I finished the Ropes and Picots sweater this evening.
(Slightly blurry mirror photo)
Here's a better photo but the color is less true:
It fits very well. I'm glad I chose the size I did and not a larger size. For a while, while knitting on the sleeves, I was concerned they'd be too tight, but this is the kind of sweater that wouldn't look so good with big floppy sleeves. (I still think I can wear it over a turtleneck type shirt when it gets really cold. I have it over a t-shirt in this photo. It is a VERY warm sweater, probably because the yarn I used is part alpaca).
I used KnitPicks' "City Tweed," in the dk weight. The color is Poseidon, which is a discontinued color (I think I got this yarn for Christmas 2009 or thereabouts). There is a similar color in the catalog right now.
I have four balls of the yarn left. I'm thinking of making hats with it, and trying that link Lydia gave me, to find a place that accepts donations of mostly-natural-fibers things that would require handwashing. (I suppose in some overseas locations, washing machines might be much less common, and people might do most of their washing by hand. And also, if there's more of a tradition of using natural fibers, people might be more used to hand washing stuff.) Or I might make the Everdeen Cap from the new Weekend Hats book and use it as my AAUW Christmas gift for this year.
This is not a good pattern for people who really dislike finishing and "never get around to it." There is a LOT of finishing on this sweater - sewing the sleeves in, then picking up something like 300 stitches all around the fronts and the neck, then knitting the front bands - and like all the other hems on the sweater, you do a picot row (k 2 tog, yo) and then change to a lighter weight (they say "four ply," I used sock weight - the pattern was originally written for Rowan yarns) and do a bunch of rows. And then, you "sew down the live stitches." (Another thing I had never done before on a project, and golly day, it's an effort to do, especially with 300 some stitches). THEN you sew up the sleeve and side seams. Then you sew on eight large snaps (like coat snaps, only smaller) to provide the closure. So: lots to do once the knitting of the body and sleeves is done. I just powered through it today because I wanted it to be finished.
I do think Rosedale is going to be my "next" sweater - found the yarn and the pattern for it in my stash. But first, I do need to finish the baby hat, seeing as the due date for my niece is less than 2 weeks away at this point (and it's possible she might get here even sooner. Well, I mean, "be born" - technically she's already "here," just not in the outside world yet.)
I also ordered a hardcover copy of "Go Dog Go" to include with the hat. That was my brother's FAVORITE book for a year or so when he was a little kid, and it makes me smile to think of his kid having a copy. (I am going to include a note with the book so my sister-in-law gets the reason, if he hasn't told her or if he has forgotten.)
I always like the idea of giving books as baby gifts. Oh, knowing my brother and sister in law, this child will have lots of books, but I still like the idea of giving them.
I also found one funny little thing on my weekly trip to the Mart of Wal that made me smile. Apparently they restock the toy aisles overnight on Friday...I just slipped by the Pony stuff early Saturday morning and found to my great delight, they had a new wave of blindbags. (Dark purple, and it corresponds to "Euro Wave 4" on the wiki). So I bought a few. Got a LOT of new "background ponies," including Sea Swirl (who is seen in the show) and the Pegasus Rainbowshine (and my inner 7 year old is delighted at her color scheme: purple body with pink mane and tail). But best of all? I got a Golden Harvest. Known in the fan world sometimes as Carrot Top, and often portrayed as Derpy's friend/roommate:
(Lyra is also in this set but I didn't get one. Oh well. Maybe someday.)