Some of the items in that basket were started pre-vacation, but all of them (except the yellow sweater) were finished at some point during that week.
And since then... not so much knitting. It wasn't a case of knitting burnout, but rather too busy with too many other things, and not enough time. The yellow sweater still remains in a state of un-done-ness.
I finally broke my dry spell. During the Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival a month ago (which I still need to blog about!) I received a most awesome gift of knitting needles, from a most thoughtful boy.
You might not realize just how awesome they are, unless you see them fully activated.
Yep, lighted knitting needles! He had earned $5 showing Jacob sheep for another NJ breeder, and of course it promptly burned a hole in his pocket. He found these size 15 (!) neon green (!!) lighted (!!!) knitting needles at another vendor at a deep, deep discount. (You can read that vendor's account of his purchase here, near the bottom of her post.) When he gave them to me, he pointed out that now I could knit when I took him to the movies. Hint, hint...
My friend Tahara pointed out that was the size needed for the Mustard Scarf. I wanted to knit my friend Val—fellow shepherd and vendor neighbor—something from her sheep to wear when she returned to work in the fall. Val has a very interesting arrangement with her employer: she works from September until about March, while things are quiet in the farm. She takes off just in time for lambs to be born and sheep to be shorn and hay to be made... in short, all the things that need to be done on a sheep farm in the busy season. It helps that she has a skill set that is in high demand, but it is still a great arrangement.
Another friend, the talented dyer Dale of Light Brown Hare, had dyed up some of Val's yarn for her. All stealthy-like, I had Val recommend a colorway she liked, and bought a skein. I found a button to match at the equally-talented ceramic artists Koko Noelle, and armed with my lighted size 15 needles, I was in business.
The yarn was a little light to work as a single strand on those huge needles, but I used my scale to divide it in half. I knit the scarf with the yarn held double, until I ran out of yarn. Worked perfectly!
The scarf looks best when actually on a person, as Val demonstrated.
She's happy, I'm happy, my boy is happy: it's a true feel-good project!