Friday Gauge Check: Not-Very-Black Friday
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.
Happy Friday, everybody, and happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. I hope that you had a holiday of the sort you most enjoy.
Honestly, I think I’ve discovered a new favorite kind of holiday celebration. This is our first holiday in the Pacific Northwest, so we don’t really have local friends yet – certainly not second-family, with whom you share holidays. One of Jack’s co-workers invited us over for dinner tonight, but after having worked ten days straight, I really didn’t find myself in a place where I was comfortable sharing a table with strangers, so we bowed out.
Instead, yesterday, I made salmon with balsamic vinegar, four-cheese tortellini, and (because it was Thanksgiving) green bean casserole. We stayed home ALL DAY, which was… really nice. I really needed a day to relax and depressurize. We’d been planning on going to a movie, but it was raining buckets all day, and we decided that going out was overrated, at least for the day.
Today, it being Black Friday and all (and sunny!), we went shopping. Well, we went thrifting, which is pretty much the same thing for us. The closest thing to a big-box store we went to was the local craft chain, where I bought some yarn – a few balls of dishcloth cotton and a skein of that yarn for ruffle scarves that’s so popular right now. While I am not generally a maker of scarves, it’s very few stitches on reasonably large needles, so I have hope.
Another thing I picked up over the weekend is a space heater, because my craft room is many wonderful things, but ‘warm in the winter’ isn’t one of them. I anticipate more spinning, now that I can actually stand to sit in the room where my spinning wheel lives for more than five minutes at a stretch.
Now that I’m out of training at work, I have much less uninterrupted knitting time, but I do have the opportunity to knit a little between calls. It has to be pretty mindless, so I’ve got some significant progress made on the body of the Sneaky Mountain Shawl and the sock I’m test-knitting.
Oh, the Sneaky Mountain Shawl is the Multnomah I mentioned last week, in Abstract Fiber Matisse in Mt. Hood Rose. Matisse is 100% Blue Faced Leicester three-ply, which smells wonderfully sheepy and is a joy to work with. Abstract Fiber is local to Portland, and they have a number of colorways named after Portland landmarks (such as the Glen Jackson Bridge, which I drive over nearly every day).
Now, Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon, and it’s upwards of 11,000 feet. It’s also about 30 miles from where I work, as the crew flies. In Arizona, this mountain would be a massive landmark that would be there ALL THE TIME. Up here, though, it disappears behind the clouds fairly frequently. And by “disappears,” I mean completely. One day, GIANT MOUNTAIN; the next day… bank of clouds. Like, you can’t even pick out its shape. I drive toward that mountain nearly every day, and I love that it plays hide-and-seek. I call it “Sneaky Mountain.”
Multnomah is the county that encompasses most of Portland, and the Multnomah Shawl was named after it. The shawl had been in my queue for a while, when an adventure brought me to a yarn shop in Beaverton and I saw a sample of it in person. The next afternoon, I was driving into Portland, listening to a podcast, when it struck me: I needed to make a welcome-to-Portland project. I stopped off at Happy Knits, picked up the yarn, and cast it on that afternoon: a shawl inspired by the area, knit in a local yarn, named after my favorite mountain. The body of Multnomah is garter-stitch, which means it’s perfect work knitting – I can pick it up and put it down at any time, without any trouble.
Remember how I was talking about finishing my second Monkey Sock? Well, I finished it, and discovered that it was too short in the foot (counting? what’s that?) and too big everywhere else. I had been thinking about ungrafting the toe and adding toward the length of the foot, but I’m leaning toward just ripping it all out and re-knitting the smaller size. I really enjoyed knitting them the first time, and I am both a process knitter and someone who likes to be proud of her handknits (who doesn’t?), so I don’t see the point in doing a partial fix of something I’m still not going to be happy with. I did say I saw many more Cookie A socks on my needles in the future… I just didn’t quite anticipate that it would be the same one.
I have a confession to make, which probably won’t surprise any of you: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I haven’t done any Christmas knitting. Not a stitch. I haven’t even gotten to the project planning stage. Last year I gave bulky cowls to several of my female relatives, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do this year (if anything). Anybody got any super-quick hat patterns to recommend?
That’s been my week, for the most part. Now that my work week starts on Saturday, having my farewell-to-the-week post on Friday is even more appropriate. Let me know how you’ve been, or how you spent your holiday, in the comments!