i finished the two sleeves by 3pm today—look how dark it is outside already at that time. this is the period here in ohio when nightfall seems to begin at lunch.
plus, um, as you can see we are having a real winter storm here. a half hour before these pictures were shot the ground was completely bare.
i think we should coin a special knitter’s phrase for when something seems to take forever—one that makes each of us nod with sage understanding when the speaker says this is taking a freakin’ sleeve age.
i dunno about you, but much as i love working the sleeves of any garment, with their cool shaping and jump-start action, they are deceiving. they can get to be a real chore, once they reach That Size Around, and this point often comes long before they are nearly the right length, thus relegating one to Sleeve Island for the duration.
and in a man’s sweater, the right sleeve length is just about 4 to 6 inches longer than i have patience for, especially on the second one.
so my strategy has always been to do the sleeves first whenever possible (and see how entertaining they are as photo subjects?). that’s just me; for some reason it makes the whole sweater go a lot faster if, at the end of the neck (or the hem if i am working top-down), i know i am done.
i know you must be thinking, gee those sleeves look awfully skinny for big hunky david; what the heck is she doing, and on a deadline, too?
and you’d be right . . they look ridiculous here. and yes, they make me nervous. so much so that i almost want to soak them in water right now so the ribbing will relax out and they will be their proper size (not that i’m sure that will make me feel more confident).
i mean the sleeve looks ok on my arm, which is admittedly, much skinnier than david’s, but you can see the ribs aren’t really stretched at all here
and after all, that’s what swatches are for. i’ve been fondling at the swatches for reassurance every few minutes, i can tell you. see here—you can see for yourself that the fabric is much flatter after soaking
the ribbed fabric actually spreads to about twice it’s width after being washed. i’m going to trust it. we’ve ALL had that ribbed sweater that grew 3 sizes once we washed it, and i don’t want this one to join the ranks of those.
while we’re looking at the swatches, i can tell you that i am going for the gauge in the center swatch, which was knit on size 6 needles in back and forth rows. to do that, i am using size 7 needles and working in the round on the actual sweater (i did do a circular swatch the 7s, but not til i realized i needed one, so it didn’t get into the photo).
so let’s talk about this yummi-liscious yarn, eh?
i’m totally tongue-tied—no, almost speechless-in-love with this stuff for this sweater—so bear with me . . . i may get gushy and repetitive.
the yarn that chris sent is so perfect for THIS project that it’s a little scary (esp when i think about how its big brother yarn was SO perfect for the totally autumn throw).
this a new yarn that will be offered in her online store soon, called charity. it’s a squishy light worsted weight of 100% corriedale that obviously takes color really well. the fabric it knits into is sturdy-feeling and i’m sure it is going to wear like iron without pilling—which is good because, as you saw, david tends to love his sweaters to pieces. literally.
and even though it’s sturdy, it is supple and soft, especially after washing. it offers incredible stitch definition, even tension, and is a complete pleasure to knit with.
it runs through my fingers without prickling and glides easily along the needles without feeling slippery or catchy . . . it’s just right. i’ve had to use both wood DPNs and my addi turbos with it so far and it works a treat on either.
we’ll be sure to let you know when you can get some.
in other news, i finished the second marie antoinette sock, so another gift is done.
it’s drying near the heat vent as i write. that means i can start a new mitts and hat set that i’m dying to work on. or, i can finish the second lady cardigan sock for another gift. or the second snow on cedars cream version.
for those that are wondering, i understand that it is ok to use projects that were begun before the gift knitting war was officially announced, as long as they are fairly recent and were intended to be gifts for christmas. newly-invented projects are also eligible (DO correct me if i’m wrong, though).
you might remember that i had a a fairly good list of second socks and mitts that i figured i would finish off for gifts (if you don’t remember, click and take a look). and, as predicted, i have thought of a couple of people who needed to be added to the list, so hopefully, they will all be covered.
the end date has been announced as dec 31, 2007, and you can read more about it all at the war blog. i won’t be referring too often to it, as i am most concerned right now with just knitting as much as i can to get the gifts done—i do NOT have backup gifts as i do not shop (ever, if possible; i just hate stores).
if someone beats me, it’s ok—it’s all for a good cause.
the light is just terrible throughout the whole day, but especially after noon. it would be depressing if i didn’t have this all-consuming list to finish. so, i’m grateful for something to bury my head in right now. and the snow is pretty.
ok, enough chatter . . . time for me to get back on the horse and start the sweater body. i am very much looking forward to leaving ribbed fabric behind and embracing the mostly-stockinette portion of the sweater—my left forearm aches a bit from all the ribbing i’ve been taking.