I’m making good progress on Cherry . Here are the sleeves:

The color came out a bit too muted and brown–the lavender color is more candyish in person.

I’m a few inches into the body, almost to the point where you do the eyelet row for the waist tie. I decided to knit it all in one piece, so I cast on for the fronts and back all together, subtracting one stitch from each front and two stitches from the back to account for the stitches that would have been eaten up in seaming. I placed the decreases right at the side markers (paired ssk/k2tog) but in retrospect, I wish I’d left a one-stitch divider in the middle, because the decreases right next to one another look sort of messy.

One thing I’ve messed up because of doing this is the rate of decrease–since the designer doesn’t tell you to decrease X number of times, but rather to decrease at a certain rate till you reach X number of stitches, then at another rate till you reach X number of stitches, I forgot about how I’d subtracted the seam stitches from the stitch count and started the second rate of decrease a little too early. I remembered in time for the rest of the decreases, so at least the overall waist width and length to the waist should be OK.

However, knitting everything in one piece does eliminate seaming and make it easier to keep the little birds pattern lined up across all the pieces.

Do you have any suggestions for the buttons for this cardigan? It needs little, delicate buttons. I was considering robin’s egg blue, bright red, gray, or a gray or white mother-of-pearl. I’ve also been hoarding some adorable ivory-colored buttons shaped like tiny owls, and I was considering using those, but they might be a little too bohemian or twee for this sweater. It seems like when I use them, I should make them the focal design point of a sweater.

I met up with a fellow Raveler, turtleknitter, at Lakeside Fibers on Sunday for some knitting. She’s a fellow Pacific Coast child transplanted to the Midwest, and we had a really wonderful time chatting about all sorts of things… knitting, of course, but also eating locally, bikes, and the terror of snowy Midwestern winters. (Her advice for staying warm: a good EZ Ribwarmer.) We’re planning a trip to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be heading to the local Stitch ‘n’ Bitch tomorrow night to meet some more Madison knitters.

In closing, here are some more photos from the zoo:

And we watched this giant tortoise:

slowly walk up to the other tortoise in its pen and touch noses (beaks? snouts?) with it in greeting.