The Wicked sweater is WOWEE WOW WOW, a quick knit! I'm also balls ahead of where I should be, which I attribute to the pattern modifications I made (no 54-in hem circumference for me!). I plowed through the back, did the keyhole shaping at the neckline, found a perfectly matching button, bound off both shoulders, and then finished the front. I tacked the right shoulder together before moving on to the left shoulder and tried the sweater on and YES, it fits! And it's JUST WHAT I WANT!!! This is truly a great feeling. I left the right shoulder tacked and finished the left front before seaming the left front to the left back. I also happened to just do my Best. Shoulder. Seaming. Ever. The stars are truly aligned, my friends!
I've been taking pictures of the WIP (Wicked in Progress)--boring shots of stockinette, taken at the start/end of each ball. I also took what I fear is going to become my trademark shot--trying on the sweater without a bra. It's doubly noticable in the shot from last night because only one shoulder is done... But, that's not going to stop me from posting the shot. You just have to wait until tonight or tomorrow!
The yarn has a nice but heavy drape and I knit it about half an inch shorter, knowing and hoping and fully expecting gravity and wear to lengthen the garment. The hem will need a good blocking, but that will bring out the scalloped edges and really make the lace pop. With the modifications I made, the lace isn't going to be lost in the hem. Looking at the picture in the pattern booklet, the lace doesn't look like lace--it looks like a bunch of increases and decreases used to create the appearance of a gathered or almost pleated hem.
I'll untack and seam the other shoulder tonight, then I'm going to attempt top-down sleeves. The pattern calls for a crocheted edge at the neckline and armholes, but I've long hated my arms and refuse to wear any sort of tanktop unless I'm biking--then, I'm all about the tank. But I'm still debating whether or not I want to create a sleeve that mimics the hem on the body. Excuse my inexperience, but will knitting a top-down lace pattern (*yo, k2, k2tog, k2* round 1, *k2, k2tog, k2, yo* round 2) produce the same or similar effect as knitting bottom-up? Will the details be all in how I block it? Should I just knit plain sleeves and crochet the finishing touches as written?
At the rate I'm going, I'll be finishing this sweater while in Maine next weekend and then wearing it while in Nashua the following weekend. I'm already planning on wearing it to Mike's graduation in May!!!
And while I'm on the topic of graduation, can I just say how freaking excited I am that my wonderful husband is finally graduating? Yes, there will be a party. And yes, you are all invited. And, no, I won't be taking my shirt off or flashing anyone. The shirted festivities must wait until after Mike's senior design team participate (and win!!!!) in Solar Splash '07. Get ready to add "watching my husband graduate from college" to the list of things that make me cry.