I've reached the point where I'm knitting in steeks and only have a relatively small amount of the body of my jumper to knit just as the weather is hotting up again. With a wet and thundery, but not yet too hot weekend in the offing, I might just get this bit done before it's too sultry to want a by now really quite big wooly jumper on my lap.
The sleeves are knitted separately and won't be so bad to work on in the height of summer which is something to be grateful for, but I'm also at the stage where I'm moving out of my comfort zone and will have to embrace a set of new to me techniques. I followed the instructions for the steeks, which are slightly different to the only other time I've ever had a go at them (making a tea cosy) but knitting them in isn't the part of the process I'm nervous about.
Grafting, false grafting, and crocheting all await me, and all I can say is thank god for the internet. The instructions in the book are brief, although I'm quite pleased that I mastered a backward loop cast on with no trouble after totally giving up on a twisted German cast on. It made me want to cry with frustration, and honestly, the stress of it didn't seem to warrant the slightly better finish it would give. Next time.
I have June Hemmons Hiatt's 'The Principles of Knitting' which is sometimes really helpful, but one of the less mindful aspects of knitting is that there seem to be a lot of names for basically the same techniques - which is confusing. June Hemmons Hiatt certainly doesn't list a lot of things I try and look up under the name I have for them (she also has a habit of saying she doesn't see the point of certain suggested techniques which I both respect and despair over).
Crocheting the reinforcements for the arm steeks should be relatively simple - finding basic tutorials for that will be easy. I'm more ambivalent about the grafting as it's the sort of thing I'm generally clumsy at, and hot weather won't make it any more appealing to sit and work it out. For the shoulder seams, I'm wondering if a three-needle bind-off wouldn't work just as well, although grafting them will be the practice I need to attach the arms, so...
I've also confirmed that having put this much time and effort into the jumper, the casual we'll just see what happens attitude I had at the beginning has well and truly gone. It's a serious investment of time to make this thing, I like what I've got so far quite a lot (my issues around some of the colour contrast aside), I need not to do a bad job on the rest of it.