August is now two-thirds over and Rhinebeck is getting closer, so you'd think I'd be all about my sweater right now. But in the past week or two I haven't felt like knitting on it, even though I've really needed to. And yesterday I came to a realization: I didn't want to work on it because I didn't like how it was going. So I made a brave decision and started over. I had just joined my second skein of yarn, so I ripped that out and used it to start anew, this time from the top down. And you know what? It was absolutely the right decision. I am so much happier with it now, even though I've gotten only the tiniest amount done.
I think boredom was a main factor in my not being happy with the first attempt, but I think it's also going to be a lot easier to figure out the yoke now that I'm working top down. I've also already gotten to the beginning of the colorwork, and of course that makes the knitting much more exciting and therefore faster. I think once the yoke is done, the hard part is over and I can zoom through the sleeves and the body -- at least, that's my hope. Though there's certainly enough time to finish the actual sample to wear it to Rhinebeck, I'm behind in my schedule for the pattern, so I need to pick up the pace a bit. Worst case, if it's not ready to be published in time for Rhinebeck weekend, I can at least show it off at the festival as a preview of sorts.
While I was contemplating the sweater and what to do, I knit up a quickie project as a bit of a palate cleanser. These were easy and fun.
Pattern: Snow Day Mittens by Melissa Metzbower, size Child's Small
Yarn: Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) and US 8 (5.0 mm)
Started/Completed: August 20/August 21
These might look like just your average mittens, but they're a clever design: The cuff is knit (at a tighter gauge) with superwash yarn and then the hand is knit (at a much looser gauge) with nonsuperwash. The mittens are then tossed into the wash so that the hands felt, resulting in a warm, snow/wet-resistant mitten. I'm planning to knit a bunch of these for charity and thought I'd start with one of the smaller sizes. The blue yarn is from the sweater I unraveled, and I have quite a bit of it. These took next to nothing to knit up -- about 92 yards total. I think I unintentionally modified the thumbs by making them shorter than they should be (I found when knitting the second mitten that I'd misread something, but then I wasn't about to undo the first thumb and just did the second to match). I'm not too concerned, as these aren't for a specific person and I'm sure they're fit someone. I'll likely wait until I have several pairs before I do the felting, though.
Reading update: I neglected to snap a photo of my bingo card, but thanks to a quick read last week, I achieve two more bingos. I borrowed a collection of poetry from the library called Resistance Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now and read it basically in an afternoon. It was okay; as is the case with most poetry collections, there were some poems I enjoyed and some I did not. Filling in that square leaves me with five spaces remaining on my bingo card: Classic, Classic you "should've read," About nature, Written in the second person, and Non-human protagonist. If I can manage to finish Middlemarch, that will take care of Classic you "should've read." I'm also next in line to get Fox 8 from the library, which will take care of the Non-human protagonist square, and I can probably reread a classic. I finished listening to Birds of a Feather yesterday -- do you think I can fit it into About nature if it's about human nature? Or would that be cheating too much? If I can, then I'd just have to find something for Written in the second person (I've got Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine on hold from the library, but I'm not sure the hold will come up before bingo is over). I'll be okay with not getting a cover-all on my bingo card, especially as this is my first year participating, but all the same I'm so close, it would be nice if I could manage it.
I've got a long weekend coming up -- I'm taking off Monday and Tuesday -- so I expect there will be lots of knitting, spinning, and reading time. Rainbow starts fourth grade(!) on Tuesday, and we are both ready to get back to the normal schedule!