Well, I passed the Day 14 benchmark, and while I didn't manage to get the sweater completely finished in two weeks ... I did get it all the way to the first blocking stage. Yesterday I finished the buttonbands, which marked the last of the big pieces of knitting. Last night I blocked. Nothing major, since this blocking was only for sewing purposes and I'll do a real wash and block after the whole thing is complete to help settle the seams. I just soaked all the pieces in a sink of warm water and fabric softener and patted them out in the correct size and shape on some towels. No pinning or anything. The pieces stretched a LOT when they were wet, especially the back pieces, but I think I managed to get it back to the proper size when I smoothed it out on the towels. I hope. If not, I'll try to take care of it when I do the final block.
And let me tell you ... this yarn? So impressed with it. It blocked like a dream. I mean, seriously, all I did was get it wet and softened and laid it out flat. And it looks great. The stitch definition is perfect, everything looks nice and even, the lace is nicely-defined, and all without the use of pins or anything. I can definitely recommend it.
Without further ado ... more pictures (from a real camera!) than you really need of the blocking-in-process:
All the pieces laid out to block:
Close-up of the front, showing the lace:
I thought this was kind of a cool picture, and it shows the stitch definition well:
And, one sleeve:
I was good. I kept it to 4 pictures. (I have several more ...)
I know the buttonbands still look weird. I didn't mess much with them. I'll take care of those with the final wash and block. This time I was mainly concerned with the arms and shoulders. And yeah, these were taken inside at night so the color's a little bit off and I can't correct it very well without Photoshop. But it shows the stitch definition and all that. :)
And just because I can, here's a gratuitous picture of my cat.
Crappy picture, but I was trying to get ready for work and Luke was still asleep, so the lights were all off except that one lamp. I thought she looked cute there on my pillow.
I wanted to make sure the fronts matched up to the back, so I layered them. It'll take longer to dry, but everything will be the same size, and that's worth it.
I slipped some white paper between the layers to help keep the moisture where it belongs (and help it evaporate) and to help show off the lace in the pictures.
The pieces are on my blocking board in the living room floor now, still drying. That's the worst thing about cotton, it takes forever to dry naturally. Maybe I'll take a hair dryer to it at lunch or when I get home tonight. I'm anxious to get back to work!
Next step? Shoulder seams and neckline ribbing. Once that's done, all of the actual knitting will be done and there will be nothing left except for sewing the sleeve and side seams, sewing on buttons, weaving in ends and that final wash 'n' block. All of which I could theoretically finish today, if the pieces would dry and if I had buttons.
DRY! DRY! DRY!