Jill's birthday gift is coming along nicely. I've almost finished the front, and I've picked out a contrast color. I'm knitting it on size 7 needles, as the author (owner of my favorite online yarn store) suggests. I'm using Paton's Classic Wool Merino in Taupe, and I've decided to use some of my coveted RYC Cashsoft DK in Kingfisher for the accents. I'm excited about how the panel looks so far, and I only have four rows to go before binding off. The construction is really cool-I like how the holes form.
I plan to knit the back piece this weekend as well, as I've heard many horror stories about gauge change if you wait too long between matching pieces. I've learned a new cast-on, the backwards loop method. I've only ever used long-tail, but there is a section of this pattern where you must cast on out of thin air, so to speak, and my typical method doesn't fit the bill. It's always nice to add a new stitch to your catalog. :)
Here's a shot from a couple of days ago. The holes are now completely apparent, and I think that turquoise Cashsoft is going to look splendid peeking out!