I finished my second shawl of the summer--just in time for the thermometer to reach 100 degrees. This is the fantastic textured shawl by Dark Trico, which is available for free through Ravelry. I knit it using a soft green hue of Ultra Alpaca, which I had originally used for my first garment project several years ago. I'm really happy with the way this turned out, and I can see myself loving this during winter visits back to Chicago. [Ravelry link]
I've also cast on for 2.5 other sweaters (the .5 is still a swatch, but will be my traveling project this summer). Above is Anais by Nora Gaughan, which I'm knitting from a large cone of sport weight alpaca I bought for $10 at a yarn sale. It's a really deep eggplant color. I'm thinking of trying to make long sleeves ('cause what good is an alpaca tank top?), and am also thinking of modifying the neck line a la Carrieoke. Although I realize that the lace inserts are the whole idea behind this pattern, I do think it makes quite a nice shape without them. We'll see.
The final project is that second vintage sweater from one of my previous posts--the one with the placket neck. I was nearly finished with the back of that a couple nights ago. I started winding a second skein of yarn when I realized that a colony of mites (insects) had decided to hatch their babies in the box of yarn. If this sounds gross, let me tell you, it was. The yarn got put in zip lock bags and was banished to the freezer for 3 days. It's currently defrosting (to give the remaining eggs a chance to hatch, if they haven't died yet) and will then go back into the freezer for several more days. After that, I'll vacuum the dead insects off, and try to forget about what happened as I knit up the rest. This freezing procedure is similar to what we do in museums when there are infestations (a fairly common occurrence). I've never heard of wool-eating mites, so I'm thinking they just liked the dark cozy yarn-in-shipping-box environment. Blech.