The project is going swimmingly well. I was able to get past the last hurdles thanks to your suggestions and advice. The stitches and pattern are a bit fiddly, not my usual speed, but the results are lovely:

the project, in progress
as of mid-last week

Look at that texture!

And progress as of a couple of days ago (thank goodness for sunshine!):

the project, in progress

I've got a head start on some of the finishing work and I'm hopeful for a quick finish. I've been putting off spinning to get this done and I'm ready to get back! Quick question, though: do you think a simple mattress stitch would suffice or should I start pulling out the finishing books and do it right?

Look for More Progress soon!

Spinning

Before heading to The Gathering, I cleared off a few of my bobbins:

clearing off the bobbins
cormo 2-ply; laceweight merino 2-ply; CVM 3-ply

At top is some dyed cormo from MDSW (0.4 oz, 66 yards). I was lured in by the color but the neppiness and VM really made this No Fun to spin, so I plied what I was able to get through. After sitting on the bobbin so long it definitely needs a warm bath to re-energize and balance it. It's fairly soft and skooshy, but I'd be hard pressed to spin more.

The blues were last seen as dyed top (100's merino; 1 oz, 200 yards). I spun it very fine, but unfortunately, I felted the fiber in dyeing it, so it was slow goings. Still, what I did spin is very soft. Also, I've had a good bit of trouble getting my Schacht to spin laceweight nicely. I just haven't got it set up quite right. It's my Next Project; I've been holding back on the laceweight for too long.

And my favorite is the 3-ply CVM (1.25 oz, 102 yards). Why? Well, it's my first 3-ply! I know, it only took me just over a YEAR after learning to spin to do a proper 3-ply. I did my first navajo-plied yarn within 3 or 4 days of learning to spin (on a spindle, no less). Why did I wait? Honestly, it seemed like a lot of work, and seemed harder to do. It wasn't.

My first reaction when I was done (or as I was spinning): "It looks like real yarn!"

I was elated, dancing up and down inside. It's silly, of course. I have been making real yarn all this time, after all. But it looks like "regular yarn". It was a real wow moment for me.

The second reason I love it: I made it from the fleece. I separated the fleece by color, washed it, ran it through the carder (first drum carded thing!), and spun it. How cool is that?

my first 3-ply handspun