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!