But I do manage to slip in some knitting time every evening. I'm plodding away on Julia Farwell-Clay's Bartok Tunic from the most recent Interweave Knits. I finally finished and blocked both sleeves and now have advice for anyone who wants to make this sweater.
As you know from previous posts, I've worried about my yarn choice, Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran. If I were to make this again, I'd use a wool or wool/alpaca blend. While I love the feel of the Amy Butler yarn, it doesn't make for nice colorwork. I'm an accomplished stranded knitter - I've knitted the Handstrikket and many other colorwork projects, but this is my far from my best work. I think most of the problem is the yarn which isn't the least bit forgiving. With a wool yarn, the spaces between the stitches fill in nicely and give a smooth, even fabric that hides any small missteps. This yarn instead yields what I guess some would call stitch definition. I just call it kind of ugly.
This yarn would have been better off knitted at a tighter gauge, too. I was able to get gauge easily and thought it would be okay, but if I did it again, I'd recalculate the entire sweater at a 4.5 spi rather than 4 spi, or selected different yarn altogether, an easier choice.
My second suggestion is to either do the colorwork all in one color as Julia designed OR to use intarsia for the bird motif. I stranded part of the design at the bottom and tops of the birds and it's pretty chunky looking, especially given the heavy worsted yarn. I should have done the blue vines in four separate intarsia sections and done the birds as two separate intarsia sections. Oh well, live and learn.
The sleeves do look pretty when they're folded into place; they should nice on the tunic. I started the front last night and included more ease than usual because I want this sweater to fit like a tunic and not a fitted cardigan. I should be able to fly through the sweater now - assuming I don't fall asleep during the endless swath of stockinette. :-)