Saturday, September 25, 2010

And it's looking like a sweater...

How do the weeks go by so quickly? I wish I knew...

I know where some of this past week went, at least. Last Sunday, we went apple picking in Julian with some dear friends and their three kids. We came home with bags of apples (the Jonathans are particularly delicious right now), having had a wonderful time. It was my first time apple picking (I know, I know), and it was so much fun to try all the different varieties as we wandered around, picking first from this tree, then from that, adding to our bags as we pleased.
I knitted away on the handspun sweater all the way there and back, but that was the last of the knitting for several days. What was I doing instead, you may ask?

In a word: grading.

My first pile of essays came in from one of my classes, and it took me nearly 12 solid hours (yes, that's hours) to grade 36 essays (I should point out that these essays ranged from 2-5 pages). I'm not talking about one and a half work days, with time off for coffee and lunch and checking email and peeing. Nope, I'm talking the time I spent sitting with my butt in a chair and a pen in my hand. It was painful (on a lot of levels; my back is killing me). It's astonishing to me how few people actually even re-read their papers before turning them in, let alone actually editing them. (This in spite of the fact that on the assignment I clearly stated that by the end they must have proven to me a number of things, including the fact that they re-read their papers.) We'll see how the second essay goes when I get it in a few more weeks.

I finished that grading late on Wednesday night, so when I got home on Thursday, I settled down to a well-deserved couple of hours of knitting while watching Bones and Fringe (new seasons, yay!). And I finished the body on the handspun sweater. I'd already ripped out what you saw in the last pictures and started again because the body looked too big for me, so I was really hoping that I'd hit it on the money this time. I actually think I may have gotten this one right.
What do you think? It seems to fit exactly the way I want it to, and I am still truly loving the way the colors are coming out (that picture is pretty accurate).
I picked up the stitches for the first sleeve and got that started on Thursday and worked more on it yesterday, thinking the whole time that it really did look too big (I apparently think I am a much more imposing person, physically, than I actually am). I tried it on this morning, and yes, it was way too big. So I ripped that all out, picked up stitches again (40 fewer stitches this time, and it's still not too small, that's how way too big it was), and I think this is going to work much better. It will also mean (I hope) that I have a much better shot at finishing this without running out of yarn. All I have left are the two sleeves, and then I pick up and knit a rolled neckline, which I'll just do with whatever yarn I have left after the sleeves. I'm still thinking this is going to be a bit of a race to the finish with the yardage I have, but I'm feeling more sanguine now that I've finished the body using the yarn I'd allocated for it.

And that's all there is to report. I knitted on my Noro sock yesterday while watching The Town with some friends (I liked it), and I only stopped because I think I'm at the point where I need to start the ribbing, but I have to compare it to the other sock first. So those may be done soon, too. I am nurturing this little hope that I'll finish the sweater in time to wear next weekend, when we go to Sacramento to visit my dad for his birthday, and to drag my mom to a local fiber festival at the same time. Of course, it might not be cold enough for wool; we have finally gotten a summer down here, and after months of weather where the highs hovered in the mid-70s, we're hitting the 90s today. That's fall in SoCal for you!

22 comments:

lori said...

whoa......i think it's looking marvelous! i'm just still in awe that i can make a sweater, and there you are making one with your handspun. the striations in color are really beautiful, and from what i can tell, it's going to fit you so well (gee, kinda like it was made just for you or something :) ). and i listen in awe and learn from your willingness to rip out and redo if the sweater's going off-kilter.

i hear you on the pain of grading; i'm grading stats papers and somehow, i have no idea how, most students seem to have chosen some statistical presentation they found on the web that allows them to go on their "no gays in the military" rants. it's requiring many sips of a crisp chardonnay to get through them.

FUZZARELLY said...

It is apple season, to be sure. My father worked as a nurseryman and in an orchard, so as a child, we. had. apples. I loved the smell of the apples in the cooler, and I got to watch them being poured, bushel by bushel, into the polishing machine. Even the names of the apples bring back memories when I hear them: Cortlands, Jonathons, Staymans, Grimes, Winesaps, Baldwins, Northern Spys.

I love apples.

Your sweater is looking lovely!

Anonymous said...

Are you going to Lambtown? If I spot you I will try not to go stalkerish, but hope you wouldn't mind a quick hello from a lurker who has enjoyed your blog for several months.
(Beverly near Yosemite, heading to Lambtown next weekend.)

