After a week of thinking of nothing but the Noro Daria I was talking about recently, I gave up and went back to Knitch to buy it. It's the most I've spent on a single project so far, but sometimes you have to treat yourself. I promptly started on the Exchange Bag from The Happy Hooker, and this is my progress thus far. The colors make me think of fall, and I really love the way they bob in and out of the shell pattern.
The project has not been without tears -- there's been a lot of ripping out and redoing, and the cord was hard on my hands, especially at first. I usually go for yarns that feel even better than they look, just because I love the way the yarn feels going through my fingers. I'm actually really glad I tried something different this time; it gave me a perspective on what Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was talking about in her book At Knit's End:
Imagine this: you are shipwrecked on an island with only the knitting that you had with you on the boat. When you are done knitting it, do you unravel the work and start again, just to have something to knit? If so, you are a process knitter. You knit for the pleasure of knitting. If you imagine that, upon finishing, you put on the sweater and go look for wild grasses that you could knit into a tent or a hammock, you are a product knitter. You knit for the pleasure of the finished item.
I'm normally a process crocheter through and through, but I've gotten through the rough spots on this one by focusing on how cute my finished purse will look. It's good to see things from the other side.