I’ve been doing much more crafting lately, but haven’t had anything terribly bloggable to show for it. Still, after a certain point, any blog post is better than no blog post, so here goes.

I have been knitting happily away on the current Briar Rose sweater for a few weeks now, but haven’t posted because it is still in the shapeless blob stage. The body is done, one sleevecap is picked up and knit, and the sleeve is knit down to about the elbow. Since I knit the sleeve separate from the body, this is now back to being train knitting, and that sleeve is the result of this weeks’ commute. It isn’t much to look at yet, but hopefully soon it will start to look like a sweater.

I do love the way the texture is turning out, and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the gauge will be right in the end. Most of my knitting doesn’t change size much when blocked, but this fabric is knit slightly looser than my usual, and it grows a bit with washing. I think I’ve compensated for that appropriately, and the fit is supposed to be fairly loose and sweatshirt-y anyway, so I’m hoping that the final product will turn out to be the right size (and that I won’t run out of yarn!).

After taking the rainbow scarf off the loom, I set about winding a warp for some tea towels. 420 wraps later, I have a new warp all ready to be threaded on the loom, hopefully this weekend.

And finally, I am unspinning some yarn. If you remember, I unspun some of my MacGyver yarn for the Mike sweater that I made last summer. Since it was a surprise, I was flying blind on the sizing, with only measurements taken in secret from a favorite sweatshirt to go by. I knit the sweater to be a few inches too long on me, but it turns out that I didn’t account quite enough for Mike’s weight-lifting shoulders. Since it’s a raglan, that ends up making the whole thing a little too short. We gave him the sweater when we visited in early September, but it was something like 95 degrees that day, and he only tried it on for a second. I was pretty sure that it was too short, but he was equally sure it was perfect, and didn’t want me to touch it.

Now that it’s actually cold out, he’s started wearing the sweater, and is ready to admit that it needs some more length, in both the sleeves and body. It’s just a simple matter of snipping a stitch and adding a few inches, so it shouldn’t take long, except for the fact that I knit until I ran out of yarn. I had added the dark MacGyver stripes to help stretch the light gray yarn, because I knew I wouldn’t have enough for a sweater of that size. And now I need a few more inches. The MacGyver yarn was already spun in a different weight for Branden’s sweater, but I discovered that I could reduce the 3-ply to a 2-ply and get a very similar weight.

Of course, that means that I now have to unply more yarn. This is not my favorite thing to do by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ve been avoiding the project since Christmas. Today, I finally sat myself down, wound a skein into a ball, and started in on it while listening to the latest Twinset Designs podcast.

Right now I’m just taking the plying twist out of the yarn; the next step is to split the three plies off onto separate bobbins, and then reply two of them together. Then I’ll use the new yarn to widen the accent stripe in the sweater, adding a couple of inches to both body and sleeves. I don’t love this part of the process, but I’m happy that Mike has decided to let me tweak the sweater to be a bit more wearable. As I told him at Christmas, that’s the wonderful thing about a custom garment – there’s no reason why it can’t be perfect.

We’ve just finished the first week of the new semester, so classes are back in full swing again. I’m hoping that it will be a little less crazy this term; I have far fewer students, but a much harder course to prep. We’ll see how it goes, but so far so good. I was feeling under the weather this week, but hopefully that will clear up with a weekend of sleep and fiber, and I’ll be back at it next week. Until then, there’s plenty of yarn to unply…