The good news: I am ready to cast on and begin the Alpacas at White Horse Farm shawl. I suppose it was worth it. Well, two hours of stringing beads does seem a steep toll, but the memory is already fading as I write this. Why I might even trick myself and become excited the next time I have to string beads, assuming that I don't try it for another year.
Once I had all the beading I could take, which in fact ended sooner than it ought to have with the alpaca wool objecting & snapping to the strain of so many beads being yanked onto it, I started the EtsyFAST's July Challenge. This month the challenge allows much more artistic freedom than last month's challenge (Create an ACEO). The only guildelines are for EtsyFAST members to submit merchandise with a Flower & Garden theme. I decided to make a vase cozie.It is halfway completed. I will be submitting both the finished product and the knitting pattern via my Etsy store. Although I haven't finished writing up the pattern (much is being written as I knit - my favorite way to design), I am fairly confident that the pattern's recommended skill level will be at Easy. The technique used to knit the cozie, woven ribbing, and the shaping required for it to fit the vase snugly will keep it from being at the beginner's level. I hope to have everything completed by Monday of next week.