Yes, the mystery project is, alas, no more. For one thing, I went ahead and told J what the project was -- a pair of socks -- since I'm apparently inept at turning a heel with double pointed needles. It just looked so bad that I gave up on the possibility of a blocking miracle and frogged the whole thing. I'm now back to square one, with a ball of pretty yarn.
Fortunately, I'm now armed with tools that may break the sock curse for me:
Yes, those are my brand new US 1 Addi Turbos, currently working on a test sock (for yours truly) in Knit Picks Sock Garden in Geranium. Behold my toe in all its merino deliciousness, mmmm. I love love LOVE this yarn. It's so soft and knits up so nicely on these needles. I think the two circular needles might solve some of the laddering issues I was having with the dpns, not to mention the fact that these are a size smaller than the dpns (they were US 2's) so the fabric should be a little tighter. I'm just going to finish this sock and see if I've figured out where I went wrong with the heel last time, and if all goes well, I'll cast on for J's socks once this one is bound off. It won't be a surprise, but I know he wanted a pair, so it wouldn't have been that big a deal even if I had managed to pull them off.
Speaking of J, I finally finished his scarf last week, and I tried to felt it. "Tried" is the operative word here; apparently my dpn/heel ineptitude (is that a word?) decided to extend itself to my felting abilities. I put the 6' scarf in the washing machine with three pairs of jeans on a normal wash cycle -- and 30 minutes later I had a 7' + table runner. Plus, the fabric just barely softened up a bit, didn't get anywhere close to felt. Grrr. I guess I'll have to schlep over to my parents' one evening and use their washing machine, since that's what did the trick for my felted bag.
Once I finished the scarf, I cast on for a French Market bag for myself. The plan is to use it to hold my WIPs, instead of leaving them all over my couch and chair in my living room, like this:
Here you see several of my UFOs. L-R are: baby cashmerino cabled scarf, Clappy, baby cardigan (sans buttons). Hiding under the paper in the back is a big ball of cotton blend yarn from a sweater I frogged a while back.
Still contemplating yarn for Blanche-Neige. I think I may try Knit Picks merino style with a smaller needle (perhaps US 4's?) to try to get gauge. I think I figured out that if that will work, I'll probably be able to get the yarn for around $30 -- much more affordable than the 100% cashmere the pattern calls for! I am definitely forgoing the beading, however; I think the fuzzy black trim is enough embellishment. What do you think -- should I try to play around with gauge to save money on the yarn? Any tips on how to play with the pattern to make it work? Give me your imput, oh wise knitters!