So, it's been a while.
The last evening of November was... disheartening to say the least. I thought I had plenty of time to finish the collar--it's just a collar, after all! but. I was wrong. The collar's beautifully designed--you cast on an extra 35 stitches and then on the way back, you SSK the last collar stitch together with the first yoke stitch on the needle. And there are... um, a lot... of yoke stitches on the needle at that time. So. 35XAlot= 35 Alots. Except it's actually 70XAlot because you knit 35 on the right side, SSK, wrap & turn, and then you knit 35 back to the edge of the collar. So that's 70 Alots of Stitches. I won't do the math.
And then... about 2 hours before the deadline... I ran out of yarn. Ran out! I'd spun an extra skein a week before, just to be safe--but no, not enough. So, I went upstairs to my stash and dug out a skein of Plymouth Encore Worsted, and kept knitting. I knew I'd have to rip it out later and replace it, but at least I'd get my sweater finished!
At 2:50am Eastern time--that's 11:50 Princess Onica Standard Time, the time to which all House Cup events are aligned--I looked at the 2 inches I had left and realized it wasn't going to happen. I attempted to take my defeat picture and post it to the thread, and I didn't even make that--as I was posting, the thread got locked, and so.
This is where I was when I stopped.
Count em: 13 stitches left.
So, I cried. Then, because it was the middle of the freakin' night, I went to bed. I figured I'd finish this sucker in December and turn it in for 10 points to Detention in January.
I didn't sacrifice all my points on this sweater, mind. I earned points for the 50% and 75% turn-ins (I have to look it up to figure out how many that is, but it was a couple hundred I think, and I made those both on time). But, meantime, I'd also sacrificed my Order of the Phoenix mission in order to finish my NEWT... and so, I had 25% or so of a pair of giant socks to finish as well... sigh... I was tired. Bed was in order.
House Cup to the Rescue!
To my delight, the House Cup came to the rescue. In December, they announced that they were bringing back an idea that had been tried once before: The Detention OWL. The purpose of the Detention OWL is to finish up a bunch of projects that weigh on your mind. Well, I have all my 12 OWL badges... so I hadn't been planning to do Advanced Studies at all this term except maybe a Phoenix mission (2 pairs of socks FTW!)... but I thought, wow, I could finish my sweater AND the Giant Socks and the mittens I started for my niece in December but didn't finish AND my shipwreck shawl (the need for which is, at long last, fast approaching... no need to say more here). So, I proposed a Detention OWL at 3:01am on January 1--because, they were only accepting 60 candidates, and over the course of a couple of weeks I realized I must do this project.
The project I proposed is OWL worthy but, for me, fairly modest. Knitting the rest of the socks... done.
Those are on Size 13 men's feet, by the way...
Spinning 40 rolags (the brown is wool I bought--all I had left of the Giant Alpaca bag was gross and very hay-filled)...
which I carded during the Super Bowl, by the way, into 200 yards of 2-ply yarn...
That's what I agreed to as my 50%, which got turned in 2 days ago. I still have to knit the collar, knit the second mitten, and knit the last several rows of the shawl to get my badge.
Today I started knitting again. I've completed about 2 inches of the collar (I had to rip out all the store-bought yarn, so when I started this morning, I had about 10 inches of collar left). After the collar comes the button band, and then end weaving and washing and blocking. And then--the wearing! That's the bit I'm looking most forward to... it seems the heat in my office may not actually get fixed until summer of 2015... I'm glad this cardigan is warm.
And just for a happy thought--here's a Flying Spaghetti Monster wishing you Happy Valentine's Day.