I did cast on for the Helena last night at knit night, but I didn't get as much done as I had hoped (I blame that fact on the very lively conversation we were having). I have finished the neckline increases and have a handful of raglan increases left to do before splitting the body and sleeve stitches.
If I'm being completely honest here, then I'd have to admit that I did not swatch for this sweater. It's a baby cardigan, so being close enough will be just fine. My intention is to end up with something that will fit the baby through this winter, so if it ends up a little on the big side, that should work out okay. The pattern calls for a size 6/4.0 mm needle, but I'm using a US 5/3.75 mm. I think I would probably need a 4 to get the gauge (5.5 stitches per inch), but a 5 gets me pretty close.
I haven't touched the Boy Sweater since the night I first started it, but it will see some attention in the next couple of days. Ideally, I'd like to get both sweaters wrapped up as quickly as possible, because the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday and I'm planning to be spending most of my crafting time this month spinning. So let's talk about my plans for that.
Every year, my general plan is to spin every day of the tour, if possible, and to get through as much fiber as I can. This year, I'm on four teams: Fat Cat Knits, Southern Cross Fibre, Lendrum, and Footloose (the team for those who spin on a Hansen miniSpinner). The first two teams are for the fiber I'll be spinning, as I have a bit of a backlog of both. Here's a look at the fiber I have ready to spin (though I'll be the first to admit that it's way too ambitious of me to think I'll get through it all):
On the left is the FCK stash and on the right is the SCF. That's basically a full pound of fiber right there. What's not shown is the latest FCK club shipment (another 5 oz.), which is already in progress and is likely to be the first skein finished for the Tour.
In order to get the miniSpinner ready, I finished plying up the last skein before official TdF spinning starts. This is Into the Whirled superwash merino in Death, spun into a three-ply fingering weight:
I'm very happy with how this turned out, though I'm a tad disappointed in the yardage (385 yards). It's plenty to make me some socks, but I thought it would be more given how long it took me to ply.
By my next post, the Tour de Fleece will have started, so expect to see a lot more spinning in the next few weeks! Don't worry, there will be some knitting content, too (including, perhaps, a little surprise next week)!