So much for Venezia providing two years' worth of knitting entertainment:
Less than three weeks for the first sleeve. This will be done by Christmas. And what will I do then?
I will probably walk around the cold city, looking for more exciting yarn and wearing this:
Pattern: Notre Dame de Grace by Veronik Avery, IK Spring '07
Yarn: Cestari Superfine Merino, color blush, a little over 4 skeins
Needles: Crystal Palace size 8 bamboo circulars
Comments: where to start, where to start... Well, I wanted to knit the sweater because of the interesting collar construction. Therefore, I knit the sleeves first (no way I'd knit two sleeves after finishing the interesting part of the pattern!). I probably knit a total of 4 sleeves: once I was trying to use size 7 needles - fabric was too dense, so I switched to size 8. Then I messed up the increases. Then I knit the two "correct" sleeves.
The collar is indeed interesting, and takes a bit of finishing work. I think there is an omission in the pattern: you are instructed to put the stitches at the middle of the back neck on a holder, but you are never instructed to pick them up or do anything with them! I decided to incorporate them in the collar (in the last few rows of the collar, knit one of the back neck stitches with the last stitch of the collar row). Seaming was a pain, and there are a few extra ends to be woven in because of the smart collar.
The "a little over 4 skeins" also proved to be a major pain, since I'd only bought 4 skeins at MD S&W. Normally this wouldn't be a problem; however, when the producer is a small farm in Virginia, it turns into a bigger and more expensive problem. That last skein cost me $22 with shipping, almost as much as the other 4 skeins (which were 50% off). Moral of the story: buy a little extra! I know I've said this before, but maybe if I repeat it enough times I'll actually obey.
I think I like the finished sweater. The sleeves are a little wonky, but they might settle as the yarn softens (it's soft now, and will bloom some, I'm sure). The collar is beautiful. I'm not sure about the rest of the sweater. Why did I choose pink? Oh wait, it was better than all the other colors in the "mega sale" bin. It was a fine knit, really - and I enjoyed it.