I forgot to mention that some knitting progress has been made on The Sweater. I've begun the sleeve (thank you, Maggie Righetti, for your sterling dicussion of picking up stitches in Knitting in Plain English) and knitted the stockinette all the way to the row where the intarsia begins.
(No, I'm not going to show you a picture, because it doesn't look like anything.)
The sweater I'm working on is the one with the skulls from Stitch 'n' Bitch. I'm not really a skull sort of fellow, so I'm replacing the skulls with something I worked out on my own, based on a design motif from a turn-of-the-century building here in Chicago. It's simpler than the skull and, I'll be honest, I like the idea of making something nobody else will be wearing.
I've decided not to start the intarsia until I come back from Texas. I'm entirely too distracted right now.
The how-to descriptions of intarsia that I've found have been less than clear, so I'm going to be pretty nervous until I've done a few rows and (I hope) looking at the actual work-in-progress answers some of my questions about how certain things have to be handled. I have cobbled together everything I can find in books and on the Internet, and since some of them contradict each other I'm going to follow Maggie's advice and use my common sense when I come to forks in the road.
Of course, my common sense is famously lacking, so if worse comes to worse this thing will wind up with plain sleeves.
Or sleeveless. Hey, I don't work on my upper arms for nothing.
I keep telling myself, it's only a sweater. It's only a sweater. It's not cardiac surgery and it's not the bar exam. Fussing over a new technique for a few hours until I get a grip on it beats the hell out of knitting garter-stitch washcloths and ribbed scarves forever and ever.