slump.

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just a peek [365.144]

As you might’ve noticed, I’m in a bit of a slump these days. I came out of Socktoberfest with not a single new sock to my name (seriously, not even a single one! The sock you see above is from two years ago!). I don’t have anything to show off on the knitting front, really, with almost no progress at all on my poor husband’s sweater, and very little on the small projects I keep at the office, as well. I’m doing a terrible job of keeping up with everyone’s blogs, too. The only new thing I have to show off is a haircut, which I got this morning (taking over half a foot off my hair):

New haircut

(again with an old handknit…even if I can’t get any knitting done right now, I can still enjoy the fruits of my earlier labors). It’s entirely a matter of being too busy, both with research/academic stuff and regular life stuff; October was truly atrocious for me on that front. So many little things added up to a schedule that was entirely unmanageable, and now I’m just plain exhausted. So anyway, I’m not sure when things are going to get more exciting here on this little blog, but I wanted to pop in and say hello.

Beautiful, beautiful Bohus

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Beautiful, beautiful Bohus

I finished my sweater last night. And y’all, I’m in love. I stayed up way too late weaving in ends, and maybe also putting it on and dancing around the house while singing a gleeful song about how I made a pretty pretty sweater. Maybe. Here are the stats:

Pattern: My own, inspired by Spun Out #5 (the “Bohus Yoke Pullover”) and the EPS. The yoke pattern was made up as I knit.
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool, in a variety of colors.
Needles: size 5 and 7 Denise interchangeables, with size 5 and 7 Clover bamboo dpns for the sleeves.
Time to knit: Nov. 2nd – Dec. 14th 2007.

And now for more photo goodness! Here’s a closeup of the yoke patterning:

Closeup of yoke

I ripped out and reknit the neckline 4 times before settling on the seed stitch. I absolutely love it. I did the last row of seed stitch in blue, and bound off in blue, so as to mirror the treatment at the bottom hem and sleeve cuffs. I think it ties the whole thing together really nicely; it’s got the texture of the yoke, but the colors of the hems. LOVE.

Just a bit ago I decided to brave the sub-20 temps and had my husband snap a few photos of me wearing it outside. It got dreary almost immediately after I took the first finished shots of it this morning, and while it’s better than trying to take a photo in our CFL-lit house, even the natural light outside really wasn’t enough (plus we were both cold and impatient!), so these aren’t the best pictures ever. C’est la vie. Here I am, looking very pleased with myself:

Me and my Bohus

Here’s me, showing off my crazy long arms which necessitated 19.5″ inches of knitting up to the armpit (but hey, look how perfect those sleeves turned out! So worth it!):

I have very long arms

And, for good measure, here’s a shot of the back, though my hair is in the way of most the yoke, and all you can really tell is that I do not even fill out my “tiny” jeans (still struggling to keep the weight on because of illness, oh well):

Bohus back

So, that’s it. I’m almost a little sad not to be knitting the Bohus anymore. It was such a wonderful project for me. It’s my first time successfully making up a pattern for a garment (with EZ as my guide, of course!) and having it actually fit so perfectly. It was also my first time making up a colorwork pattern as I knit, and I’m still somewhat astounded at the fact that it didn’t turn out a completely disorganized mess. I learned so much in the process of making this sweater, and got to put newfound skills (like directional M1s I learned on the sampler gansey, for the side shaping) to use, too. And I have loved being able to get feedback from everyone who has commented along the way. Thanks for all of the encouraging words! And cheers to all of you knitting your own Yoked Sweaters!

Bohus Status Report

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Bohus Yoke, oh-so-close!

The Bohus Yoke is inching ever closer to completion. I have to admit, since I’m making it up as I go, I have had several moments where I get this sinking feeling, like “oh my goodness, it’s going to look like a mess in the end!”. Somehow I don’t quite trust that my freewheeling style on this one is going to work out. But then other times, I look at it and think, “wow, this looks fantastic!” What say y’all? Fantastic, or a mess? Or somewhere in between?

Bohus Yoke, close-up

Shortly after I took these pictures, I decided to do a little sanity-check, just to make sure that this thing I’ve spent all my knitting time on for the past month and half was actually going to, you know, fit. Here’s the moment of truth:

Moment of truth...

(why yes, I am in fact using my head as a much less effective tripod. And am rockin’ the pajama pants in the middle of the afternoon.) It fit, which was a huge relief. But then I had to go and, in a moment of inattention, decrease far too heavily in my final decrease round, and then keep blithely knitting onwards until I was ready to purl the baby blue turning row, at which point I realized that there was no way on earth that the sweater would go over my head(*). So now I’m going to have to rip right back to where I was when I took that picture. Oh well.

(*) Is my head somehow gargantuan? Because even if I hadn’t screwed up, and had followed EZ’s instructions to leave about 40% of my “key number” (based on my desired 35-inch body circumference), I would’ve wound up with a a neckline that is 14 inches around, which would actually be sort of uncomfortably difficult to pull over my head unless it were exceedingly stretchy. But I don’t feel like I look like a bobblehead or anything. Hmmm.

More yoke action!

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Just popping onto the blog really quickly before I head into the office to workworkwork, because I wanted to show off my progress on the Bohus Yoke:

Bohus Yoke progress

I’ve now incorporated all of the colors into the yoke. I especially love that little burst of berry red! I had been pretty much following the sample chart from Spun Out #5, but since my row gauge is quite different from the sample sweater, and I am not the same size as Meg Swanson, I quickly abandoned it and am now officially in “making it up as I go” territory. And I’ve got to say, I sort of love it. It’s freeing. I probably should have sat down, and charted something out, but no…I’m just looking at what’s on my needles, and deciding what the next row should be. One row at a time. It is exhilarating.

