Well, I've finished something. It's a miracle. It's blocking right now (on pins rather than wires; I was feeling lazy), and given the heat and how dry it is today (95 degrees and 30% humidity right now), I'm guessing it'll be ready soon. But I couldn't wait to post, so you'll get the blocking shots.
Here's the long shot, not so good because of the pins, but you get the idea.
And a much better shot up close. I love the way this looks; it reminds me of some of the Arts and Crafts grapevine motifs, although I know that it's meant to be more evocative of blackberries. Either way, it's a good thing.
There it really does look like blackberry brambles (if there were only some poison oak in there, it'd be absolutely realistic!).
To recap, this is Anne's pattern Brambler (one of the Little Nothing scarves), knitted in Old Maiden Aunt handpainted yarn (colorway, appropriately enough, Bramble), 55% silk, 45% cashmere (and yes, it is as good as it sounds), on KnitPicks Options Harmony needles. I ordered the yarn from the dyer in England, and she was amazingly fast at getting it to me and very nice; I will definitely look to get her yarn again. I love that this is a one-skein wonder, as it felt perfectly all right to indulge in yarn this luxurious (although it was also reasonably priced, which helped a lot). There was no waste at all; I had this much yarn left at the end.
I will definitely be wearing this in New Zealand to keep my neck warm, no questions. Now, my last project to finish before I leave is the pair of Leaflet mitts for Older Daughter to wear on the trip; I have half a mitt and two thumbs left to go, which I think I should be able to finish with no troubles in the next week. We'll need them (and more!); the temperatures at the moment in the places we'll be visiting are ranging from highs of 60 to lows of 44 (F), so I'm contemplating just how many hand-knits I can take along. The weight restrictions on the flights are amazing. Carry-on bags (of which only one, besides a purse, is allowed) cannot weight more than 7kg, which is less than 15 pounds. Heck, a computer bag with a computer weighs that much! And the total weight for checked bags is around 40 or so pounds per person, so I've got some planning to do.
Meanwhile, I got some yarn yesterday (oops). I wandered into my favorite LYS, as I was in the area, and they'd just gotten in the order of Hand Maiden SeaSilk. Since I'd been there about a month ago when the SeaSilk rep was showing them the yarn, and I'd drooled and exclaimed perhaps excessively at the time, I figured I really had to buy a skein to show my support, right? It didn't hurt at all that one of the skeins is in colors which are not too far off from my much-sought Kestrel colorway.
The colors are even more vibrant than that in person, but you get the idea. It's 400 yards, so I'll have to think of something good to knit with it. I think it may be one of two laceweight skeins I take with me (the other is the Noro that I'm going to knit a half-pi shawl out of); that plus two skeins of sock yarn ought to keep me entertained for ten days, yes? (And, after all, it's New Zealand -- I'm guessing that they have yarn there.)
I want to thank all of you so very much for the sympathetic comments about our Atticus; they meant so very much to me, as did all of the support around our pets' indoor/outdoor lifestyle. You all certainly practice the YMMV thing, even when using words other than those in the acronym. Thanks. A lot.
Also, a small piece of business. For those of you, like me, who love Anne's Knitting Sox Fan blog (hi, Anne!), she's had to make it accessible only through emails that announce when she posts. If you want to be added to her email list, you can contact her through Ravelry, or if that doesn't work, leave a note in the comments.