Off to a good start, I think hope

Warning: I am long-winded today.

On Sunday evening I did a little New Year’s organizing on the desktop. I was cleaning up my KnitAble program, which I use to keep track of everything knitting, from my needle and yarn inventory to all the projects I have completed or that are on needles. I was quite surprised to find that I had just seven unfinished projects!

Yes, of course I started another pair of socks. This one is in that beautiful Fleece Artist color called “Woodland Twilight,” but for some reason all I can think of while I ‘m knitting are my father’s Harris Tweed jackets. He loved wearing them throughout his life, and he wore a few of them to pieces. One of my earliest memories is of the LifeSaver peppermints that would come from those jacket pockets, always with a little fleck of tobacco attached. I can still smell them. But I digress…

This is very nice yarn. I mean delicious. I love the way the colors work together. I fell in love with hand-painted yarns a long time ago, and I feel like I’ve come to know what kind of yarn I will get from each company — how patterns will look, if the colors will pool or stripe, etc. I choose accordingly. When I try a new yarn, though, I have to be willing to be surprised. With each row of this sock I find myself saying things like, “Oh, goody! The red gets to sit next to the brown this time!” Or, “Hey, that gold just turned green!” Surprises keep things interesting.

I could have used any old sock pattern, but since the yarn was new to me, I thought it deserved something different. Not fussy, though — no lace or cables this time. I got out my copy of Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks and started browsing. I haven’t spent much time with this book yet (or with my other new sock book, Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks, but I’ll get to it eventually). Within five minutes I knew I wanted to make a pair of Garter Rib socks. It’s a simple stitch pattern, and the look of the little garter bumps next to the smooth knit stitches is just what I was looking for. As long as I was at it, I thought I’d go ahead and use the book’s formulas and techniques. Me, follow a pattern exactly? Yes, almost. This is perfect travel knitting, too, because it’s practically mindless. So here’s what I’m doing:

  • Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino, 350 yd skein, Woodland Twilight
  • Pattern: Garter Rib (Four-Stitch Pattern) from Sensational Knitted Socks
  • Needles: 2.5mm/US 1.5 bamboo dpn’s
  • Gauge: Something close to 8 spi in both ribbing and stockinette
  • Modifications so far: The cuff & leg measures 6″ instead of the usual long-legged person’s idea of how long a sock should be. I use less yarn. So there.

I’ll be leaving for Maryland in a couple of days, and I hope I’ll be able to take at least three pairs of socks in progress. There will be lots of knitting time in the airport, on the plane, and in the nursing home where my mom is to do rehab for the next few weeks. My job is always more demanding at this time of year than I expect, so I have just a few days that I can manage to be away.

I’m feeling the pressure, too — yesterday my dentist told me that I have to stop clenching my jaw and teeth. A night guard is in the works, but what about the other eighteen hours? So, one of my Plans is to take better care of myself, generally, and to address specifically how I react to and handle stress. Up until this past year I handled it pretty well; I even almost conquered my tendency to eat when stressed or upset. My Plan is pretty simple, and it starts with paying attention to my physical and emotional self.

I am doing that today by taking the day off — even though I was going to go to work because I have to be gone from Friday through Sunday and there’s so much to do and most of it has to start with me because I have to pull the returns and my house is a mess and there’s sand all over the place because I walked around in the shoes I wore to the beach and don’t even look at the litter box and boy, do I want to put that Christmas stuff away. So what have I been doing? It’s noon. I slept in till 7 (hey, I’m usually practically out the door by then). I’m still in my pj’s. I’m about to get dressed and mosey over to Sag Harbor to get the mail. Then I’ll come home, put on a DVD, throw in a load of laundry, and knit. I might vacuum and clean the litter box. No, I will. The alternative is just too disgusting, even for slobby old me.

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I am really enjoying being a part of the 2006 ABC-Along. Folks have already begun posting their first images, and it’s fun and inspiring to see what they’ve come up with. There’s a button over on my sidebar with links to the ABC-Along ring. If you have a few minutes, go see what everyone’s up to. We have until January 13 to post our A’s, and then two weeks for B, and so on.

~:~

There. I think I’ve run out of wind. If you’ve made it this far, you’re a real trooper, and I thank you.

12 thoughts on “Off to a good start, I think hope

  1. I can’t even talk about the condition of my house and the mountain of laundry that awaits. Actually, it’s more like a mountain RANGE. Ugh!!!Keep me posted about your mom – I’ve got you both in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. I am good at lots of things but housework isn’t one of them -now add to that the fact that DH and I have both been sick for 2 weeks and you can imagine how my house is. If you want someone to work on the stress and stuff let me know that is one of my resolutions this year too. The night guard helps tons – I haven’t fractured any teeth since getting mine and I was doing that on a regular basis before. I was thinking about really making it a point to walk at the rec center at the very least.

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  3. Jane, I wandered into your blog from Tenyia’s I think, anyway I just wanted to tell you that I loved those Fleece Artist socks in the Woodland colorway you are making! It’s all I can do to resist ordering some right now! Very beautiful! I’ll wander back, if you don’t mind, to see them both together finished and oogle them!

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  4. I love your catand tell momma I hope she is much better soonbtw, I am desperately trying to post the chicken pictures taken with the cats on the cat treethat silly marguarite refuses to stay in her broodershe thinks she is a catthe cats want to eat her foodand she is about their size nowthe others are biggeroyevi

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  5. Oh – I lust for those socks. I also love the idea of the garter stitch rib – I’ll try that on the next pair of socks I knit for BD. Hon – I got the absolutely most fabulous meditation tape for Christmas, from my like-minded daughter in law – I can’t believe how it destresses me and how it helps for hours and hours. Here’s the name & website:http://www.hypnosisaudio.com/tape21.htmHappy New Year

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  6. And WHERE in MD will you be, dear? Near enough for a lunch and yarn crawl any day???? (I teach Friday morning, have an appt Fri eve, but I’m otherwise free….)

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  7. Sending you & your momma good tho’ts for your trek to MD.And sending tho’ts of calm jaws & the act of “unclenching.”LOVE the sock photo.And girlie girl, we all (or at least most of us) have homes that are like yours (save for the beach sand for me at least ^..^ as I’m landlocked). Martha Stewart does not live here or there – never did, never will. And especially not here w/us – a small row house is not her cuppa.XOXO to you.

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  8. Hey there – I hope that your Mom is alright. good thoughts are coming your way. And how great to hear that you are focused on taking good care of yourself this year!!Your new socks are outstanding! I’m going off to check out Fleece artist yarn now!And there are many many of us doin’ the box-it-up shuffle today.. that means box up one ornament, knit a couple rows, box up another, knit two more!Have fun with your weekend!!

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  9. Found my way to your blog from Zeneedle! Lovely socks and great choice of yarn! Your photos tug at my heartstrings; fellow LI’der here! Safe travels.

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  10. Oh, I forgot to comment on your “A is for Annabelle” picture – very creative and artistic picture of your cat!I use KnitAble, too, and am pretty sure my knitting life would be chaotic and maddening without it. For sure I’d have a lot more duplicate books and needles. :)Hope the relaxing is going well.

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  11. Sending good thoughts to your mom in MD. Socks will be the perfect thing to work on when traveling and during quiet moments spent with your mom.Those new socks are REALLY nice! And your house sounds like mine! And you know what i did yesterday?? I knitted and napped! LOL Let the dh take care of the kiddos for a bit. Love the blog, not just of the knitting but of the scenery too. Used to live in the area so its nice to see w/o the cold!!Lynn

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