Apologies for the break - I would promise to make an effort to blog more but I know that my work schedule, which is a bit manic at the moment, is not going to let up on me for quite a while.
Despite the crazy work hours (experiments starting at 6am and finishing at 11pm), there has been yarn use. I've finished the stealth crochet project I've been working on for several months (pictures here due to family members lurking around the blog). It was a bit of a slog and there were lots of ends to weave in but the result was worth it. Thankyou very much, Ali, for the yarn.
I've also been working my way through a pair of toe-up socks for the resident radiologist. I've wanted to try this technique for a while as it gives better control over the yarn usage - once I'm past the heel I can just keep going until I've used half the yarn and then cast off without worrying that the foot isn't going to be long enough. However, all the patterns I found on the web used a short-row heel and the resident radiologist has indicated in the past that he prefers the fit of a heel-flap. With this in mind, and given that he wears his hand-knit socks daily and gives them a pretty good hammering, I decided to reverse-engineer the top-down heel-flap pattern that I already used.
It worked out pretty well. I couldn't get my head round the figure-of-eight cast on so I used the provisional method at the toe and went from there. If anyone is particularly interested in how to make the heel-flap work from the toe-up, write me a comment and I'll go into it in more detail.
The finished sock looks pretty like all my previous ones but definitely took longer to complete (though I might get better with time). The yarn is Regia 4-fadig color in a semi-solid blue (from John Lewis) - the colour is better in the picture of the balls - and the second sock is on the home straight (past the heel and part-way up the leg).
Once the second sock is done, I might manage to pick up the gathered pullover again - which still has no arms and also needs to be shortened at the hem by a couple of inches, or i might use up the left-over 4ply from the socks and stealth crochet project to make squares for my blanket!