Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I’ve been taking advantage of the break from work to take stock and catch up on some fiber projects around the house. When we last discussed the Fall colors sweater, I had just pulled back the upper sleeve shaping to make a couple of tweaks, and was just a couple of inches from done.

Well. I knit an inch. Then I knit two inches, and then almost 4. The sleeves still seemed too short, but were now a couple of inches longer than the sleeves on my reference sweater, so I finally decided to trust the measuring tape and call it good. A couple of weekends ago, I grafted on the sleeves and did the final finishing of the inside seams.

I had originally planned to cover the raw steek edges with bias tape, but decided that that would make them too stiff. Instead, I just loosely whip stitched over the raw edge to hold it in place. I can’t believe how  much neater it looks! Here’s the “before”:

Once everything was finished to my satisfaction, I blocked the sweater and tried it on.

The sleeves are still too short.

I put it aside, and decided to let it sit for a while before making a decision. This is a perfectionism-defeating strategy…sometimes things really don’t seem as important a week or two later. Of course, sometimes they really are just as important. When I wear the sweater, I feel like I have gorilla arms. Therefore, the sleeves really do need to be longer.

I’m not sure exactly what’s happening here. There must be some difference in the shoulder fit or shaping that I am just not seeing. Maybe it’s the stiffness of the double layer at the steek edge? I don’t know what it is, but something is changing the way the sleeve hangs from the arm opening, and it’s affecting the fit, requiring a much looser upper arm and a longer sleeve. My gauge did change pretty dramatically on going from fairisle to stockinette, so that may have something to do with it, too. I thought I’d accounted enough for that, but perhaps not. In any case, I need to go back, snip a stitch, and redo the upper arm shaping one more time, adding a bit more length as I go. I’d rather fuss with it now and get it right than end up not wearing the sweater because it’s uncomfortable (or constantly tugging at the sleeves when I am wearing it). I haven’t quite worked up the enthusiasm for that yet, but it’s at least made it back into my workbasket for next in line. Maybe tomorrow.

I’ve been humming away on the new Briar Rose sweater during my train commute lately. I’m about 4 inches into the body pattern, and am liking the basketweave pattern just fine. I’ve been noticing that it’s looking a little small, though, so on Friday I measured to check that it was really the right size. Verdict: 34 inches, not 39 – a full size too small. Sigh.

My swatch did stretch when blocked, though, so I did a quick blocking on the needles this morning, and it stretched right out to 40″ with no problem. Saved by the swatch!

Now I’m just waiting for it to dry before continuing on with the body pattern. It will be good train knitting for the week, at least.

In the meantime, I spun up another bobbin for Branden’s sweater:

I really think I like this color the best of the three plies that are going into this yarn. I need another bobbin of the dark gray and turquoise, and then I’ll be ready to ply off batch #2. It looks like there’s probably another 2 bobbins of each left to spin, so there’s plenty more to come. Shouldn’t run out of yarn on this one!

And then, this morning, I wound up a new warp for the loom. I’ve had this yarn in stash since February of 2009, when I bought it at Madrona.  It’s been waiting for just the right project, and a couple of years ago I decided to weave with it. I bought a companion skein for it at Rhinebeck last year, and am just now getting around to warping it up. Fortunately, hobbies have no deadlines, so things can marinate in the stash as long as it takes, but it will still be nice to have it worked up.

I had to weave off my last two tea towels to open up the loom for this one, but haven’t done all the hemstitching and the wet finishing yet, so I’ll show those to you later.

With all of these things in the works, I think I should be covered through the end of the semester. Only 7 classes left!

Those sleeves might never end, but it’s reassuring to know that the semester will.