Postwar (lozenge), 29 December mittens
In the middle of sleepless nights, I sometimes worry about the yearly taxes I have yet to figure, and papers or grant proposals I have yet to write. Sometimes, oddly, I worry about unfinished knitting and wonder why I have so many projects on needles at once. Well, not really worry so much as imagine life would seem a little less out of control if I would just finish one or two already and not start anything new for a while.
And so, during this past week off from school, I have primarily been sick, and secondarily been finishing up some knitting.
Freja, 29 January mittens
No worries! I have also worked on some of the work details that nag at me in the night. I even started taxes and a paper! It has been good to be waylaid for solid blocks of time at home, even if I have not been able to produce at my normal rate — other than phlegm production, of course. Kate and I even took time to have lunch, tea and scones at a tea shop, and to do a little low-impact shopping.
But the knitting: I finished a pair of mittens, and plotted the beginning of the next pair. I have been doing my best to keep up with my pair-of-mittens-per-month challenge over the year (begun 29 March) and am currently in a brief mitten lull where I have finished last month’s mittens and unbeknownst to most of you, the month’s before, too, and have even knit a swatch for and plotted a few alterations to next month’s mittens (adding thumb gussets! and a turned hem with picot edge — you may track my progress here). Those will be First Lady mittens. With their yellows and green, they will be a welcome celebration of the lengthening days and return of spring for me. Not that we have had much of a winter here.
Edwardian boating socks
Between now and the starting up of the last of the monthly mittens, I am doing my best to tie up the few loose ends … at least those I can reasonably complete before the 29th of February. I finished turning the heel on the first of the Edwardian boating socks. I find these difficult to knit in my usual knitting places. They require that I keep a chart open and marked on my lap, and they require adequate lighting. I rarely knit in situations that provide both! And the chart is in my new iPad so when I do have both available to me, it also needs to be in a venue where no one minds the iPad clearly open to a fiddly knitting chart pattern — so not in church, or at a lecture, or in a class… You catch my meaning, I’m sure. There is rude, and then there is boorishly over-the-top, calling-all-manner-of-attention-to-one’s-self rude. One I’ll happily be, the other notsomuch. I will not finish even one of these socks before the 29th, but I have made significant progress which gives me hope that there will be a pair. Eventually.
iPad sleeve, but really just a bag
Oh, and yes, I have an iPad. It was a Christmas gift from Bruce. I commissioned a cover for it from friend and knitting comrade Lindsey
who is an excellent seamstress (such an old-fashioned word) and all-around creative sort. During the brief period of time in which I had an iPad and had no cover for it, I flirted with the idea of knitting a sleeve for it just long enough to make the iPad case that is not, in the end, an adequate case at all. It is lovely though, and so I have made it into a bag that will hold my reading glasses case, a pencil case and my phone when I am guiding groups through the art gallery. I have noticed it is best to have only the barest of essentials when conducting tours to keep fatigue brought about by heavy lifting at bay, and to avoid bashing my usual big bag into the artwork. Which, as a representative of the gallery, seems like it would be a good thing to avoid doing.
Gale in Loft, Stormcloud
What I usually have in the aforementioned big bag these days is a shawl-in-progress, Gale to be precise (all of these photos, by the way, are clickable and will take you to their corresponding Ravelry.com page where you can find the particulars about yarn, pattern source, etc. if you are into that sort of thing), a pattern I have memorized and can work in the semi-darkness of an art history lecture or a candlelit service of sung Compline. The shawl remains unfinished, but not for lack of steady trying. A row here and there, and before too much longer it will be done.
One item, long on the needles, that is finally done is this sweater, Teahouse (pattern name). You may remember it from a previous post
, in which I was not at all happy with it. I re-knit the sleeves, and did some surgery to open the armscyes in front and back, and then laid the whole thing aside to await seaming when I would no longer go white with rage at the sight of it. This past week, too weak to care, I picked it up again, seamed it and washed and blocked it. It is warm, schlumpy-in-a-good-way, and comfortable. I will probably wear it outside the house at least once, because I am that proud that it’s done and turned out the way I wanted it to, but it is mostly for kicking around in on the weekend when no one who minds much will see me in it and while the house thermostat is set at 62F.
Celtic knot afghan
Finally, there is the afghan. Once I had caught up on mittens, and finished the sweater and turning the heel of the sock, I pulled out the afghan. This is nearly half done and to the point where traveling with it means traveling with a basket that holds only it because there is no room for more, and so it is an only work-on-at-home sort of project now. This week there have been delicious stretches of time and so when I have had the strength to lift it, I have knit a row or two now and then. And that, my friends, is how hope is kept alive. One half-hour row of knitting at a time.