Lots of reading and some knitting still going on Chez CBM. Plus a bit of Stash Enhancement, though some is purpose-bought, so it 'doesn't count', right?
I finished the kid's vest for A4A, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I hadn't knitted with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride before, and it's quite nice; good saturated teal color, not itchy to knit with, and a sort of silky feel to it, compared to the plain New Zealand wool that's the trim and stripes.
I made another Odessa hat, meaning it for the seniors' fund-raiser boutique, but my friend Irma fell hard for it, so it's a gift for her. When you leave out the beads, Odessa is a fast knit. The pattern was available via the now-defunct Magknits, and now it's free as a Ravelry download. It's one of my friend Grumperina's first published patterns, and I now understand why it's been so popular. The yarn is Schoeller + Stahl's Hobby in a cheerful yellow, retrieved from the stash. I'll make another for the boutique, and I've got some green, too.
I also finished a scarf for the foster kids' charity that my seniors' group supports. This is from some 4-year old stash, TLC Amore; the pattern was off the top of my head. There are 3 bands of [yo,k2tog] 'lace' divided by garter stitch bands at the ends, and the main section is plain garter. Amore is a ribbon of tiny boucle, and the small size of the loops avoids the usual boucle catching on the needle tips. Not the greatest yarn, and it looks better IMO in stockinette, but then there's the curl factor. Hence the garter stitch.
I've been working on a gift for a dear friend, but she reads the blog and Ravelry projects, so it's a mystery project for a while. It's coming out really well. ;D
And another friend, whatifknits, has published a 'mystery shawl' pattern, called Pangea. The finished shawl is shown on her blog, but the clues are coming out weekly, and the design is purposely worked to show off some of the pretty hand-dyed yarns we've all collected and then find don't work for many lacy patterns. Clue #1 is available until tomorrow, and the final full pattern will be available through Ravelry (I think) later this fall. This is the just-right project for some of my See Jayne Knits yarn, some that I bought when she first opened her Etsy shop. The yarn is 50%/50% alpaca and wool, in a colorway she calls 'Meadow'. I have 1060 yards, though I don't plan to use much of the second skein, or the shawl will trail on the floor, lol!
I've been very, very good at avoiding all sorts of wonderful closeout yarns at Elann all summer and fall, but Monday they were offering Lana Gatto's Prestige 100% cashmere (!!!) at $7 for 82 yards. I sharpened up my keyboard skills and managed to snare some, in two colors, a lovely Cape Cod blue and a nice Caramel tan. The Caramel will become a manly scarf for a relative (maybe my cousin in Illinois?), and the blue will be perfect for a small shawl and a scarf.
I met my dear friend Knittess for lunch on Monday, over on LA's busy West Side. Lots of knittery show and tell and chat, plus both of us have discovered podcasts and the other joys of MP3 players; she has a Zune and I've been filling up the new iPod Classic. Whenever I'm in the area, I try to stop by Stitches from the Heart, a LYS that supports the children's charity. I found some yarns for immediate-start projects: Bernat's Satin yarn in deep jewel tones for a scarf for the foster kids and in red for Irma's DGD, a request after seeing the yellow hat. The Universal Yarn Classic Worsted LP in shades of brown will become hats for the troops. This is great yarn, 197yds for $6-7, though it's not stocked by many LYSs; check the store locator at the website. BTW, so far 'my' seniors have produced over 350 hats!
My West LA visit also gave me the chance for a quick run through my favorite Barnes & Noble store. I scored lots of bargains, hardcover remaindered copies of Dick Francis and James Patterson, a couple of 35% off trade paperbacks, and the newest paperback about Anne McCaffrey's 'Pern' universe.
I picked up one new hardcover, the story of Dewey Readmore Books, the adorable cat (a pale marmalade tom >>) who put the Spencer, Iowa, library on the world map, which is going to be a quick and fun read. Even this one was at a 40% discount. Love my book bargains. The Spencer link will give you the one-page version of the story. It's a major 'Awwww' tail, um, tale. ;)