I finished! This was my other project I really wanted to finish for the trip, Azami from Twist Collective in the yarn recommended in the pattern, Valley Yarns something marvelously cheap.
I made the medium, it fits perfectly, just enough room to put a slim tshirt or tank top underneath it. My theory is that because in Belgium this time of year the temps are going from lows of 40s to highs of mid 60s, I will need lots of layering stuff. (That sentence is awkward, I apologize, but I don't have the energy to fix it right now) This seemed like a great layering top b/c it is fine as a piece on its own or as a jackety type thing.
The hood is crazy long here, after this pic I sprayed it with water and threw it in the dryer, it shortened up by about 4 inches, I think, I know that now it is above my waist where as here it is most definitely below my waist.
The only concern I have about this top is that the hood will be heavy and pull the front part towards my neck so I will have to keep pulling it forward. Only time will tell.
I absolutely recommend this pattern, the directions where easy to follow and when I had a question for the designer she answered back in a few hours! Very helpful.
I only made one alteration from the pattern (how unlike me!), I had to shorten the sleeves, my lace gauge must be way out of whack b/c the pattern says to start the lace on the sleeves (top down) after X inches, well I did, and I ended up with sleeves that hit at about my thumbnail. Now, why I didn't use this information to realize that the hood would end up too long as written, I'm not really sure, oh brain - why don't you process information in a more timely fashion?
At this point shortening the hood would involve undoing the seaming of the garter stitch in the front V, ripping all of the collar and hood border out, washing the yarn and redoing it. Which, if I were a teensy bit more of a perfectionist I would do, but since I can make it the right length by cheating and throwing it in the dryer, I'm happy with that.
We are leaving in 10 days. OMG!!! So on Sunday I still had 12 days of knitting left before the trip, so I cast on for something else. Redhook, by Jared Flood, I thought that would also make a nice layering piece. More to come on that - either way, even if I can't finish it in time for the trip it will be good for fall! I am going to make it a bit shorter than the pattern shows, as cute as that length is on the model it does not look great on me, I'm just too short. I think shortening it up by about 2" will move it from just below the hipline to just above the hipline, a much more flattering place for a garment to fall on me personally.
My head is full of lists, lists, lists - lists for the dog/house sitter, lists of things to buy, lists of things to pack, lists of things to pack in this bag and not that bag, etc - and I am truly starting to get excited. Not excited like "oh yes, we are going to belgium in 10 days, I'm SO looking forward to the vacation", excited like I can't seem to focus at work, and I can't think about anything but preparing for or being on the trip. Woohoo!!!!
In other random news I've been following the Monkey See blog on NPR (she is hysterical, give her a try), and she is doing an "I will if you will" book club, first they did Twilight, which was very amusing, and now they are doing Moby Dick.
I have to say, I decided to do it b/c I wasn't sure under what other circumstance I would ever be coerced to read Moby Dick (which, btw, you can download free for ereaders from the Guttenberg project, along with many other free books that are in public domain).
Warning - book review ahead!
The thing is - while Melville was full of way too much exposition about whaling life, devices on whale ships, whale genealogy (most of which is wrong), whale anatomy, whale skeletons, how to kill a whale, and once killed, how to turn said whale into oil - even with all of that, which sometimes makes you want scream in its absurd thoroughness - the book is amazing. I wish it didn't have such a bad rep.
Even though I know the end, I think everybody knows the end, I couldn't stop myself from thinking that maybe this time Ahab would win, or have a sudden snap of sanity and decide that Moby Dick was a wonderful, amazing creature and let him go free. It clear from the beginning that Ahab is cuckoo for the white whale and sees no reason, but his men follow him despite or and somewhat because of his madness, and I have to say I probably would have too.
Taking a nutter like him and making him somebody you are not only rooting for, but actively admiring by the end of the book - THAT is a feat of penmanship.
If you haven't read it, you should, it's not as scary as you think it is.