I've had this done for a couple of weeks, really I have! I just haven't posted about it.
So here it is, the Alcea neckline -- and I've picked up stitches on the button side of the cardigan opening -- I'm not totally happy with it yet though, so I'm probably going to redo it before I give any instructions -- so that when I do, you'll get instructions for both sides at the same time (button and button hole sides).
Brigitte asked if I considered Alcea to be a "fair isle" or a "stranded" design. You might wonder why she asked....well, it's because I am a stickler for identifying what is true fair isle, versus a stranded design.......Alcea is a fair isle -- because it meets my requirements of: done in the traditional Shetland yarn at the traditional gauge, on circular needles, incorporating steeks, and in this case, it's an "allover" design (versus bands of OXO's, border and pirie patterns).
It turns out that my pictures of the same mysterious bird were actually two different birds -- a Red-Bellied Woodpecker (which I've never seen before but he obviously has set up house around here somewhere because he's at the feeders every day now), and the other is a Hairy woodpecker -- looks just like the Downy, only bigger.
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to let me know what you thought...it's obvious to me that there are birds that look very similar to one another -- you just have to catch that little difference in order to correctly identify them.
With consistent feeding in this cold weather, the feeders are attracting gold finches (in their darker winter coloring), purple finches, junkos, chickadees, sparrows of all sorts, cardinals, blue jays, nuthatches, as well as the woodpeckers. The pet food store is really appreciating my visits these days -- along with food and treats for Daisy and Caelee, I'm loading up on bird seed every week!
I have a confession to make.....I've been sidetracked from Alcea. I promise to get the front bands done, but I'm also working on another sweater by Nicky Epstein -- it's in the back of her latest book, Knitting Beyond the Borders -- it's done in the Jamieson's Shetland Aran -- and it's really colourful -- pictures soon! (I'm such a tease!)