Yup, y'all guessed it. My Christmas treat is to knit up Ysolda's Vivian pattern for myself. What a nice change of pace it is not to have to worry about all the ins and outs of sizing!
So far, my plan about Vivian is working out surprisingly well. Yesterday I had a very productive session working on the sizing for Ethel, and I think a few more sessions like it will get the pattern to a point where it's ready to send to test knitters. Before I left for Australia a certain issue had come up with the larger sizes, and has been hanging over my head ever since; yesterday I got it all sorted, which is a great feeling. I still have a way to go, but I'm feeling much more eager and optimistic to work on it now that the Big Confusing Problem is no longer standing in my way.
I absolutely love the way this sweater is designed. I often compare garment construction to the plot of a novel: I want to keep reading and finish the part I'm on, so I can find out what happens next. If sweater-making is like novel reading, then, the "plot" of the Vivian pattern is best compared to a twisty, turny read, with lots of clever reveals and unexpected connections, but still with a warm-hearted, comforting core of familiar, likable characters. The torso portion in particular is always harboring some new and clever development, and it makes the thing a blast to knit. Both the style (zip-up, hoodie), and the yarn (bulky) are outside of my normal range, but I'm so glad I picked Vivian as my relaxation knit. It doesn't disappoint.
Needless to say, given that I'm hooked and want to find out whodunit, my progress continues at a healthy clip. The torso and a single sleeve are completed, and the sleeve is seamed. (I have a strong aversion to using double-pointed needles larger than a size 3, and I didn't have any circulars appropriate for a Magic Loop sleeve, so I just worked it flat and seamed it. Doing it that way also meant I didn't have to worry about differences in circular versus flat gauge.) I'm really excited to see all the pieces come together in the yoke (the equivalent of Poirot announcing "You're probably wondering why I've gathered you all together..."), so I'll probably be powering through Sleeve Number Two in the next few days.