I hate picking up stitches. Doesn't matter how carefully I do it, I always seem to end up with too few to do 2x2 ribbing. This time, however, I think I've got the stitch pick-up from hell. The hood Tam Lin's hood is finished now that I figured out why the hood I based it on called for a three-needle bind off; instead of binding off on a wrong side so the little ridge wouldn't show, I did the opposite, so the hood has a nice little line of BO along the center of the very top.... approximately where I part my hair. Mmph. Okay. That flaw can be passed off as decorative, I guess, since it's too late to fix it.
The next step, then, is to pick up stitches starting at the bottom of one front side, go all the way up around the edge of the hood, and down the other side. I picked up as far as the middle of the hood because even my longest circular needles aren't long enough to do the whole thing in one sitting. Gah! That one side and half the hood is a little over 200 stitches. I figure I can work about 15 rows of 2x2, figure out which side the buttonholes are supposed to go on (I can never remember... men's buttonholes go on one side, women's buttonholes go on the other... I should write it on a sticky and put it in my binder along with everything else knitting-related, I know!), and depending on whether or not I've picked up stitches on the wrong side to do the YO buttonholes, BO and tackle the other side.
So far it looks like I'll have enough yarn to do the sleeves, provided I don't make them belled and I don't do any more cables. The sleeves are going to be a little tricky since the pattern I'm basing the body of the sweater on had saddle sleeves and I modified it to use set-in sleeves. This will require measuring, scribbled calculations, and quite possibly some muttered swear words. Blocking will also be tricky since I seriously doubt this monster will fit on the ironing board, and since I don't actually have a blocking board, I'll have to figure out how to improvise without involving the ironing board.
Still, the hood is apropriately voluminous and the body of the sweater has the kind of shaping I wanted, so if I can live through the stitch pick-up from hell and the sleeves, I'll probably be finished in about a week and a half. At which point I'll post pictures. PROMISE!
One last thing to add: The buttons! Mom surprised me with an Anne Choi bead that I've decided to use as one of the buttons. It's a little cylindrical thing with the words "Lux et umbra vicissim, sed semper amore" printed around it. Click Ms. Choi's name for the page with the bead and pictures of her work. She's amazing. Mine's about three quarters of the way down. It'll make a good button for Tam Lin, I think. ;)