yes, i'm still here. its been a while though. i've been balancing work and hosting my mom which hasn't lent itself to much time for photographing my work, or writing about it for that matter. but, the good news is that while my mom was here, i did secure a healthy amount of knitting time. hooray!while my mom was here, she raided my knitting book collection and copied a bunch of patterns, so she'll be set for awhile (especially after her new acquisitions from school products and purl). you'll be happy to note that, of all the yarn shopping we did together, i succeeded in not purchsing any additional stash enhancers! although, at times, it took an act of sheer will to get out the door of the yarn store without even one measley ball of wool for yet another hat ... just one more? most of my knitting time has been spent plugging away on the urban aran. and i'm still not sick of that awesome cable motif on the sleeves and center of the body (although i was very happy when the wider cable panneling was finished on the front and back pieces... wasn't my favorite thing). i'm definitely to the point where the end is in sight, but theres still a good chunk of stitches to make. so despite my urges to work on my other projects, i can't do anything but work on this sweater because i want it to be done! and i'm losing the weather-motivation... i actually thought that i might be able to wear this at least for a couple of days before the heat is here to stay... but i'm thinking that is less and less a possibility. the forcast in the city today is for 80 degrees. *twitch*the pieces all laid outpictured above from bottom to top: the back, front right, front left and the two sleeves (being worked at the same time) still on the needles. i've added about 5 inches to the sleevle-lings since this photo was taken yesterday afternoon. the end is so close i can taste it. and i'm 90% sure that all of my modifications for male sizing are going to be successful.. but of course there's always that slight fear that i might have to redo something (the sleeves are the only thing i have a tiny intuitive snag about... but we'll see). with so much ribbing, i can get away with murder while blocking.here's a question about blocking: i block virtually everything using the TOTAL IMMERSION method, aka soaking each piece in a bath and pinning it out to dry (for a few days). i've had the best results with this and i like it because i feel like i have the most control. but this pattern calls for the collar to be worked after seaming (and hence blocking). since its a ribbed collar, i'm worried about getting it to behave like the rest of the blocked piece after i knit it. i dont want to immersion-block the whole thing again, but i feel like steaming or spraying the collar alone will be frustrating and ... less than desirable. since my other sweaters have been top down and in-the-round, i haven't really had this problem before. i always blocked after the whole thing was done. and the ribbing is what really makes it interesting (or frustrating.) any suggestions? (this probably shouldn't be a problem, i'm just sooo anti-other blocking methods.)in other news: my roommate asked me to teach him how to knit(!) - i was wondering if the day would ever come. it was probably just a matter of time being around me night after night on the couch. producing something with my hands while watching this or that. ha! chalk one up for our team! he actually picked it up a lot faster than i thought he would, and definitely faster than my first time! dont tell him but i took a picture of his first swatch.m's first swatchand, if you're still reading this long post: i'm still working on forbes, every once in a while. when i need a little merino dk love in my life. forbes forest in all of its curling glory...< <>stop by and say hi. and keep on knitting.