I've been having issues uploading pictures - still not resolved. Warning: heavy knitting content.
Over the Christmas break I found myself knitting the sleeves of Signild for the second time after picking up the stitches around the arm hole. There is a tutorial on how to do this posted by Bygumbygolly - I've no idea why this is the name of the site. It does make it very clear, with masses of pictures, exactly what to do. The writer explains that it is all based on Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the Top down", so of course I had to order that too.
Essentially, you work out how many stitches are going to be needed for the widest part of the sleeve across the upper arm. Then you pick up that many stitches around the armhole using a shortish circular. You knit across the top third of the stitches for the top of the sleeve. Then you begin to work short rows across the upper part of the sleeve head, picking up one stitch each row and wrapping and turning. It is all much clearer with pictures.
A website I am devoted to is Ravelry, and it never ceases to amaze me when I talk to keen knitters who have never heard of it. What I love most about it is the world wide reach of its membership. When I posted images of the Whithorn Celtic pullover on Ravelry, the first comment I received was from someone in the Falkland Islands, and the second from someone in a hill-station in India. Knitting as an international language?
Next, was this mustard cowl using a lace and bobble stitch from another stitch directory. I have been struck by how mustard and a number of different acid greens have been to the fore in recent seasons. This one picks up the mustardy flecks in my tweed Lavenham jacket.
Finally, this purple cowl, using a complex stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's "Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns". This is a Drops yarn, Nepal, a mix of wool and alpaca. I'm pleased with the stitch definition and colour. This year, I found myself stuck for a Secret Santa gift at the last minute. I'm thinking that this might go in my bottom drawer for just such an event.