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Your cheating heart

I got a little bit done on the USMP's second sleeve last night:

This sweater is ridiculously close to being done, though I hear the finishing on this is kind of a bitch. Twisted cord button loops? With vague, confusing instructions? Meh.

I really think that attention to detail in the last steps is what makes or breaks a sweater...that the most beautiful knitting can be spoiled by haphazard finishing. Unfortunately, finishing is exactly when I get bored and sloppy. But not this time, oh no - this is such a special garment, it would really be a shame to mar it now. Besides, it means I get to go button shopping! Any suggestions? So far, I'm thinking plain mother of pearl (boring, I know), or turned wood.

I did end up modifying the bell sleeve a little - I cast on 10 stitches fewer than called for, and simply decreased evenly until I got to the elbow/narrowest point/met back up with the pattern. The new shaping preserves the stark geometry that I loved about this pattern, but doesn't quite give the...uh...seal flipper effect of the original.

Why yes, that is a sliver of plastic drinking straw I'm using as a stitch marker. Sad, I know, but it's thinner and flatter than any commercially produced markers I've seen, is a lot more stable than a yarn loop, and doesn't induce any guilt when I lose it. Three for three is good enough for me.

I got a lot less done on the sleeve than I'd hoped to, though, because I was distracted by this:

I know, I know, I'm the cheatingist cheater who ever cheated. I'm like Cheaty McCheaterson. But socks are quick (I got this done while watching the Caps game and a few minutes of the DC United game), and little, and won't take but a few days, so they don't count as breaking a WIP diet, right? Right?

I have to admire this patttern (Nancy Bush's Rib and Cable socks in the fall '05 Interweave) for its cleverness in some respects - the leg shaping is done by knitting in straight rib at the top, widest portion of the leg, and then starting cables as the calf tapers as a kind of self-shaping around the ankle - but am left high and dry by the peculiar YO-peppered heel turn (tiny holes in your socks, anyone?). If I make these again, I'll do a regular short-row heel, and make them as knee socks altered to fit over my weirdly disproportionate man-calves. True Tales: Every time I shop for knee-high boots, the salesperson ends up shaking his head and muttering something about "There might be some wides in the back." The "cow" is pretty much implied here, I'm thinking. Also True: when trying these socks on when I was only an inch from caston, I broke one of the DPNs trying to tug them to the right place on my leg. Gahhhh.


Really? I get that too. I love knee socks but my calves are "muscular".

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