I can be a bit paranoid sometimes when it comes to Christmas knitting. I generally start thinking about it in the late summer or early fall, and planning/collecting yarn/searching for patterns often consumes a great deal of my mental energy (only because it's so fun!). I am always scared that I won't have enough time to finish everything, and as a result I'm usually finished well ahead of time.
When it came to the Main Street Fair Isle, however, I was afraid that perhaps this project would sit on the back burner for a while, well beyond the Christmas season. I just wasn't all that motivated to work on it. First I had all those gauge issues with the first sleeve, and then I had to start the body 3 times (with more gauge problems), and I was getting tired of looking at all that maroon.
I decided to pick the project up again after finishing my sister's socks, and to try knitting the second sleeve starting with more stitches. This solution was deemed far more acceptable, and before I knew it I had 2 finished sleeves! Then I figured that I should finish the main part of the body and at least attach the sleeves, and soon I had reached the fair isle part. Who knew that a couple nights of tv would suffice to get all that accomplished?!? Clearly I have been doing way too much knitting on teeny tiny needles, or with fiddly annoying mohair (read: Kidsilk Haze).
So, fair isle! I'd never done it before, but how hard could it be, really? Then I realized that parts of the pattern called for 3 colours to a round. Ah, crap.
Green, blue, and purple on one round (at the left), and then maroon, blue, and green on the next round (at the right). That calls for a lot of floats in the back!
Also, I put in a lifeline in case I screwed things up beyond repair. This part of the fair isle turned out fairly well, but there are parts where I think I could have been a little looser with the floats (I tried my best). There is a bit of puckering here and there, but on the body the sweater lies more or less flat so it's not too bad. I think a good blocking should also even things out a bit.
The fair isle got much easier as I went along, mostly because the later rows only called for 2 colours per round (another lifeline couldn't hurt, though).
A photo of the colourwork along with the raglan decreases.
The sweater should be pretty much done soon, way before Christmas! I'm going to make my mom do the bind-off at the neck, because she's probably better/more experienced at doing a sewn k1,p1 bind-off than I am. So she'll get to participate in the making of her own Christmas gift, beyond providing commentary on the gauge/sizing. Oh, and she paid for the yarn, too. =P