So here's what happened. I put Ol' Blue away for a while, because I couldn't face undoing the sleeve and starting over.
I started knitting this great big striped pullover, but then I got worried that the color joins at the end weren't going to stay in place, and I became dispirited. That project got shoved into the knitting box up in the library. Oddly enough, I had a dream about it last night. I was looking at a page of magazine clippings, and there were pictures of me sitting on a boulder on a windy beach, wearing the sweater. It looked horrible on me. I kept thinking, "Where did they get those pictures? When did I finish that sweater? I have got to have something done to my hair. Is that what I look like? Oh, GOD!"
With Big Stripy temporarily shelved, I then dove into the stash and pulled out the big skeins of Interlacements. I swatched with two strands of what is supposed to be sport weight yarn, but which knits up quite a bit larger. Doubled, it produced a fabric so thick and dense that I think it would be able to repel a knife attack. I knit a few rows of it single-skein style on size 6 needles, the size I use for worsted wools, and got a pretty good look. When I showed the smaller swatch to Accountant Boy, he said, "Yeah, honey, that's what it's supposed to look like." Dammit. That means that I have to find a project for it, and it's not going to be a big, quick project because I'm going to be knitting at light worsted gauge. It's up in the box with Big Stripy.
"Maybe a top-down, something simple, then. I know! I'll make that hoodie I like so much, the one that has the big neckline. I'll use the lavendar yarn I got at Stitches a couple of years ago. It'll still be a Stitches 2007 project! I wonder if I have a swatch of that yarn." As it turns out, I did have a swatch and it is the right gauge.
Problem One - the yarn smells, I don't know, sheepy. Let's call it sheepy. The washed swatch is slightly better, and gives me hope that I can dilute the odor enough to wear it. It's not necessarily a bad smell, kind of like hot cardboard in your car on a summer day. It's definitely more ruggedly wooly in texture than I'd prefer in something that will be framing my face. It is a hoodie, after all. This leads us to the next problem.
Problem Two - my great big head. If you saw me, your first thought would not be "wow! That gal's got an enormous head! She's like that little chicken from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. No, not the chicken HAWK. The little chicken. The Widow Hen's little boy? You know what I'm talking about. With the glasses and the slide rule? Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about Larry. You always friggin' do this when I'm explaining something. You always gotta be friggin' Mr. Right all the time. Well how'd you like to be right about my fist in your face, Larry?" Maybe you don't have a belligerent, drunken personality rolling around in your head, poking his imaginary finger at your chest and calling you Larry. Maybe that's just me, and probably that's beside the point. The point is that my head doesn't look all that big until you measure it, because it's not symmetrical. My head happens to be longer front-to-back than most normal heads.
Why is this a problem? Well, because the pattern isn't written for the long-headed among us. If I knit according to the pattern, I'll have the increase seam that's supposed to run down the back of the hood starting right in the middle of the top of my head. Also, the hood will not stay on my head, which I would very much like it to do. I got several inches into the top, wrangling the needles with every row, before I realized that this was going to be a problem. That project hasn't even made it up to the box yet. In fact, there's no more room in the pretty project box.
Finally, with the greatest number of projects either on or near the needles in years, I came back around to Ol' Blue. I tried it on again. The big sleeve didn't bother me so much anymore. I liked it so much that I decided to continue it all the way to the wrist. I'm starting on the second sleeve tonight.
"Wonderful. How many more nights of being slapped in the face by your knitting will I have to endure, The Woman?"
I don't know, Buddy. Every time I give an estimate, I end up being wildy inaccurate. I'd prefer not to say. Hey, by the way, what do you think of the library? Cool, huh?
"I especially like the futon. You might tell the dog to stop urinating on it while you're away at work. Unsightly."
Pretty hard to him to do that from his crate in the other room, so I don't know what you're...ah, Buddy! Dammit, guy!