Wow! I can't believe how many people had either read that book, or knew of Betchen. Thanks for all of the comments. I'm most of the way through it now, and am loving it as much as I did before. She does say one thing in talking about high-whorl drop spindles, though, which has me confused (or in awe, take your pick). She says that really expert spinners don't have to reach down to grab the spindle to wind on their yarn; they can just give the spindle a yank, and it rolls right up the yarn like a yo-yo. Seriously? You can do that? What about unhooking the yarn at the top? Does anyone know how this works?
I am in Stockinette Hell. (Why, oh why, did I choose to try serial project monogamy on two projects that are almost all stockinette?) The body of this sweater is not knit in the round, and the purl rows in particular are killing me. It's taking me about ten minutes to finish a row, on average (why yes, I am having trouble getting through this, why do you ask?). I spent a good period of time yesterday listening to Word Without End (Ken Follett), and knitting. At this point, I'm about an inch shy of the body, which means six more rows, which means an hour. I'm hoping to pound it out before I pick the kids up from school at noon (although a glance at my watch suggests that this hope is futile). The photos are boring, but I figure I should offer some kind of concrete proof that I'm not just griping for the sake of griping (well, a little bit, but mostly this is gripeworthy).
It's getting heavy. If this weren't going to be distributed across a whole sweater, I'd be worried about the total weight of yarn going into this thing (if I use all the yarn I bought, it'll be about a pound of alpaca). Once I'm through the body, the next sleeve is going to feel great (knitting in the round, and I get to M1 twice every seventh row; you know knitting is monotonous when that just makes your day). In order to make up for the boring stockinette pictures, here:
A rare photo of Gwilim and Atticus sharing a chair (they'd rather we all think that they are too cool for cuddling with one another, but I know better). (BTW, you can blame this on Bea; she said that more cat photos were called for. Hi, Bea!)
Rick just found out that the band who played at our wedding, and since got much better known, is playing in Escondido tomorrow night, and got us tickets. He also arranged for the girls to spend the night at a friend's house (good Rick). The band is Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. I love that name. I love that I had a band named that at my wedding (my father is still holding it against me; he wanted a classical quartet). Think Brian Setzer Band, and you've got a sense of their music. A date! We're going on a date, like real people. Who knew?
Tomorrow, exciting plans for the spring. I am insane, and I will prove it to you.