Good news first. I found a local knitting group! I met up with them tonight and had a great time. Laughed a lot and even managed to get a bit of knitting done.
The bad news is that although I've made some pretty serious knitting progress on the orange blanket/throw I know it isn't really working. In fact I think I realised that quite a while ago (pretty much after the first pattern repeat) but as usual I go into denial about these things and just keep knitting in blind faith that somehow the extra knitting will sort out the problem.
This approach has never once resulted in success. It only ever means more wasted energy and more knitting to frog when I finally do admit the truth. But still, I cling to the hope. As there were so many stitches (over 500 by this time) it was a squashed up blob on my needles and I tried to blame all of my reservations on that. But in my heart....
When I got back from the knitting group I knew it was time to get serious about the orange thing. So I slipped the stitches onto some cable and pinned it out.
I hate being right.
The yarn is too thin for the effect I want, and the variegated orange just doesn't help. The pattern is fighting it and losing.
So, I'll leave it pinned out just in case by some miracle it looks more like I want it to in the morning (it won't) and then I'll frog it tomorrow night.