Yes, today is our last full day of vacation (or kind-of vacation, in my case). We're due to fly home tomorrow afternoon, though they're predicting strong winds tomorrow in Western PA, and I hope that doesn't interfere with our travel plans -- I most definitely do not want a repeat of last year! It's showing up on time for the moment, so please keep your fingers crossed for us! It's been a lovely trip, but I am ready to be back in my own bed and to see the Mister.
When I posted on Wednesday morning, I was preparing for a long morning in front of the computer, though I had my knitting ready. We made it through about half of the session before it was abruptly canceled, and the reason why is a sad truth of our times: Our campus was put on lockdown because of reports of an active shooter at a high school a couple of blocks away from my office. It turned out to be a hoax, one of several false reports made that day, but it was a scary time for those who were in the office, and even after it turned out to be a false alarm, it was entirely understandable that people were having a hard time concentrating. I was concerned for my colleagues, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't quite sure why I was in this workshop to begin with, so I was just fine with its early end. I imagine it'll be rescheduled at some point, so I guess at some date in the future I'll have a block of knitting time. Despite the schedule change, I have made a lot of progress on my Birch Pullover since Wednesday morning (that progress keeper was placed at the beginning of the session):
I am now about seven rounds from completing the yoke and dividing the sleeve and body stitches, and I am fairly confident I can get through those rounds today. I've got 300+ stitches on my needle at this point, so the rounds aren't exactly fast, but I pretty much have the pattern memorized at this point. Once I get past the split, it'll be even easier because it will just be a two-round repeat (purl one round, alternated k1b/p1 the next round).
If you look closely, you will notice that I now have two strands of yarn attached; I started working in the second skein of yarn yesterday. Rebecca (the dyer behind Dusty Tree Dyeworks -- as well as the soap maker behind Dusty Tree Soap) works in really small batches, so she doesn't have colorways or dye lots for her yarns. When I picked out my skeins, I selected the five that looked most similar to each other, but there's definitely variation among them -- as shown in this photo:
When I wound all the skeins before we left, I also also labeled them 1-5, from lightest overall to darkest, and I'm using them in that order. I'm alternating skeins every round when I join a new one, with the hope that will be sufficient to blend them. It's easy at this point, but I'll have to do a little math once I split the body and sleeve stitches so that I can set aside some yarn as I work the body to make sure the sleeves look like they more or less match (I figure I'll take the stitch counts for the body and sleeves to figure out what percentage of the skein I should set aside for the sleeves and wind that off -- so it's a good thing we're headed home to my ball winder!).
In addition to leaving for home with a sweater yoke, I'm also leaving with a longtime crocheter to whom I've taught some new tricks. My mother used to make blankets and buntings (the sac-like garments, not the strands of flags) as baby gifts for others, but she hasn't picked up a hook in a while. So while we were here, we made a trip to Michaels to pick up a hook and some yarn so I could teach her the corner-to-corner method. One evening earlier this week, I showed her how to get started and helped her as she got the hang of it, but now she's off to the races:
She is just about finished with the first yarn cake and is determined to get to the point where she is ready to join the second so that I can show her how to decrease. She's also taken after me and has crocheted during several Zoom meetings she's had while we've been here.
Today is a regular work day for me, but I'll be taking time for a long walk before we leave so I can enjoy the good weather as much as possible. I hope our travel plans proceed without a hitch and by my next post, I'll be back home, reunited with my stash (and my spinning wheel, which I've missed). I hope all of you have a good start to your weekend today!
P.S. I almost forgot -- remember the secret design knitting I was doing that I couldn't show you? Guess who got an acceptance yesterday?!