How did I get so far behind on project updates?  Guess it has something to do with the fact that Kira has been sick.  She picked up some kind of infection and was on antibiotics for most of May and June, but seemed to relapse; the vet ran a bunch more tests which showed she has an an acute chronic infection.  Still waiting on lab culture results to find out what is making her sick and what, if anything, we can do to help her.

So instead of spending most of my down time doing lots of crafty things, I’ve been driving to the vet’s office with bird — and knitting —  in tow with the hopes of working on projects while I sit and wait.  The Steeping Room in The Domain is a favorite place – they don’t seem to mind Kira hanging out with me on the patio, and when Kira was at the vet’s office for a full 9-hour day they were happy to let me sit outdoors sipping tea, noshing on GF scones and clotted cream, and knitting away a few hours.

As for knitting projects, I finished the purple Aria Delicato, have nearly finished the lovely green/blue Nova Scotia version, and cast off the Double Cross Cowl.  Looks like I need to set aside a day to block these finished projects so I can get some final photos and put them away for Christmas.  I also cast on another Just Enough Ruffles (in a yarn made from recycled denim) because I can’t possibly have fewer than three projects on the needles at any given time.

Most of July was spent preparing for the summer-sporting-event-that-involves-international-competition-and-medals.  After the dust-up caused by the USOC’s cease and desist letter that claimed knitters are denigrating the true nature of the games and disrespecting athletes, I have to say my enthusiasm for watching simply evaporated.  Well, that, and the NBC coverage and online viewing restrictions (since I don’t have a TV or a digital cable subscription that includes CNBC and MSNBC).

Since most of my knitting group is participating in the knit-a-long (KAL) for the Color Affection shawl, and we planned to cast-on during the evening of the opening ceremonies, I got the idea that I wanted to make something to commemorate the event (long before I learned that using the “O” word was something only paying sponsors can do).  Project bags seemed like a good idea, since everyone working on the shawl will need to wrangle three balls of yarn throughout most of the project.  I’ll admit to being partial to any/all of Laurie Wisbrun‘s designs and her Next Stop-London fabric caught my eye  as the perfect theme for my “super secret project.”  Earlier this summer I ordered all four of the collection’s designs, went shopping for lining fabric, craft bond interfacing, and zippers, and started the process of cutting out pieces to assemble into 12 box bags.  The plan was to have the bags sewn and finished by mid-July; of course, I finished sewing them the night before my deadline – because that’s how it always works.

I brought the bags to our Wednesday night knitting group as a fun surprise.  Once everyone selected a bag, I allocated one more for a door prize at the cast-on party that Friday night at The Knitting Nest.  And I still have three left to finish – mine of course (what’s the saying about the cobbler’s kids not having shoes?), one that I messed up and need to rip out and fix, and one that simply got left behind because I ran out of time.  My only regret is that I didn’t get a photo of them all together – I created a pretty impressive stack of London-themed box bags (if I do say so myself).

The yarn I ordered from Pagewood Farm came in earlier in the month, and I must say it was even richer in color and softer to the touch than I expected. The opening ceremony / pot-luck / cast-on party (July 27) was a lot of fun – the store was packed with people, food, yarn and needles!  (I assume there were some crocheters there as well, but I only saw knitters in the section where I sat.)  After a dozen or so attempts I finally got the shawl started … and it’s well on it’s way.  No telling if I’ll actually get it finished by the time the closing ceremonies air, but it doesn’t really matter to me – I’m just happy to be knitting.