Wow, but it's been a while. Blogging feels weird!
The K & R Travelfest '07 continued till New Year's--I was in Maumee, Ohio when I wrote before, then we went on to Columbus, then North Carolina, then DC, then back home. We got back between 1 and 2 AM on the 31st (I started unpacking anyway, till it became clear that our upstairs neighbors were not amused), mostly lazed around at home on Monday, barely stayed awake till midnight, then leapt out of bed on Tuesday to run a New Year's Day race two towns over (there wasn't actually much leaping--the race started at 11 AM, and we were nearly late).
I felt silly bringing so much yarn on our trip, but it turned out that I got to do all kinds of knitting, even when we weren't driving. I finished my Marigold socks on the way to Ithaca:
And then I tried to start a chevron scarf as my replacement easy project, but without much luck. I was trying to follow a printed pattern (from Last Minute Knitted Gifts), but I knit the first inch or so three times, switching up which yarn I used first and trying different kinds of increases (of course I forgot to take pictures). Once I found one I liked (I started the pattern with a purl row, so I could work the increases and decreases in the second row of the two-row stripe, but on the right side...), I decided that the contrast between the very multicolored Spunky Eclectic and the nearly solid STR made the STR read as totally solid--a waste, considering how great the subtle variation is when the yarn is on its own.
So I abandoned the scarf as my mindless knitting, in favor of some basic stockinette stitch socks--which I finished in North Carolina, wore immediately, and can't photograph till the laundry dries. Socks done, I started a top-down raglan with an improvised wrap front as my new mindless project.
I realized right after Christmas that it was just possible that I could finish Rachel's shawl in time to see her as we passed through DC on the 30th, provided I knit like a maniac the entire time I was in the car then minimized non-knitting compatible activities once we arrived in NC. (I worked on the socks during semi-knitting compatible activities, like computer shopping... salespeople will be talking about the lunatic with the knitting needles for months.)
Incredibly, I'd calculated correctly, because I finished the shawl the evening of our last day in NC, blocked it overnight, wrapped it up, and gave it to my sister at dinner the next day.
Here it is blocking (the stripes helped--the edges are mostly parallel), but I didn't get any pictures of my sister wearing it.
In the car on the way home, I decided I didn't like the increases in the top-down raglan (picky-ness about increases and decreases seems to be a theme), so I unraveled it to start over. That meant there were a few minutes when I didn't have any projects on the needles. I thought about trying not to cast on anything else till the first (wouldn't it be interesting to start the New Year with no works in progress? OK, maybe only to me... I think it's been since right after college that I spent more than a few minutes with nothing in progress), but we still had hours of driving at that point, so I started the sweater again. It's going fine now, by the way. I've finished the body to the waist, and no pooling so far.