As I mentioned in my last post, I didn't spin much over the weekend, in large part because I suddenly had the urge to cast on everything at once. I suspect the fact that Saturday was cold and rainy and generally gloomy played a large role in that urge -- after all, when it's cold and miserable, don't you want to surround yourself with warm, woolly things?
First, I finished up Rainbow's school sweater. The knitting was actually done on Thursday night, but I needed to find buttons at my LYS on Saturday and I didn't get around to sewing them on until Sunday evening. So now the sweater is officially done (albeit not yet blocked), and Rainbow is clearly very happy with it. It fits perfectly, with a bit of room for her to grow, so I think it should get good wear for the next couple of years at least.
I used the child's top-down v-neck raglan cardigan from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Top-down Sweaters, in the smallest size available and at a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch (though technically my gauge was closer to 4.5 stitches to the inch, but I used that to give me a little positive ease). I used just under three full skeins of Spud & Chloe Sweater, a very nice blend of superwash wool and cotton, in Pine Needle. Most of the sweater was worked using US 6 (4.0 mm) needles, but I did the ribbing on US 5 (3.75 mm) needles. I like the yarn in the sweater, but I didn't love knitting with it -- the high cotton content made it a bit hard on my hands, and the tension issues that that caused resulted in a bit of rowing out when I was working flat (you can see the difference in the transition from the raglan shaping, which was worked flat, to the sleeves, which were worked in the round). I'm not terribly concerned about this issue, as I think the stitches will even out as the sweater is washed, but it's something to keep in mind should I ever want to work with this yarn again.
Meanwhile, I also wound some yarn and swatched for a sweater for me in some Miss Babs Yowza, purchased at MDSW several years ago and sitting in the stash ever since. The specified gauge is 19 stitches and 26 rows; I got 20 stitches and 30 rows with my swatch (work on US 6's) after blocking. I might try another swatch with needles a size larger to see what happens, but I think I can make it work with this gauge if I need to. The yarn is superwash, so I can block out a bit more room if I need to. The next size up is 4 inches larger, too, so I definitely want to stick with the size I usually am.
As long as I was winding yarn for the swatch, I decided to wind some handspun that I've already started knitting into a two-color brioche cowl, this time for my mom for a holiday present (assuming I can finish it by then). This is FatCatKnits Polwarth/silk/nylon sparkle from a club shipment from about a year ago. It doesn't look like much now, but it moves quickly when I do work on it.
This is one of those projects that I can pick up and put down easily as there's no real pattern -- it's just a repetition of the two rows (knit one row, purl one row). The yarn is being a little difficult to work with because there may be a tad too much twist in it, though for that I can only blame the spinner (me). I think once it's done I can rough it up a little bit when I wash it to get it to fluff up a bit.
As if all that weren't enough, a couple of orphan skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash (which went into hiding when I was taking pictures) followed me home from my LYS on Saturday along with the buttons. They are going to be a new cowl for Rainbow for this winter. I'm going to do another double-knit pattern, but this time it will be closer fitting rather than an infinity loop so it can stay inside her coat and not catch on anything while she's playing outside.
I'm also working on some design stuff, but that needs to stay offline for now. Some of it will be revealed in the weeks to come, so not to worry -- I won't taunt you with it for too long.
Phew! That's a lot, isn't it? I guess we are full swing into knitters' season now, and frankly, I'm quite happy about that.