First, I want to thank everyone for the great suggestions. I've looked at all the patterns and I love many of them. But with the CPH all but done and winter on the wane (and rapidly around here--it's been in the mid-70s all week), I've made a radical decision. I will not cast on a new project for my Tahoe trip. I know, it's shocking. Instead, I will finish this:
Yes, it's good old Death By Cables, otherwise known as the Dickinson Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman. This juggernaut has been on the needles since October (and is my only UFO), and I believe I have finished at least four other sweaters and one afghan in the meantime. It's not that I don't love it--I do--but just look at the thing! There's a lot going on there, and I rarely have the sort of uninterrupted knitting time I need for this degree of complexity. (I'd appreciate it if you could not point out that this may not be the ideal project for working in the car with two large dogs and two small children bouncing around and demanding snacks and stops and attention. I have high hopes and I do not want them dashed. Besides, if I take no other projects with me, I will be forced to work on this--or find a yarn shop.)
I've finished the back and most of the front, and then there are the sleeves left to do, and the collar, and the finishing. There should be enough to keep me busy for the week we're gone, especially considering the frogging factor. For every twenty rows I work, I invariably have to rip back five to correct some error in one of the three charts used for each row. And if I do finish early, what better reward than a little side trip to a local yarn shop?
As for the CPH, it is all sewn together and I am knitting on the hood. Then it just needs button bands and buttons, and it will be done. And speaking of buttons:
I made these this morning. I really enjoy making buttons like this. It only took a few minutes and maybe a dollar's worth of polymer clay. Since I like a rustic, handmade look, I don't have to be too precise or drive myself crazy trying to get them perfect. It's simple, inexpensive, and fun. If you need buttons for a project, I highly recommend trying it for yourself.
I can't for the life of me get a decent picture of the buttons against the sweater. My camera keeps trying to compensate for the reflective quality of the buttons against the matte fabric. You'll have to take my word it that the buttons do look very nice with the gorgeous Malabrigo. I made them to blend in, because I don't want anything to call attention away from the beautiful colors in the yarn.