Yesterday I was talking about my swatch, and here it is:
This is the third one I did, and is the correct stitch count per inch at long last! I slogged through the rest of the collar and got started on the body. I only did a couple rows of the body, enough to establish the increases. Those couple of rows were enough to make it easier going now that I'm using the larger needle size. 3.5mm needles and worsted/ aran weight yarn don't mix all that well, no matter how good your needles are! I'm not sure how much I will get done on this daily... I'm sorta aiming for around 10 rows, but since it will be over 300 stitches at the underarm before dividing for the sleeves, that number is definitely negotiable! I'm taking this project and Raith's socks with me on the drive to the airport, so I will have 3 solid hours of knitting time, and possibly more if I wait with Derek for his flight!
I want this project to be one of my "mindless" ones, which means that I don't really have to think. Follow the directions on the pattern, and "just do it"! I like these kinds of projects for the break from the brain-busting that some of my designing does. It's a treat to be able to just sit and knit and not have to think about what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, and getting it written down in a way that resembles English. It's relaxing and soothing in a way that is hard to describe. I enjoy designing... I really do, but I also like to zone-out and feel the rythym of the stitches being formed by my fingers. All that being said, I am changing the type of increases that the pattern calls for. It calls for all eight increases to be standard m1 increases. While this type will serve the purpose, I really prefer to have mirrored increases, especially in a place as visible as a raglan sleeve. The increases I do are a type of lifted increase that I saw in a book once, and they give it a very nice look IMO. They don't take any more time, and I do them without really thinking about it anyway... kind of like how I do a ssk for any decrease paired with a k2tog, or a sl1 k2tog psso for any centred double decrease.
In unrelated news, I found the other missing pattern for my UFO afghan. I was searching around Ravelry a bit when I remembered a printed pattern I had found in the craft room by "SAG55". Searched a little bit more, and found the pattern I wanted on the Internet Archive. It's called Basketweave Afghan, and I remember it being a completely brainless project. It was my "bus project" for some time until it basically out-grew the shopping bag I carried it in. When I was looking at it, I guess-timated it to be around 50% done, and that's how I've entered it into my projects page. I also entered Derek's Popcorn MAM into my projects, but that pattern isn't linked in Ravelry either. I get started on that one Wednesday night!