As of tonight, it's looking possible that the design for the Mystery Knit will get submitted. But thanks to the suggestions yesterday, I think my NEXT Knitty submission will be an article on how to do design (and how to copy sweaters you already own and like the fit of). However, I also had some other requests for info that I thought I'd answer here.
First, comfort knitting. Sheepish Annie's going to be putting in some serious couch time, due to an icky round of pneumonia. (Having done my share of pneumonia, my only, lame, advice, is to get lots of sleep.) Anyway, she wondered if we had suggestions on what to knit while she's doing time. I'd say, it depends on how sick you are and how good your concentration is. (When I'm sick, my knitting goes all to hell.) If you're planning on being sick for a while, something big is good. An afghan is nice, you can snuggle under it as you go, and you can choose the pattern by how good your brain's working -- garter stitch if you're delierious, or some kind of cable or lace if you can actually concentrate. Lots of people knit socks as comfort knitting, and those work great too - they're small but you can knit a million of them and have a use for every last one. (Wear 'em mismatched if you have to.) When sick I go for something simple (like the Mystery Knit, now), and when I'm really stressed I embark on complex, epic projects that take a lot of time and attention to keep me from thinking about whatever I'm stressed about. Usually this translates to big, complex doilies on small needles with crochet cotton, but if I'm ever in a situation like that again, I'm considering doing a Shetland Shawl.
So, anyway, food for thought, for Annie. Anyone with any thoughts, leave 'em, or pop over to her blog and leave thoughts there. Or both. I'm curious about what other people think is comfort knitting.
There was also a dye question, namely, should a person practice on the good yarn they plan to finally use, or should they learn on cheap stuff and work up? I'd say this one depends on what you're doing. If it's a general feel for the process, go for the cheap stuff. If you're trying to get an exact color, or perfect a more complicated dye process like dip-dyes, use whatever yarn you intend to dye for the final project. If you're trying to find a cheap substitute, the most important thing (I think) is to match fiber type. If your final deal will be wool, practice on wool. If it's alpaca, practice on alpaca. IF IT IS SUPERWASH, PRACTICE ON SUPERWASH. I continue to boggle, even now, at the difference in superwash and regular wool, when it comes to dye uptake. (Does this make sense? I'm drugged.)
The suspense continues on the Mystery Knit. The one slight silver lining is, I'm knitting off both ends of the ball of yarn and the husbeast is impressed as hell with my cleverness. (We don't need to tell him that's a pretty traditional thing and not my original, idea, okay.) I've got about two inches to go before I get to the shoulder bindoff. Still no idea if there's enough yarn.
I hate suspense.