The GR pattern's easy, and with ML, there's no chance the needles will slide out or be misplaced during transit, or, more likely, during exploration by inquiring nephews. :)
Before I left, I received this wonderful box of bday goodies from GK (with help from MK at The Knit Knack). And then while I was in Pittsburgh, GK took me to Natural Stitches, where I bought this and this, which pretty much took up the last bit of room in my suitcase. Except for the coolest of cool needle sizers, a bday present from JG, which I likewise needed to save a tiny bit of room for.
While in Pittsburgh, I also spent a memorable afternoon at The National Aviary, where we were lucky enough to arrive just as the birds in the rain forest room were having lunch--and we got to help! With my nephews, I volunteered to hold various avian delicacies (live and dead) high in the air so the birdies could snatch them as they flew by. Could there be anything more fun? (Nope.) Then it started to "rain," and we watched the birds bathe and preen. An extra treat for me was listening to the woman from the Aviary staff answer a zillion questions (mostly from my nephews) about the different birds. She knew everything about every bird.
And now for an abrupt change of subject (because I can't think of an elegant transition), in my next post, I'll have some things to say about progress (and lack thereof) on my MIL's Simple Yet Effective Shawl (in Kraemer's Alpaca, DK weight, which knits up nicely on US 10s) which was coming along NICELY...
and nearly finished until I discovered THIS MISTAKE:
Yes, I am an idiot--I totally screwed up this garter st stripe by purling instead of knitting 18 stitches. Who knows why. And I didn't discover it until about 25 ROWS LATER! 25 LONG ROWS, I should say, with yarn overs that I sometimes lose track of.
I spent all of this morning working to correct my mistake. I'll say more about what I did next time. It probably wasn't the most efficient approach, so if anyone has advice I will be happy to hear it.
In the meantime--and on a happier note--I think these are my fav FO of 2008: