Why, yes, I am here, and yes, I am knitting. I had a lot going on in my non-knitting life (which the five posts to my non-knitting blog will attest to--happy to send you the link if you give me an email address). My oldest boy graduated from high school, I had a lot of work to do (yay), and I was deeply involved in cleaning things (boring but good).
I did plod along on my Lady Jane vest, enough to where I can share a photo of its progress (the top in the photo is the bottom of the vest). The lace border along the bottom is very pretty, but lumpy, so it will need to be blocked well to look its best. I am loving the yarn. It has very subtle, but interesting variations in the color that give a lot of depth and texture. There are so many fibers in Mermaid that it's easy to take advantage of the fact that they take dye differently! I am assuming the darkest is the silk! Now I am up to the part where I have an easy pattern to knit away on until it is 14.5" long, so it is good car and activity knitting. When I get to the cable, I'll have to do that at home!
Of course, I have the second Hopscotch sock in reserve, ready to be my main portable project at a moment's notice. I got a little done on it, but am in no hurry. Still love the pattern.
Here's what's been keeping me going since Saturday. As I mentioned before, I think, the LYS started its knit-along of the Aeolian pattern from Knitty. I thought I'd do it with them to support the shop, and so I could answer questions when the person who's actually leading it is not there (I already have discovered that if she is there, even if someone directly asks me a question, she will answer--guess her name's Suna, too--I'm sure she is just anxious to get everyone going well). So, a couple of folks and I just spent the day trying to get it going, while the folks that needed hands-on help got that.
The most fun part of the day, though, was that the daughter of the owner of Sea of Beads came to the shop and brought a huge selection of beads to use in the shawl. It was really fun to see which beads people chose for their projects. I had a bit of a hard time choosing mine. As you can see in the photo (easier if you click), I got matte ones with a bit of iridescence in a color just barely darker than the yarn. I decided to not get the really shiny ones because I was afraid they'd be distracting from the pattern. There was also a completely matte possibility almost the exact shade of pale purple as the yarn, but that might have been too unobtrusive. I've been placing beads like mad ever since. I am glad I had a size 12 crochet hook, which works fine with size 8 beads.
I now have 7 finished of 12 required repeats of the "yucca" lace pattern that forms the base of the shawl. (There are four repeats finished in the photo.) I am using a size 4US needle and it's a bit loose looking but fine for lace. One or two people who knit tightly also used size 4, and theirs is a bit solid looking. Swatching is my friend.
Well, I have to get started with work, so I'll leave you until later in the week. Sorry for the lack of posting, but there was not much to show you!