Friday, December 29, 2006

Wrapping the holidays

My Christmas scarves are my pride and joy, so it is very tempting to leave my 12 FOs-plus-one post as the latest entry for a few days. But onward we go...

Moving day for my parents came with a sense of dread that it was going to be a neverending task and a chill in the air. (I was glad I had finished my scarf. I needed it.) I had gone through my things and packed almost every available inch in my Saturn with stuff I deemed worth keeping. I chose to throw out more than I kept, for what it's worth. My mom seemed to find more stuff to get me to take--my baby pictures and kitchenware, for instance--but more often than not I was resigned to saying I didn't want whatever it was.

They hounded all of us kids about going through old toys. While it might have been nice to salvage some childhood possessions, I didn't feel like digging through the mountainous piles in their basement. I decided that I wouldn't miss what I didn't remember. Call it denial if you will, but it seemed like a good strategy to me.

My dad arrived with the rental truck around ten in the morning, and I was enlisted to help load my mom's possessions from her office at the church. I carried box after box and darkened my mood by thinking about how long it was going to take to load everything in their house. Actually, it was apparent to me that everything in their home would not fit in the truck and the family members' cars in the moving caravan.

Much to my relief, some men from the church showed up to assist with loading. Their charity made the day go by faster and smoother. It probably kept my head from exploding too. If I wanted a way to break my pack rat tendencies, seeing the truck fill up while the house remained relatively full may have done the trick.

Two of the farmers' wives prepared lunch at the church, providing a much-needed meal and break. We returned to the parsonage to get the last of the big items loaded, and then it was departure time. My parents' new home is about three hours from where they've been living, so unloading that night and making a return trip the next day to load the rest of their possessions had not been in the original plan.

Here was where I parted from them, though. I had to work on Thursday. I didn't feel bad about leaving. I was already worn out when I came back for Christmas. With moving preparations and the stress of being around seven other people in a small house all day for a few days, it wasn't the most restful time off. (Do this math: eight people, one shower.) I had done my part, and they would likely receive help from the members at my mom's new church. As much as I dreaded helping with the move, it wasn't as bad as I'd built it up to be, but if or when they move again, I hope it isn't at this time of year.

On Thursday I intended to get cracking on some writing, but I needed an afternoon and evening to recharge my batteries. I took a nap. I watched the Blue Jackets game and a few MI-5 episodes that had been sitting on my DVR for a couple months. And yes, I knitted.

I began work on another scarf for myself, this time with Knit Picks Sierra yarn in leaf. For the bulky weight yarn I moved down a needle size, casting on fourteen stitches to my US 10 1/2s. My brain must be scrambled because I deduced that if I used a smaller gauge needle, I would need the same amount or fewer stitches to get the same width I obtained from 11s. It wasn't until I'd knitted the size of a swatch that I realized my faulty reasoning.

Several of the scarves I've made have been approximately 4.25" wide. This one is closer to 4". I reached a crucial decision-making point: keep going or frog it? I really like what I've knitted so far, so the idea of ripping it out is unappealing. On the other hand, will I be bothered that the scarf isn't quite as wide as I intended? I put off any rash decisions for the evening. This morning I placed the knitting on top of my cranberry scarf, and the difference appears to be negligible. Good.

I haven't made any other progress (or regress via frogging) with the dishcloth. I'll probably alternate the projects for some variety over the next few days. I will need to wrap my second hank of the Knit Picks Sierra into a ball. Anyone have some good tips for doing this on your own?

Next...answering the six weird things about me meme.


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