For good measure, how about a couple more pictures? Here is a closeup of the yoke patterning so far:

Closeup of Bohus Yoke patterning

And here is a closeup that gives an even better sense of the texture of this thing. I absolutely love the use of purl stitches in Bohus colorwork:

Texture

I’m starting to contemplate how I want to handle the neckline. I’m thinking I’d like to basically mirror the hems at the wrists and bottom of the sweater, but I’m not sure the best way to transition from the yoke patterning to that. I’m definitely open to suggestions and recommendations!

We have achieved yokeage.

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But first, two things:

  • As a knitting cognitive scientist, I feel obligated to link y’all to this. Is that not one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen?
  • Jean has finished the second Tabi sock, and they look fantastic! Hooray!

And now on to the fabulousness that is the yoke of my sweater. Here is my progress so far, in all its shining glory, sitting in the one place in the house where I could actually get a little bit of natural light this morning:

YOKEAGE!!!!

I stopped knitting last night because I ran into a slight problem. This, y’all, is what happens when you try to knit while overly sleepy:

This is what happens when you knit while you are sleepy

See how the stitch I just purled is cream? And now the next stitch is also cream? Yeah, not supposed to be like that. I jacked it up. I know it won’t be hard to fix (I can drop the stitches and reknit them with the right colored float as I go), but still…annoying!

For good measure, here is a closeup of a section on non-jacked-up yoke:

Closeup of non jacked-up yoke pattern

I love it!

(just a note, to anyone who may have emailed me and not gotten a response recently: I am in the midst of finals and am also pretty sick, so I’ve not done the best job of staying in touch. My apologies! I promise to be better once the semester is over, really!)

taking it easy

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my usual view

That’s my usual view these days, right there. Ren loves to lay in the groove between my legs while I’m working on stuff in bed, which I’ve been doing a lot of lately, because I’ve been feeling pretty awful. As soon as I started feeling a bit better this semester, I went crazy trying to catch up on everything, and quickly enough I got myself back to feeling as rotten as I had been before. Yep, that awful “push-crash” cycle that I’m sure those of you reading this who suffer from any sort of chronic health issue are familiar with. One of these days, I’ll learn.

Today I’ve decided to work from home on the couch, instead of on the bed, mostly because I wanted to watch the movie Frida in the background while I work, because I love the music and all of the colors in that movie. Of course, not having his usual resting spot has made Ren very mischievous today, and I’ve worn myself out trying to keep him from getting into things that he shouldn’t. Thank goodness for canned air (it’s the only thing that works!). I swear, sometimes he just gets in these spiteful moods, where he does naughty things just to taunt me, and make me get up and chase him. Alas, he often does this on days when I just don’t have the energy to keep up. Bad kitty!

As you might imagine, I’ve not made tons of progress on my Bohus Yoke since the last time I posted. Here’s where I stand on the sleeves:

Progress on Bohus Yoke sleeves

(sorry about the crap lighting, it’s the best I could do!) I’m about four inches away from finishing sleeve #2. So, obviously, I will not be finishing this sweater before the end of November, seeing as there are a whopping 2 days left in the month, and I am a busy bee as far as schoolwork is concerned. But that’s ok. I’ll finish soon enough, and NaKniSweMo has still been a good thing for me, as it’s helped me focus on a particular project. If you’ve been following this blog for any reasonable amount of time, you might’ve noticed that my ability to focus on finishing a project is a bit lacking! So I’m glad I tried to do it, and not at all unhappy that I didn’t manage it.

I do curse having such long arms, though! I mean, here I am, a petite 5’3, and yet I need to knit 19.5 inches just to reach my armpits? Craziness, I tell you. But my arms really are that long. Four more inches, though, and then I get to the yokey goodness! I’m really excited about that, even if it does take me until sometime in December to finish up.

white thanksgiving

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Venturing out of the house

We got our first real snow yesterday, perfectly timed for Thanksgiving dinner (which was wonderful; it was very nice to spend it with my friends from the department). It has stayed cold, so I woke up this morning to a beautiful layer of snow, and just had to throw on some boots to capture it in pictures. It’s really gorgeous outside right now, actually; the air is nice and crisp, and it’s very sunny. It’s too bad I don’t feel up to doing more outdoorsy things (I woke up feeling exceptionally cruddy, alas)…for now I will just have to enjoy the sights around our house.

I decided to take advantage of the now-rare sunlight, and capture some pictures of my progress on the Bohus Yoke. With only seven days left in November, the odds of me actually completing this sweater for NaKniSweMo are looking pretty slim, but I will have a wonderful sweater in the not-too-distant future nonetheless. Here’s my current pile of Bohus Yoke parts:

Pile of Bohus Yoke

As you can see, I’ve started the second sleeve now, and am actually even further along than this picture shows, since I took this a couple of hours ago:

Sleeve number two

I am still madly in love with the contrasting hem. And am very excited to be less than one sleeve away from starting the yoke! We’ll see how far I can get this weekend; I’ve got a lot of academic work to be accomplishing in addition to my crafty exploits. Some of it is stuff I’m really excited about, and some of it…meh. C’est la vie.