Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,
Your finished blanket is so adorable, and always nice when it changes size in the wash and ends up being something **you wanted to happen**. Sorry to hear about your short row heel traumas. Instead of short rows (edit -- should say "Instead of wraps and turns) on my heels, I started using a yarn-over version which has an end result which is just about identical to a short row heel (with wraps and turns), but which I find much easier to execute. I follow the directions as given in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. It took a little practice for me to get used to the "SSSP", but now I love the yarn-over technique. Also, per Deb's suggestions, I typically use 60% of the stitches for the heel (instead of 50%) and it works great for me. (Thank you again, Deb! You've changed the way I knit socks, FOR SURE!)
And now, don't be shocked... Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's **SuperNova**, having seven out of eleven pieces sewn together:I've been debating about whether or not I should just scrap the thing and cut my losses. I haven't blocked anything yet, and that might fix some of the funkiness that I have going on with the shoulder area... Now, do you see what I mean about the neckline? The directions say to cast on the turtleneck from the top, then knit the turtle neck down to where it would meet the body of the sweater, then knit six little points which will fit in all of those little areas where the circles come together at the neckline. AAUGH! Any suggestions for an easier way? If possible, I'd like to pick up the stitches at the neckline, then knit somehow to cover those gaps (or if I just ignore them, will it all blend in nicely after blocking?). I don't see this being any longer than a crew neck...maybe up to an inch and a half of ribbing which has stockinette on the edge to curl over a little bit. I'll entertain any ideas any of you might have! Sewing this together has been less enjoyable than putting a Dale of Norway sleeve into a steek, and that is really saying something!!
In other knitting, and something which is *not* on my Mission Possible: 2008 list -- A present for my nephew's July birthday, which I'm trying to finish before things get crazy for me with summer school: It is the Morehouse Merino Alligator pattern, though recalling that my sister shrunk/accidentally felted one of the wool sweaters I made for my nephew a couple of years ago, I decided to use a wool/acrylic totally washable yarn instead of the Morehouse Merino. I thought the variation in the color of this yarn would be fun for the pattern.
Would you believe that I'm working on a political campaign? It has been taking some of my knitting time, too! Our alderperson is, er, perhaps not a good representative for our district. Many of my neighbors and I have been discussing for a year that we need a **different** alderperson, though the election was coming, and we had **no candidate**. I've been pestering two different people about running for months (because I can be annoyingly persistent that way). The first guy is enjoying his retirement, travelling, etc., and didn't think he'd have time for it. The second guy, after a gentle nudge with one final fateful e-mail which I sent to him only days before the signatures had to be in to get him on the ballot, talked with his family and decided he'd make a go of it. So, about ten of us have been working on his campaign. He won the primary with 70% of the vote, so the third candidate got knocked out, but the incumbent is still in it, with 17% of the vote. The general election is April 1st. The incumbent is not giving up without a fight, however, so I did something I've never done before, and wrote a letter "to the editor", which will run in next week's paper. I could go on about it forever, but I'll spare you the details. It has been fun, educational, and pushed me outside of my comfort zone, though most importantly, I've learned that when a few passionate people get together for a common cause, it is amazing what can be done!
Finally, I received word yesterday that my step-grandma died, at the age of 94 (well, she would have been 94 on St. Patrick's day). Her name is Hazel, and she married my grandpa years after his first wife (also named Hazel) passed away. She's been the only grandma I really knew on my mom's side of the family, and had no kids of her own. I think she single-handed prayed me into finding DH and getting married, because she felt really badly for me when my younger brother and sister both got married before me. In any case, though we weren't very close, she's been a fixture in my family for as long as I can remember, and it's important for me to go to the funeral next week to be with my grandpa.
I haven't lost anybody since 1988, and this year I've lost two relatives in the span of as many months... I had a weird sense that 2008 was going to be a different sort of a year.....
Anyway, raining here today! So glad that there are signs of spring along with it, too!