cue hallelujah chorus from handel's messiah

Yes, it's true, I finished knitting something!

I checked my Ravelry projects the other day and it turns out I started this thing in April! That's utterly ridiculous. I blame everyone but myself. I diligently swatched and got gauge with Valley Yarns Southwick, and LBT ended up devouring 1.5 more balls of yarn than it should have. Unless some other creature was sneaking up in the night to chomp on my yarn, which seems unlikely, then either this pattern grossly underestimated its yarn needs, or the yardage for Southwick is incorrect. I see no other options--knitter incompetence highly improbable. So I had not 1 but 2 hiatuses (hiatusi? sounds like some kind of massage), waiting for additional yarn to arrive from WEBS.

All things considered, this pattern was pretty easy. The lace pattern, unfortunately, was a bit too complicated to memorize, but was easy to keep track of nonetheless. I added some shaping on the top a la LicketyKnit, and also added some length to the top while decreasing the length of the armholes. My only complaint is the final finishing along the neckline, which is bizarre; as written, you pick up stitches along the 2 sides and back--but not the front!--and knit a few rows before binding off. So now you've got a few rows of fabric jutting off the neck, completely disconnected from the front of the neckline. Attaching the neck trim to the front was easy enough, but they never actually instruct you to do so, which seems odd and unfinished.

Among the knitting tasks I dislike most is picking up stitches. For the armholes, the pattern says to pick up stitches with the right side facing, so of course I promptly did it the opposite way, and didn't realize until I finished knitting and bound off. Oops. Looking at the projects on Ravelry for LBT, I think I would prefer it the "correct" way, but it's not worth ripping out. And for what it's worth, I did manage to get a clue and do it correctly around the neck.

I'm happy with the look of the Southwick yarn, but am concerned about stretch--I fear the weight of the bottom will pull the whole thing down as I wear it, potentially exposing my undergarments and (non-existent) cleavage. I guess we'll see. The yarn was a bit splitty to work with, but soft.

I've also been busily slaving away on some kitchen-themed items for the Knit It Forward swap. These will be off in the mail tomorrow to my swap buddy.

When I ordered the last ball of Southwick from WEBS, I also ordered some yarn for my second summer top--the Josephine Top. I did not necessarily intend to use Valley Yarns again, but it was the only cotton blend they had in the right weight--for a reasonable price. So I've got 8 balls of Longmeadow in colorway Wisteria, which was so cheap they were practically giving it away. I'm just swatching now, but hope to actually finish this before the summer's over. Dare to dream.