I can't reply to you directly because of the blogger silliness about not giving me real email addresses to respond to. Thanks, however, for your complementary feedback. I really appreciate it. And I hope you all (and I mean everyone out there, not just Lyle, Meg and Famous Steve) are having as wonderful a holiday and I am.
Irtfa'a progress report: I am finished the body of the shawl and I am ready to begin the edging. I might actually have this done by New Years, and I am really excited about that. To address Steve's comment on how I knit lace, I do lock myself in a room and concentrate on nothing but the pattern until I know it well enough to take it outside the room. And if that never happens, I stay in the room.
I am fortunate enough, you see, to have a knitting room. Actually it is a necessity, because I have 9 cats in the house who all are very interested in whatever I am doing, and want more than anything else to "help". Now, from cats, "helping" means that they all help me understand that I am not paying enough attention to the cats. Who, they will also tell you, are underfed, unloved, attention starved angels who never claw furniture, poop outside the box or chew on yarn. Alrightee.
So I have this knitting room, which my husband does not begrudge me, as he has an entire basement for his toys (and I do mean toys), and I spend lots of time in there when I am knitting. I have music, a place to put my diet coke, I can bring the phone in there, and many hours are spent knitting away while my husband builds his models of WWI biplanes. But it gets kind of lonely in there after a while, separated from all the kitties and the husband, and lately I have really felt kind of sequestered and lonely. While I really want to spend every moment working on the shawl, I started to hate the prospect of spending all that time locked away, alone.
Slightly blurry picture complements of lightning fast hamster. These are Roborovski hamsters (or Robo hamsters), there are five of them and they are all males (because I really don't need more hamsters). They are a naturally dwarf breed from Mongolia, and oh my Bob are they cute. It's like having my own personal Cute Overload right there in the knitting room. They only get 5cm long at full maturity. 5CM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't hold them, I can almost pet them, they're not real bitey (although the scary giant finger from above did get nipped, but that was my fault for being scary and giant on day 1) And they live in a habitrail knockoff in my knitting room. I can't tell them apart, and they move so fast I never know who I'm looking at, or else I'm laughing so hard at them I can't see. I have named them collectively "the Horde".
I have the bestest husband in the world. I'll bet no one else got a Mongol Horde for Christmas.