Friday Gauge Check: Starbucks Redux

Friday means it’s time for our Friday rituals, the ceremonies of escorting one week out and preparing the next one. Which, around here, is the Gauge Check, where I take a look at my week and figure out where I’ve come from and where I’m going. Sometimes there are goals, sometimes I just talk about what’s going on in my life and my crafting. You are all welcome to join in in the comments.

It’s a chilly Friday morning, and I’m curled up at my favorite Starbucks with a salted caramel mocha, doing my gauge check before I go to work.  Halloween is fast approaching, and it certainly feels like it – most of the leaves have dedicated themselves to producing the most vibrant colors possible, and the temperatures at night are down in the 40s.  I didn’t realize that fall had a smell.

You’re probably all tired of me waxing rhapsodic about fall, but to this desert child, it’s an almost-undiscovered season, and the Pacific Northwest seems to me one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I’ve heard stories about New England autumns, but I can’t envision it being lovelier than this, really.  Driving down the road, there is a gust of wind that sends leaves of yellow and red spiraling through the air, and against the backdrop of downtown Vancouver, which is all historic red-brick buildings and statuesque old trees, it feels more like a movie set than a real place.

Work continues on, set against the backdrop of this lovely place.  At the end of the third week, I feel like I’ve been sufficiently prepared to deal with customers, which is good, because we go on the phones part-time on Tuesday.  Welcome to November: have a headset.  As far as corporate culture goes, though, I can’t really complain about my company.  They seem genuinely dedicated to their employees as people, and committed to making sure they are able to do their best.  It’s not what I want to do with the rest of my life, but it’s something I can handle doing for a while, at least.

My only real complaint about my workplace is fairly petty: it’s painted in the client’s corporate colors, which… do not attractive interior design make.  “Bright and eye-catching” isn’t a good color for a wall, and the background color against which the bright-and-eye-catching color is designed to stand out is definitely not meant to stand alone.  It sort of feels like working in a mud bath that’s been striped with neon.

I finished the toe on my second Monkey sock yesterday; the only thing left to do is Kitchener the toes and weave in the ends, and I will have my very own pair of hand-knit socks.  (Not a moment too soon, according to Jack.)  The BFF socks aren’t doing quite as well, but that was definitely knitter error.  I knit the leg and headed into the heel flap without stopping to look at the pattern, which meant I skipped a set-up step for the foot.  Fortunately, the heel flap is easy to rip back, and I managed to catch the stitches again without much difficulty.

This morning, I realized again that I committed an error on chart B, but it should be fairly simple to fix that too.  Dear self: Cookie A patterns are probably not a good thing to try and fake your way through.  At least, not if you want it to turn out correctly.

And then there’s The Challenge.  In all caps, natch.  You see, when Jack woke up this morning, he turned to me and described a dream in which things were falling out of my knitting bag, and he kept having to pick them up.  Among the things he picked up were a pair of socks in progress, that were cabled like the Iyawo Mitts.  They were white, but with colorwork done in the Abstract Fibers Deep Lake at the top.  The first one was done, and the second one was close, and he was very excited about being able to wear them.

Which means, of course, that I now have a sock design challenge.

I’m fairly comfortable with basic sock construction, and I have enough sock books on my shelf that I’m fairly confident I can design one myself.  I’m going to have to examine cabled sock construction in particular, because cables behave in very specific ways that bring the fabric in tighter, so ensuring a good fit with cables will be interesting.  Swatching will probably be involved.  (If nothing else, I’m not sure that the cables as they stand will fit inside shoes.  It may involve some very fine yarn.)  Considering how many socks I’ve made, it seems like a no-brainer that I would turn to sock design sooner or later, but I hadn’t really thought about it.  There are so many existing patterns out there that I love, why spend time working on something that I’m not sure about?

Now I know why.  Sometimes you have a picture in your head, and that thing doesn’t exist.  The only thing to do is to create it.

That’s been my week.  Check your own gauge in the comments, or let me know about the thing in your head that doesn’t exist yet – or the thing that exists now, because you created it.

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~ by Amber on October 28, 2011.

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