11 December 2008

December is always so busy...

Well, one day into my new job, and already a snow day. The past week or so has been so hectic and crazy, and this slight respite has been nice so far. Slept in until ten or so, stayed in bed studying for my huge final tonight until one, got up, puttered around for a while, and now here I am, wrapped in a blanket at my kitchen table, enjoying my cheese danish and nursing my coffee. I feel like a slug, but a refreshed slug, so it's okay... Sort of.

To be fair about it, after the past few weeks, I did need the extra sleep. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself so I don't feel so useless. I've had concert after concert, all but one requiring knowledge of very difficult literature, including Stravinsky, Tavner, and Menotti. And, it hasn't all been vocal stuff, which for me comes the easiest of all the musical things I do. I've also been celloing and french-horning in these concerts as well. In between performances, I've had my last two papers, one which I finished to great success and a decent grade on both the paper and the presentation, and the other which is still in progress, due by Monday.

Remember how I mentioned that I was looking forward to getting all those library books off my kitchen table? Well, as soon as I was able to remove them, new books just took their place, the only thing changing being the topic (from the Korean War to China around the turn of the century), and the addition of Christmas decorations to the few free spots left. Also, as if I'm not busy enough with out it, I have started a new job, which is going to be forty or so days of absolute madness (amazingly fun madness, but madness none the less).

Given the circumstances, I'm surprised that I was able to get so much done on the crafty front recently.

First up was this Polka Dotted Crochet Stocking, the pattern which I snagged from Ravelry. If you aren't a ravelry member, you can grab the pattern here (it's in the bar on the side under Christmas Patterns). It was a fairly quick and easy pattern: just simple hexagons in the round, a skill I have mastered after spending so much time on my (still unfinished) flower afghan.

I did run into some problems while I was piecing the whole thing together, since there is no piecing schematic. There's only a picture and the instructions to "follow it" even though it only shows the stocking from one side. So that made it a little more difficult than it should have been. Eventually I was able to figure it all out, the only place that was a big problem was the toe, as you can see from the bump on the top of the foot part.

However, the rest of the pattern was so quick and easy that that little snag has not stopped me from giving it another shot. I'm halfway through my next one, and after a good deal of pondering and sketching, I think I have solved the toe issue. If it works, I'm going to try and draw up a piecing guide to add onto the ravelry page.

In addition to the two stockings, I've also finished the basket weave scarf I had been working on (no photos, since the colors don't want to cooperate with my camera in the scarce winter light), and started three new ones. The first, which is pictured below is in Moda Dea's Tweedle Dee in Cinnamon Twist. The pattern is the My So Called Scarf, which I got a link to ages ago from the old Yarnstorm blog (the new one is here). Progress on this one is rather slow going... the pattern is very tough on my wrists, and when combined with all the celloing I've been doing lately, my poor tendons simply can't handle more than 5 or six rows at a time. I've upped needle sizes several times now, and it just doesn't seem to help. So, I've just accepted the fact that it simply won't be finished by Christmas, and will probably end up as an addition to my own obscenely large scarf collection. I just wish I had chosen a colorway which looked better on me.

In addition to the My So Called Scarf, I've also begun two others, the Athenian Scarf in Vanna's Choice Sapphire, and the One Row Handspun Scarf, which I am not doing in handspun yarn, but rather Tweedle Dee in Indigo Run.

I aim to have these two done as Christmas gifts, but I suppose we will see. Once this final is over, and this paper is handed in, I suppose I will have all the time in the world to sit on the couch in front of the Christmas tree and finish them after work, so it seems likely, in theory anyway.

Speaking of the final and the paper, I should probably return to studying. So, I'll leave you now with a preview of our Christmas decorations, which I hope to share tomorrow as part of Photo Friday. We take our Christmas decorating pretty seriously here, so hopefully my photography will do it justice.



Jen said...

Wow, this is the first time I've read your blog, you sound like a really interesting, eclectic person. I too am a musician and a knitter. I wonder if there is a group in ravelry for this combo...there must be right?

Anyways, I enjoyed reading your post, your pictures are great!

theempireofthemind said...

Man, I always knew you were better at decorating than I am, but I had no idea you were so artistic. Day-um!


Lupie said...

I am so glad you joined The Lesser Known Skeins. Your blog is just the reason I started this group!
I will read and comment on your blog often.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.
Love "Your So Called Scarf" beautiful colors in the yarn.
Enjoyed your blog also.

Megan said...

I love the My So Called Scarf. It's coming out so pretty.

I want to knit stockings for my husband and myself for next Christmas when we finally have our own tree, etc. Your stocking is awesome I really like it. New Years resolution- I must get my mom to teach me to crochet. Nice job!