First of all, thanks for all of the lovely, encouraging comments on the shrug! The latest update there is that the sleeves are sewed together and it's back on the needles to knit the last bit of ribbing.
And thanks also for the feedback on the word verification. I did get a gentle reminder from a blog-less friend of mine who regularly comments that not all anonymous commenters are bad (at least the ones who leave a name and a real comment), and have since switched it to no word verification but full comment moderation so I could allow for that sort of anonymous commenting. I'm still a bit concerned that I've been getting extra pop-up windows since I initially turned the verification off, and I am still averaging about one spammy comment a day, but at least I can easily mark them as spam and delete them. (Carolyn, to answer your question, what I meant by the pop-up windows is that I'm getting additional open windows when I did not click on anything to bring them up. Usually it's more annoying, for things like Amazon.com (except I'm not sure it was legitimate, because I certainly did not open a page for baby clothes!), or for a "click here to claim your prize" type thing. I did get a pretty nasty one the other day, though, and so far my virus scans have turned up nothing other than tracking cookies. Gtt.)
Computer issues aside...Now that the shrug is almost complete, my attention is drifting to other knitting projects. Namely this sweater that one of my online friends and I are making as a mini-knitalong. And, as it turns out, I have a lot of new techniques to learn here. So far, it's been invisible cast-on, and short rows, and that's just on the first page! (And here I thought this would be easy because basically everything is in knit stitch with no purling! And, of course, I've already had to start this one over once. We're taking this at a snail's pace since we both have real life stuff and other projects going on, so even though it represents about 60 rows, and a lot of them are short, it's a month's worth of work that I'm trying to redo here. The problem came with said invisible cast-on. When I joined it together and got to the end of the second section we'd decided on, I looked back and realized that oh, wait, this looks wrong. Instead of that nubby garter stitch look, suddenly it had a smooth stockinette look for about 3 rows right around where I did that invisible cast-on. So obviously, I did something wrong. I attempted to stick the needle in right before that section started and rip back to there, but that didn't work so well. So I just decided to rip the whole thing out and start over, since those two sections didn't take me very long in actual knitting time.
And then I realized that I was supposed to rip it out in the opposite direction that I'd been knitting it in, I was doing it backwards, and that was why it was being so uncooperative. Palm, meet face.
So I've got it re-knit up to about 6ish rows before I'm supposed to switch back for knitting from the opposite side of the invisible cast-on. Hopefully it will go better this time, since I tried a different technique for the cast-on in the first place.
I'm having better luck with my blue corduroy jacket, which, oddly enough, is pretty much the exact same color as my yarn. This picture is a little outdated-- I meant to write this post a couple of days ago. Since then, I've added the sleeves, and stitched the two layers of the peplum together. I took a chance on just going ahead and sewing it together as is, with just a bit of a smaller seam to attach the sleeves to the body, since the brown jacket was so easy to fit and it was also a Burda pattern. My gamble is paying off so far, since it looks like it will work just fine from my couple of times I've tried on. A rather fitted jacket, to be sure, but I think it has to be with the peplum. And since this is a rather lightweight corduroy, I'm thinking of this more in terms of a spring/fall layer than winter warmth. (Besides, apparently I'll have a sweater in exactly the same color, so I can just wear that when I want blue then!) So this is moving along nicely, and I think I'll quite easily make my goal of finishing it before the end of the month.
The one thing I need to figure out: In the interest of new techniques, I'd like to try bagging the lining somewhat. I think it will be easier than usual, since I had to cut the inner peplum from the lining fabric and therefore I'm planning on just hand-stitching the lining down at that lower seam. So all I'll have to sort out is the sleeves and sewing the lining to the inner facings. I know I have some resources to figure out how to do that lying around here, so I'll just have to look into it. I was thinking about trying a bound buttonhole as well, but I think I already screwed up my chances on that by sewing the facing in. Oh well.... I wanted to work on my machine buttonholes more anyway. (The jacket is actually supposed to have snaps to close, but I've decided to go with the buttons being functional instead of purely decorative so I can leave the jacket open when I want to. The snaps look kind of funny when I do that, IMO.)
I do have a blog award I recently got that I need to share, but I'll do that on the next post, since I'd like to actually have some time to sew this afternoon! (There's also going to be a low-key giveaway, so stay tuned!)