This past Sunday was my first quiet morning in I can’t remember how long. Part of it was being sick last week. I went home from work on Thursday, which I never do, only I was so ill that I couldn’t stare at a screen or at printed out pages on my desk, so there was literally nothing to be done. On Friday I alternated sipping ginger ale and tea, napping, and doing the easiest reading for work that I could. I haven’t slowed down like that in a long time, and as ridiculous as it sounds, I feel better now than I did before coming down with that bug.
Of course, feeling better came at the same time as dropping off my husband at the airport on his way to another work trip, so the house is empty, just me and the dog. But that morning was fall breezes, sunshine, coffee (which I haven’t had in 3 days), and knitting. Sunshine and knitting is the most calming combination I can think of, which is interesting in the season that’s finally shifting all the way into fall and in which I haven’t been able to concentrate on any one project for long.
I’ve started all the things, ripped out, restarted, and finished. So much knitting and re-knitting and knitting the same thing over and over. Part of it was a case of startitis. I’ve been knitting so many things for others that I get bored and start something for me (a sweater, a cowl, a sock), and then feel guilty and get back to work. So there’s been lots of casting on something quick. There’s a hat that I don’t have any pictures of and need to block before it gets to be truly hat weather. There was a dead fish hat for the husband (who loves him some ridiculous hats, and picked out both the pattern and the yarn himself). It was a fun knit, though I think (and C agrees) that the multi-colored stripes in between the green and white he wanted totally make the hat. Pure happenstance, that aspect – the yarn was sitting on my desk when I grabbed the green and white to cast on, and they just went together. Anyway, it’s all wool and it’s in Finland by now, where they’ve already had snow and where I’ll feel better knowing that someone’s got a warm, if silly, hat to wear.
I finished a pair of socks – unfortunately not gifts, but fortunately, for me. The Smokestack socks that I started back in August are done, and they fit perfectly, and they’re squishy and warm and buttery yellow. Cables and ribbing and garter, oh my! I cast them off last weekend, just in time to wear them on the first truly chilly day we’ve had. This was the weekend of putting away the summer clothes and taking out the tights and warm socks and wool sweaters, so it was fitting timing. The pattern was so nice to knit (fast and easy to memorize), and I love the colors in the yarn. Really looking forward to knitting myself more socks next year.
I also finished not one but three pairs of mitts. One pair needs the ends woven in and for me to figure out how to steam block them. Back in the early summer, a coworker who crochets but doesn’t knit found the Fightin’ Words pattern, which seems made for her. I told her that I’d make them if she bought the yarn and pattern, despite my trepidation over the colorwork. I think they turned out pretty adorable, and my only regret is not winding up the black yarn and rinsing it to make sure it doesn’t bleed. Because now I’m frightened to block these like I normally would, lest the black bleed in to the white and render them gross and muddy. But I really need to block them, to relax the knitting and let the pattern show to its best advantage. Rock, hard place. Moving on.
I knit two pairs of Spate mitts, basically back to back. The first pair has no finished pictures, and has already gone to live with a friend I saw a couple weekends ago. I’d started a scarf, didn’t like how it was coming out, pulled it out, and then promptly cast on the mitts with the Manos. The gorgeous hand-dyed colors and the pattern fight a little bit, but the yarn is so pretty and soft and I decided that it didn’t matter. I finished the first mitt and pulled it on and something in my head went ‘Oh, they’re for Pippin.’ These were not for me, but for a friend who I knew we were seeing the next weekend. I handed her the first one when she arrived, and finished up the next over the next couple days, and they’re just the thing for a grad student who works in a chilly library.
Happily, Pippin is glad to be mitt twins with me, and as soon as I finished the second of her pair I cast on another for me. This time the yarn is one that I won a few years ago in a giveaway, and have been hoarding ever since, wondering what to do with it. It’s the Full Belly Feel Good yarn by Annie Claire, dyed with mint, and it’s a sheepy, wooly wool that only a knitter would really appreciate. I love it, and another knitting friend loved it, but it’s the sort of yarn that a non-knitter would find scratchy. I don’t think I’d wear it around my neck, but it’s just right for mitts, and it shows off the twists and texture of the Spate pattern so nicely.
And everything else is ongoing. I have a sock and a couple inches until I’m done with holiday knitting. I have a solid start on a sweater that I will try to finish while it’s still cold, and another that just needs buttons to be totally finished. I started a sock for me that was a couple inches of another pattern that was too big and got ripped. The pile of squishy red above is a cowl that was a few inches of scarf just a day before the picture was taken, and which has just been cast off and needs blocking and its ends woven in so I can wear it this coming week. And now that I have another weekend, packed with work as it’s going to be, I’m looking forward to spending a good chunk of time with some yarn and needles. Hopefully some sunshine and coffee and fall breezes will work their way in too.