Alwen said...

It is looking lovely, and hey! Jonathans are one of my favorite apples!

(And I have that very same balance ball in the background.)

EGunn said...

That is definitely looking like a sweater! It's beautiful, and it's going to be perfect. A nice reward after all the hours of grading (I do not miss that at all, at all...).

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Sweater's looking good so far.
The apple picking sounds delightful - makes me wish I had an orchard in my back yard!

Miss 376 said...

Even my youngest son asked why time went so quickly this week, lol.
I love the way the colours have knitted up, this is going to be difficult to take off once it's finished

Elizabeth said...

the sweater is beautiful! I love the colors.

Mary Lou said...

I am working on end of the year reporting and having the same issue, time flying, not enough getting done. I'm surprised to see that you have apples down there. I thought they required cooler weather. I bought a bag at the farmers market yesterday in the chilly rain. Honey Gold. Yum.

twinsetjan said...

It's looking great! You nailed the resizing.

I'm currently reading "Super Sad True Love Story" (a distressing, yet compelling read). A key thread of the book is the erosion of literary skills on the part of our society...many inclusions of textual exchanges between characters that are rife with misspellings and poor grammar. It's set in the future, but I see so much of the same thing today, as you seem to be seeing in your grading. That's part of the distressing bit of the book. I would recommend it, though. Shteyngart is very provoking.

I loved teaching...hated the grading, so I really feel for you!

KnitNana said...

Looks GREAT! (I'm not surprised)

And yes, I do remember that sort of grading...it's a slog. I don't miss it.
(((((hugs)))))

twinsetellen said...

Knitting with handspun - you are inspiring me! It looks great - and is going to be absolutely perfect with denim.

I saw another knitters first sweater out of her own handspun this weekend and finally started a project with mine - autumn must be the season to start using one's own spinning.

Rachael said...

Oh fresh apples just off the tree, like all other fruits, there is no comparison to the stuff they sell in the grocery store!

I LOVE the colors in the sweater, I think the fit looks good, can't wait to see the finished object!!

Rachel said...

I love the look of your hand spun sweater and I think it is much better to think we are more imposing than we really are than the other way around, don't you agree? :)

Gwen said...

That looks like a great comfy fit! And it's gorgeous yarn. Still looks like real yarn, even after all that knitting.

That's fall in NoCal for you too, maybe a few degrees cooler. But you already knew that! Beach at Kronkhite was the place to be Sunday! (bikinis sighted!) (on other people) Are you going to Lambtown? Wish I was, wish I could meet you if you are. But Mom and a friend are here next weekend, and we are having ourselves a retreat in Olema (our actual retreat was cancelled) for a couple nights and not enough time to drive to Dixon.

Apples are awesome. We had wild (feral?) apples all over growing up. Half the fun was tasting them as we picked, and deciding if they were worth carrying home.

Carrie#K said...

What local fiber festival in Sacramento?

You should finish it easily by the weekend - you've practiced knitting it enough. It looks good and I think smaller will be much better.

Twelve hours grading. Joy.

Helen said...

Once again, your students astonish me, although I expect things aren't much different here. I am, happily, out of touch. They don't read an essay through again when they finish it? How can they be sure their conclusion matches their introduction? Well, I suppose they can't and they don't care.

Thank heavens for apple picking and sweater knitting, especially lovely-sweater knitting.

RobinH said...

Apples, yay! I live in an apple-growing area, and I love being able to get different varieties. My local farmstand even does 'specialty' ciders for various flavors, which are excellent.

And the sweater looks gorgous! I think it's going be both beautiful and very flattering on you.

RE: sizing...I sometimes find it helpful to measure a completed sweater that fits well and use those dimensions and the gauge to convert them into the number of stitches I'm looking for. Useful, but unfortunately not infallible!

PammieJR said...

the body of your sweater looks fantastic! I can't wait to see the finished project!

Stell said...

oh how lovely, your own handspun sweater! I have sweater envy - really I do. I do not have essay marking envy - for next week a pile await me, and I suspect I will have the same complaints as you ...Oh well...

AlisonH said...

Beautiful! And happy birthday to your dad!

Bea said...

I love apple picking. Nothing like very fresh apples.

I like the sweater. I know the next post has more about it too.