Here is the story of the FO that I haven't even mentioned.
Once upon a time (last year? longer than that??) a very lovely friend sent me a fabulous package that contained, among other wonderful things (like knitting note cards!), a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Devon colorway:
The yarn was special. It took a long time for me to figure out how to both show off the lovely color and utilize the delicious squishability factor of the yarn, without overwhelming it with some complicated pattern.
I was finally prompted to make this a traveling project when the stars aligned to make a trip to southern California possible at the start of the school break. I had meanwhile just taken a look at Knitting New Scarves (Ravelry Link)
I tried a simple cable in a narrow scarf, thinking I'd be able to wrap it around once or twice, the cable only revealing itself on close inspection:
The cable disappeared almost completely (granted, I knit it on a st st background rather than reverse st st) (thought it did catch the interest of a young teenager in line at the Twilight premiere as we all jumped up once they opened the theater, then came to a sudden stop - and the girl in front of my friends and I in line remarked, 'that's cool!' - which felt great - interesting the young ones in the craft, you know?) and I wasn't happy with the improvisation.
It occurred to me to try something along the lines of the Tilted Blocks scarf (Rav link)
It worked out:
I used this pattern as the basis for the scarf, but changed directions with the blocks a few times rather than just keeping them going on the diagonal, and I put in a few squares at random that are knit in stockinette or stripes of stockinette and reverse stockinette, rather than having it be completely garter stitch. A great traveling project, and the scarf is the perfect length with just one skein!
This came out absolutely fabulous and I am looking forward to wearing it once back in the temperate environs of Atlatic Canada. For now, in the Rockies, I'm still using a thicker, neutral colored scarf, but this one is calling my name. Thanks, MH!