At the risk of being blasphemous, I want to take a moment to salute some big-box store bought needlework:

Bbknits 010 The fuchsia sequined crocheted bikini.  My 5 year old luuvs it.  Though it probably wouldn't have taken too long to whip up, I'm happy to have let this one cut the line straight from the realm of possibility to finished object.  Anonymous person (people?) of China, we appreciate your efforts.

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The taupe cardigan.  This is a staple in my summer wardrobe; goes with everything, perfect for covering up bare shoulders at the office and transitioning from smoldering triple digit exteriors to breezy air-conditioned interiors.  35 stitches per inch of taupe stockinette surely is utmost cruelty for even the most die-hard hand-knitter. Thank goodness for the invention of the knitting machine so I can have my taupe cardigan and knit my purple Lush and Lacy cardigan too.

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The pink cardigan.  This is a slightly special case.  I think the way the vertical knit stitches magically slip and knit together (??) to become diagonals at the yoke is pure genius. I love how the simplicity of the stockinette and lone button closure are brilliantly challenged and enhanced by the yoke and eyelet edge trim.  I want ot knit one of these in my size (sweater shown is a child's size 5) but I'm not sure if I am clever enough to figure it out. 

I'm currently knitting a bigger version (child's size 5) of the baby kimono.  This is knitting on the opposite side of the cleverness spectrum.  I'm using Cristina Shiffman's concept of the one-piece baby kimono and brutishly modifying it to a bigger size.  My current version has three quarter sleeves (at the request of the recipient), a stockinette body and slightly odd proportions in the slope of the neckline and width of the body, due to my refusal to spend even 5 minutes doing some math before casting on.  Pictures to follow.