Is done. I was going to get all nit-picky and explain every last detail of the shaping, but I think I won’t. There are increases and decreases to give waist shaping, and a few short rows to help keep the back section long so that it doesn’t pull the neck opening backwards. I made a fairly large turtleneck to echo the hem pattern, and to keep from drawing too much attention to the hips (not really where I need to direct attention).

We took advantage of a few moments of sunshine yesterday to take some photos. They’re not great, but this is what you get when you have literally 5 minutes between clouds to find the sweater, camera, and photographer, and take a picture or two.

Considering that I knit the sweater to be 4″ smaller than the point where it would hit my hips, it turned out pretty loose. I measured gauge in stockinette so that I would be able to tell what the body measurement would be, and the moss stitch really added those extra inches back in. Even the stockinette is also loose, though. I wonder how many inches smaller than the measurement my hips really are? (At this rate, I could be downright skinny if it weren’t for mirrors and cameras…drat them!)

I could have used to decrease a bit more in the back near the armholes; there’s some extra bulk in there. But, overall, the sweater is comfortable, and I’ve found myself reaching for it pretty frequently, so I think we can call it a success.

In other news, I thought I should share my fiber-related Christmas gifts. My sister bought me two new knitting books:

I’d heard of both, but had read neither. She managed to find two books that I really like, and that aren’t in my collection, without even snooping around my bookshelves. Is that talent, or what?

The Country Weekend Knits book is chock full of beautiful sweaters, with all kinds of intricate cable details and lace insertions. It has a little of everything, and the photos are excellent. Definitely a book to turn to when in need of ideas.

I don’t usually knit small projects, but I’m thinking that One Skein Wonders will be great for testing out handspun; that way I can play around a bit without committing to a full sweaters’ worth of spinning every time!

I set Branden loose in Nicholas and Felice’s Etsy store, and this is what he surfaced with. Another case of good taste. Now I might have to knit a shawl or two to show off the shawl pin…

And he also got me this nifty little contraption:

It’s a bit hard to see in the box, but it’s a measuring spoon with a digital scale built in. I’d ask where he comes up with these things, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Now, you might be wondering what on earth a person might want with a measuring spoon accurate to within half a gram, but only if you’ve forgotten that I’ve been thinking about dipping my toe into dyeing for a while now. A good balance is useful for many things, but for repeatable dyeing it’s indispensable.

I have had dyes sitting around waiting for months, but I’ve hesitated to use them on my bare yarn because I’m not ready to knit it up yet. But the One Skein Wonders book, the smart spoon, and the latest issue of Spin Off have me thinking…maybe I should be dyeing top for spinning rather than bare yarn?