No, my face hasn't exploded, but this cold just won't let go. I am now in the dry hacking stage, which pretty much sucks nuts.
My friend, Stef, and I went up to Threadbear in Lansing a few weeks ago (I'm very much in love with this shop). While wandering around, I made a sudden decision to knit a fair isle sweater. I don't really know what came over me. I think, in part, it was Eunny's Venezia Pullover (scroll down) in the latest Interweave Knits. So beautiful, so utterly inappropriate for me -- too small, I can't wear wool next to my skin, too warm for my office or home (where Len routinely pumps the wood stove up to 75 degrees). I enjoyed knitting the Philosopher's sweater, but the sweater is too big and floppy and the neckline continues to annoy me to no end. I hate wearing it.
I flipped through Meg Swanson's Knitting, which I have done many times and (finally!) decided to buy it. I haven't bought it before because, well, you may have noticed that I am maybe a little dim. Once I decided to buy the book, I was overcome with the desire to knit the cover sweater. Right Now. Threadbear, being the best shop in the universe (did I mention my love?), has Jamieson 2-ply Spindrift, so I made piles of colors. There were seven symbols in the key, so I picked 7 colors (8, actually, because I couldn't decide on the light background color). It turns out that one of the symbols is a purl of one of the colors and there are two colors so similar the difference doesn't show up in the book's photos (the light background). Since I couldn't commit to a background color (either light brown or light green), I bought just enough yarn to make a very large swatch.
The colors here are: Foxglove, Mulberry (dark purple), Atlantic, Twilight (the lighter blue) and Rye (the light green in question). My plan for the swatch is to knit one more of the charts with the Rye, then do the same charts again (except the ribbing) using the brown (the name of which escapes me, maybe Mooskit?). I was thinking that I would go down a needle size to see how I like a slightly tighter gauge. I'm pretty sure I won't do that since having a tighter gauge will introduce some serious complications: this sweater needs a multiple of both 5 and 33 stitches (the large patterns are 33 stitch repeats and the peeries in between are 5 stitch repeats), I'm getting 7.5 stitches/inch which is already tighter than the 6.75 called for. At my current gauge, I should get a 44" sweater and that is about right.
That might have been more information than you wanted. All I meant to say was: I love Threadbear. I love fair isle knitting. And I love these colors. Which is good, 'cos I'm sick to death of coughing!