Before I show you my progress on my Sahara, I wanted to show you a pic of my mom that I took this past weekend.
Doesn't she look GREAT??!!!
She wasn't able to bring the dress she'll be wearing to the wedding this coming weekend, but she had on a very fitting black and white top so I just had to take some pictures of her. I'm so, so happy that she loves the shawl and there's no one else in the world that deserves something special more than my mom. (This pic makes her look slightly church-esque, don't you think?)
I can't wait to see how the shawl looks with her red dress (my sister, Kim, promised to take pics of her in it) and also my dad in his duds...he's the best man in the wedding. And, get this, the wedding is somewhat "cowboy themed" (since the groom, my dad's closest friend, Joe, is a bit of a "cowboy" himself)...and my dad will be dressed accordingly. There's nothing more spectacular than a Chinese man dressed as a Cowboy! I'm dying to see him all spiffed up.
Trust me, pictures will follow. (he he)
Okay, now onto the Sahara.
First, I will show you where I am in the pattern.
I've finished both short, cap sleeves and I'm onto the special ribbed diamond neckline. (I'm saving the more mindless stockinette hip and shirttail hem section for last...easier to bring to knitting.)
The sleeves look great...hopefully, they're long enough to hide my unsightly upper arms ("Time for some weight lifting!", I tell myself).
I've got a few things to mention about this pattern...
Though I love this pattern dearly and it is well written...and the designer is one of my very favorites, I found a few things I didn't like much.
-The cap sleeves are created by using short rows...and, if you have never encountered short rows before, you would be panicking when you reached the sleeve directions. There were no pictures and very, very little direction on completing the short rows. If I hadn't JUST read the directions for short row heels in the Cat Bordhi sock book, I would be ripping my hair out. It doesn't even give a slight overview of short rows or even a mention/hint on the correct way to pick up a short row wrap, which is ESSENTIAL in the knitting...so the wrap will be invisible. I find it strange that there are two HUGE pictures and detailed instructions on a provisional cast on and a make 1...and nothing for short rows.
-In the short sleeve version, I believe there is an error in the pattern. I think the directions for the sleeve cap should read for Row 3: P to 2nd m3, sm, wrap and turn. At the moment, there is no sm and I had to do some trial and error to figure out if it was correct or not. (Or, alternately, I made both sleeves COMPLETELY wrong....but I don't think I did.)
-The neckline section was a bit of a horror show. This, though, may have been totally my fault and due to sleepiness. But, I read the neckline section over and over and thought I'd understood it. I knit 8 rows of almost 100 stitches (maybe it was OVER 100) which took me 3-4 hours (and I'm a fast knitter)...only to realize that I'd misunderstood and had to rip out the ENTIRE neckline that I'd spent so much time on. And, with the Disco Lights yarn (with sequins), it was VERY slow going and frustrating. I finally figured it out, but I feel like the directions weren't as clear as they could have been. If you are working on this, email me and I can let you know what to avoid.
Besides that, I love these aspects of the pattern:
-There are row counts as well as measurements as you go along and that is extraordinarily helpful. I wish every pattern had this.
-I like the way each part of the Sahara has its own directions under bold headings...with an accompanying schematic of the whole sweater.
-The Sizing Tips are great....I'm able to measure myself as I go along and compare it to the measurements listed. If it's not looking big enough, there are directions on how to fix it and adjust. If it's too small, I'm all set, too. The bust, waist and hips areas are all adjustable. Very nice!
So, it's been a bit "dry" this week with my sweater, but I'm slowly plodding along and it's looking like there is an oasis ahead. Wish me luck!
P.S. I'm getting a yarn fix tonight from Heather of Sereknity and also a fiber fix from HollyEqq of Oceans of Fiber in the mail soon. I'm soo excited!!!!
P.P.S. Thanks to everyone for your compliments on my glasses. I feel MUCH better now. (I'm still sticking to the contacts, though....)