Always a fascinating part of the process, this time it was as simple as a friend saying (with great sincerity and in perfect truth) "you owe me one," and adding (not anywhere near as seriously) "that cute sweater on the Yarn Harlot's blog will do."
Step 2. Acquire yarn
This took a little longer than usual. I stopped by my LYS, where they had already supplied a number of people with the ingredients for that particular sweater - my friend and I were behind the curve, since we'd been far, far away when it was first brought to the knitting public's notice. They had some possibilities left, and I bought them, because I am easily influenced in store settings, where I don't want to upset the nice person who's been helping me. Rational thought asserted itself when I got home and looked at the shade of green I had blindly purchased. I returned the yarn to my LYS (and bought something else, because, you know, I didn't want them to think I didn't like them any more...).
Mr. Internet was then involved, and a short time later, I had yarn: Cascade 220 Sport in green, black, and white. I then coerced a visiting NKD to act as a swift until it was all wound up.
Step 3. Cast on and knit the body.
This was fun, mindless knitting. I did Jeny's stretchy slipknot cast-on because it looks so nice when followed by ribbing.
Step 4. Knit sleeves
One at a time, because they're knit in the round. I like doing both sleeves at once, and I know it's possible in the round, but I've never tried it. Along about now I realized I'd been knitting on a size smaller needles for the ribbing than called for, because my needles were acquired in the Dark Ages when knitters believed what they were told and paid no attention to metric measurements (translation: my size 2 straights are 2.75 mm, not 3mm).
Step 5. Attach sleeves to body, putting everything on a circular needle.
I am about to make the absolutely stunning discovery that my gauge is different on circulars than it is on straight needles. My straight-needle knitting has a machine-like precision that delights me. And which I apparently cannot duplicate on circulars.
Step 6. Make
Despair of ever making smooth color work. Re-work first set of sheep a few times in pursuit of perfection, give up and soldier on. Toy briefly with the idea of only having three buttons (just through the yoke), buy the perfect buttons, notice there are 5 of them on the card, make button bands to accommodate all 5.
Step 7. Block.
Procrastinate first, sure that even wet blocking will fail to overcome the deficiencies of my color work skills. Wonder if this is going to involve pinning each little sheep out separately. Plunge knitting into water and have it float back up, sheep now completely and perfectly relaxed. All I had to do was get it wet? Why did no one tell me?!
Step 8. Make hat to match.