i didn't want that cigar, anyway.

(As in 'Close, but no…')

The two-week sweater challenge was helped and hindered along the way:

Help: Two cross-country plane flights, all the way to O'Hare.
Hinder: Strangely, O'Hare is not as far away from Seattle as you might think.

Help: Spending the better part of that first week at a knitting conference, where it's expected to be found knitting in the bar, in the lobby, in the restroom, at any time of the day or night.
Hinder: Running a booth to sell your product during said event seriously cuts into the knitting time. I mean, what was I supposed to say?: "Gee, I'd really like to write up your order, but I'm picking up stitches for my sleeve cap right now."

Help: Spending the better part of that second week at home, no longer at the trade show.
Hinder: Spending the better part of that second week at home, filling and shipping out orders from same trade show.

Quality problems, all.

But still, the valiant effort got me this far:
… And then the quality problems continued!

What to take to knit on at Camp? (No, not THE knitting camp with Meg Swansen, but Acorn Street's annual retreat at Sleeping Lady Resort outside Leavenworth, WA. Easier to get to, and just as thrilling.)

In the spirit of setting crazy goals (kind of a theme around here), I decided to start "Valencia" from Chrissy Gardiner, and attempt to finish it at camp.

I think I've stumbled on a good recipe for Camp contentment: rather than wildly overpacking with six large projects, none of which I stand a chance of finishing, I brought a sprinkling of small UFOs, all in the "nearly finished" stage. I packed one for each full day of camp, with the idea of starting my day on one, knitting on it to completion, and then spending the remainder of the day on Valencia.

And it worked!

Day 1: on the drive up to camp, I worked on the cuff of my green Cat Bordhi Footprints socks, in a simple rib made to look like bamboo. Result? Binding off as we drove in the driveway of Sleeping Lady!

Cocktail Hour, Day 1: casting on for Valencia. (Note to self: counting and placing markers and joining in the round made immeasurably harder due to presence of gin. Just sayin'.)

Day 2: pulled out an adorable vintage baby hat pattern from Kristin Spurkland's recent book – in fact, the hat I started and worked on during the last trip to Victoria with the Sisterhood. Embarrassed to find that it was closer to completion than I'd realized. Yup, all over but the Kitchener, baby.  Even the little button-up chin strap was done! (Which fact I discovered after I'd cast on and worked about 2" on a new one before the original fell out of the bag.)

Day 3/4: saved the second Bamboo sock for the drive home on Day 4, and lo and behold I managed to bind off as we drove on to Bainbridge Island, where I'd left my car at my friend's house!

And Valencia? She rocked and rolled!

Got to the waist decreases after the first day of work; to the bust increases after the second day. And although I didn't make my goal of finishing it at camp, I stand a good chance of finishing it today, which will make it a sweater in A WEEK!