Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Shit Is All Apart*

Ed. note: There's not a whole lot of knitting content here. I'm writing today more to vent than for content. Feel free to skip ahead.

I've been feeling very discombobulated lately. Last night, I decided to frog what I had knit on the Reindeer hat and re-knit a plain hat on which I can duplicate stitch parts of the chart. It will be different than what I had in progress, much simpler, cleaner and quicker. As I rewound the yarn I thought what I really needed was a project to ground me knitting-wise. Something I enjoy, don't have to make calculations for, don't have to think too hard about. Fortunately for my sanity, I also thought that it would be even more beneficial to complete an existing project. That's when I realized that my shit is all apart.

When I decided, a month ago, to curb my knitting activities due to the pain I was experiencing, I was just beginning a top down raglan sweater. That obviously still lays unfinished and I am not rehabilitated enough to go back to it. Since then, I've started and failed three different projects. Boot Socks that were supposed to be for the outdoor hockey game this Saturday - tried twice to get gauge and failed. The reindeer mittens and now the reindeer hat. The last project I had any success on was this little baby sweater in mid-October. The way my life has been going, that feels like ages ago.

It also doesn't help that the other - decidedly more important - areas of my life are also messing with me. November and December are always a stressful time for me, both because of work and the holidays. Work got more complicated last week when I found out my coordinator, the only other person in my department, is leaving for another job. This stresses me out on multiple levels. Though my workload will double when he leaves at the end of December, business is slower at the beginning of the year. I will, however, have to work more nights (and every weekend) from home as we usually alternate our obligations there. Although we will be filling the position with a new hire, it will take time to train a new person to the point where he/she can help to significantly relieve my workload. (Forgive me for being generic, I try not to talk about work too much.) Beyond all of that, what causes me the most stress is how it impacts our impending arrival at home. I had originally planned to take two weeks vacation when the baby arrives to help my wife as well as bond with the baby and spend as much time with the little one as possible. Hopefully we can hire someone who is a quick learner and get them up to speed in time. While the baby coming feels like a ticking clock in-and-of-itself, this new wrinkle at work makes it feel like I clipped a wire and sped up the countdown.

The baby brings a whole other level of stress with it. I feel like we have nothing done. We do have nothing done. I've managed to paint the walls of the nursery-to-be, but the ceiling and trim still need painting as well as the door and several other areas 'round the house. And don't get me started on furniture, accessories, clothes, etc. I knew when we found out we were pregnant that the timing would be 'challenging' to say the least. Due to the holidays, our social calendar (such as that may be) is booked solid for the remainder of the month. I kept telling myself to get as much done as possible before the holidays because after December, we're only going to have 3 1/2 months before the baby's here. As the due date creeps closer and closer, Samantha is going to be less able to help out. And I've already discovered that my family is not very much help. Maybe I can buckle down on the few days I have off around Christmas and knock out some larger projects.

Today, I took what I hope to be one small step toward getting myself grounded. I bought some yarn. I hear what you're saying, but this wasn't an indulgence purchase. I needed some reinforcement yarn to finish a heel and two cuffs on the orange stripey socks I'm knitting for my wife.

Reinforcement Yarn

When I thought back over my current projects in progress, those socks jumped out at me as being something I enjoyed knitting and could also be finished rather quickly. I'm hoping that finishing these socks, as well as reworking the reindeer hat for Christmas, will get me back into my knitting groove - without re-injuring myself. See, through all the stresses I've had lately, I haven't been able to knit to relieve some of it. And that may be the worst stress of all.

* Henry Rollins, musician, spoken word artist, man about the world, once told a story of a trip to Russia and how phrases get lost in translation. Having entered a room being rather discombobulated himself, a Russian friend remarked to Henry, "your shit is all apart." The phrase lost in translation being, of course, having one's shit together. Beautiful isn't it?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Red Herring, White Elephant

For all the stupid hype, the mittens are ded. Ded and gone. In replacement, we have this.

Reindeer hat

Which, if I finish in time, will be for the white elephant gift exchange with my wife's family. Same base chart, just knit three times over and with acrylic. If I'm giving it away as a joke gift, no sense wasting good wool.

And now as I look at the photo, it will probably end up way too f$cking tall. #%$%^@#&*!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Off and Running

Here's my progress so far on the first mitten. I like the picot edging, but not the fact that it's flipping up so badly. I should've knit it with smaller needles. And maybe I knit one too many rows before picking up the hem. Oh well, can't look back now. I already had to frog about 8 rows at lunch yesterday because I messed up the thumb gusset.

Reindeer Mitten start - front
Reindeer Mitten start - palm

Dealing with all the floats is starting to get a bit tiresome, but I'm hopeful that the pattern will keep things interesting enough that I can push through to finish them on time. I'm not planning to knit at lunch today as my arms started hurting after knitting last night. Though I also did a lot of typing yesterday - stupid work - so hopefully the restful afternoon will help. I also need to remember to ice, and I might try some immersion icing tomorrow.

Finally, I'm a little concerned with stitch definition on these; I'm hoping blocking will help. However, I'm also worried that they will block larger than I need them to be. I forgot about that when making my size calculations. Hopefully I can block them longer instead of wider.