I have a case of the "o-woe-is-me's" because my fam went to the lake and I stayed home.  It's really only a superficial case because while I miss their guts, I know that my decision to stay home was an unusual combination of hedonism and self-discipline.  How can this be?  Because I am knitting my butt off, not to put too fine a point on it (even managed to button up a whole pattern, sample and all - yeah, it was two weeks later than I planned, but still...).  And also because I am luxuriating in the uncommon stillness of the house.  An eerie quietude that gave me the willies pretty quick, and caused me to tune in to the Nightly Business Report on PBS, just to break up the roar in my head.  So while Jim Lehrer is a real Dreamboat, he's only white noise to me tonight, because I discovered a way cool trick.  Okay, I didn't discover it, so much as attempt it for the first time, but I am still pretty jazzed that it worked just like all the books said it would:

So the trick is this:  If you change needle sizes, you can get really useful gauge changes that cause things to have shapes that totally look like they were on purpose.  Yeah, I know:  That's only like rule number 3 of knitting (the first 2 are: 1. Get some String-Like Substance, and 2. Throw the cat/laundry/spouse off the Comfortable Chair) but sometimes I go back and make friends with the basics after missing the point, say, a kajillion times.  This is one of those junctures, and I am totally blissed out.  See the curviness on that neckline?  Wicked!  And I didn't even have to throttle block it into submission!

In case you are like me and called in sick/bored/hungover on that day at Knitting School, I will outline the technique in a technical but impressive fashion; to wit:

The top edge of this neckband was worked on a size 1, the middle three rows on a 2, and the last three rows on a 4.

Then, just to be a total sassy-pants, I did the bind off with a 5, in case the excitement over my impending success caused me to tighten up my tension and wreck the whole thing.

Okay, here's a sneak peek at the right side, just so I don't forget how to take pictures of the fronts of things.

I held the completed project up to the TV to show Jim Lehrer, but he didn't seem too impressed.  One great thing about my family is that they can't knit as well as me, so they always act super-impressed when I finish things.  Evidently the esteemed Mr. Lehrer is totally bored by my needle-size-changing-gauge feats, because he just went droning on about the Middle East when I showed him.  I am totally unappreciated in my living room.  So much for hedonism.