Launder swatches. Finish carefully and fastidiously. Now I have a new one. No funnel neck sweaters.
I've made multiple sweaters that call for funnel necks, and I always end up modifying it. I always knit the funnel, and when I try it on, I hate it. I have a short neck, and funnel necks look like I'm wearing the sweater backwards or something. When I knit the Refined Raglan, I settled on a crew neck. When Mr S tried on his Dylan Goes Electric, he hated the funnel too, so I changed it to a roll neck.
Imagine the time I'll save when next I encounter a pattern with a funnel neck. I can dispense with the step of knitting the funnel neck, ripping it, and then experimenting with other necklines. It took the Counterpane Pullover for me to finally get it. Once again I knit the funnel, tried it on, hated it, and promptly ripped it out. Because of the unique construction of this sweater, I was unable to do anything much more than the small cowl-ish, mock turtleneck-ish neckline without a lot of ripping. If I planned a modified neckline at the beginning, I'd have a lot more options to choose from: a scoop, a more pronounced cowl, a split neck.
It's an extremely warm and cozy winter sweater, and while I'll admit it isn't the sexiest garment I've ever made, I did learn something valuable. And really, this was a process-knit from the start. It was great fun to make; it knit up over the course of a week -- it only took longer to finish because of my neckline issues and becasue I had to search out another skein of yarn from a fellow Raveler.
Pattern: Counterpane Pullover, Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Yarn: 6 skeins, Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, cream
Needles: US 10 1/2
If you want more details about my mods, check Ravelry.