There's been some progress made on the fair isle project:
The first motif on the body is finished. I changed the colors in the center to add further contrast in the background. It looks a bit loud here, but the red-orange color will brighten up the sweater without being too overwhelming (I hope). It's been so much fun getting re-immersed in fair isle knitting. I love how the pattern evolves on every row, even though each row takes forever (364 stitches, #2 needles).
I started with the sleeve because I was too lazy to do a swatch. Luckily my gauge is right, although the yarn I am using (Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight on size 3 needles) is not producing as dense a fabric as the pattern calls for. The safety pin is placed at the point when I felt I was not using my prefrontal cortex excessively to keep track of the pattern. The next marker, where I stopped knitting to take this picture, is where I felt the knitting became primarily striatum-dependent. By that I mean that I could knit without paying much attention. I had developed the habit necessary to following the pattern without having to keep it in working memory. As each row was worked I was able to recognize that I was changing the yarn appropriately, getting a little pulse of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens each time. I put it away to play with the fair isle sweater, so I'll need to use my prefrontal cortex for a few rows when I get back to it. I'll need to reclaim it from Mr. Brown, who has recognized its value as a pillow.