One thing about being trapped in the house for days on end, watching fires burning all around on the news and waiting to evacuate--you have lots of time on your hands and lots of nervous energy to use up.
You'll have to excuse the quality of these pictures. With the smoke in the air, outside pictures are impossible.
This is Cobblestone (sort of), by Jared of Brooklyn Tweed, from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits. I couldn't actually use his pattern, since it is only sized for men and this is for my skinny ten-year old, and since I used dk weight yarn instead of worsted weight. I did follow his basic design, though.
My son loves this sweater. He thinks it looks like chain mail. I'm am very "eh" about it. For one thing, I really don't like one of the design features I did include from the original pattern, short rows at the bottom of the yoke. I've never done a yoke style sweater before and thought there must be some reason for them, so I put them in. I suspect the reason may be to accommodate men's wider shoulders. But since my ten-year-old is built like a stick figure, the result is more of a puffy-sleeved look. If I had it to do over, I would definitely leave out those short rows. The other thing I don't care for is the way the increase rows are done. On a raglan style sweater, the increases are all done along the raglan, which creates a single, angled line of decreases. In this style, the decrease rounds happen every few inches, as an entire round of k1, k2tog, which creates noticeable lumps in those rounds (see the above picture). This is exacerbated by the smooth, cotton yarn I used, and I really don't like it. My son does, though, and that's what counts.
This is the progress on My First Handspun Sweater. (This is what I've been working on while watching the fires for the past two days. You see what I mean about nervous energy.) I spun this yarn from three different shades of undyed BFL, which I spun and plied alternately to create what I hoped would be randomly sized heathered stripes. I think it worked pretty well. I am especially proud of how well-matched the colors are on the front and back--no thanks to my spinning, but rather to careful cutting and color changing on the back to match the front. I could not exorcise my compulsive demons long enough to let the colors happen naturally. Any guesses as to how many ends I'm going to have to weave in on the back?
Third, and finally:
This is my current new love: 680 yards of alpaca/silk in about a fingering to sport weight, which I spun myself! I was going for lace weight, but apparently my spinning skills were not up to the task. The plan is to make a shawl for myself to wear to my friend's wedding--the wedding of Icarus notoriety. I am a bridesmaid, and a little embarrassed about it. Don't get me wrong: I am absolutely honored to stand up for my friend at this very important moment in her life. But at 38, with two kids of my own, I feel a little silly carrying flowers and trying to look virginal. Maybe they could rename the office. I don't think I would feel nearly as silly if they called us "the honorguard" or "support staff" or "moral support" or something. I probably need a bit more yarn than this for a shawl, but I still have plenty of fiber left, so that won't be a problem. At the moment, though, my spinning wheel is packed in the car, along with the "good" yarn from the stash and all of our other essential and prized possessions. Yes, people, I am evacuating my yarn. I'm sure none of you have a problem with that.