Random Wednesday

1. I am at the place in a book where I am working all the time. I don’t mind so much, because working is the only thing that gives me any sort of relief from the overwhelming sense of doom, or creates hope that this book can ever be finished.  

2. Because I am at the place in a book where I am working all the time, a few hundred tiny things (everything that is not a book or has to do with a dying family member) are a tiny little bit behind.  Laundry service has been suspended, and so the outfits we’re  wearing are starting to be sort of abnormal in a way that we can’t pass off as eccentric.  They are the  wrong season, ill fitting, mismatched – the occasional stain… it makes me feel pressured to take care of it, but the truth is that everyone else who lives here knows how to work the washing machine, and if they were tired of wearing the strange old underpants from the bottom of the drawer they will wash something.

3. It doesn’t bother me that I look funny. I’m the sort of woman who wears clothes, not outfits, so I’m really not falling off any sort of a pedestal. I did wash the towels this morning because that seemed like a bridge too far, even for me.

4. There is a funny smell in the fridge.  I only have time to smell it, not fix it, and apparently nobody else can smell it at all.  I have a really acute sense of smell, so sometimes I do notice bad things before other people can, but this time I think Sam and Joe are lying because they don’t want to clean out the fridge.

5. Disconcertingly, I think there is an excellent chance that the smell is the result of more than one thing. 

6. The end of a book is always like this.

7. I totally finished the little angora handspun sweater. If by finished you understand that I mean the knitting part, not the finishing part – which I guess means it’s not really finished but for the love of all things woolly, I beg you to let me have this small victory.

It looks like it’s different kinds of fuzzy, but it won’t – or, at least there’s no reason for it to stay that way. Right now the body is fuzzier than the arms because it’s been handled more.  After a bath, all should be equal. Tomorrow I will sew the buttons on.

8. I am looking forward to the buttons more than I can say.

9. Is that pathetic? I really hope that’s not pathetic.

10. On Friday I go to Colorado – and I have to have something to knit. I want something simple (because if there is one more hard thing in my life right now, I am going to start chewing on trees to take the edge off) and I am torn between figuring out something new and making a pair of nice, sturdy, stabilizing socks.  Plain ones.
Your thoughts?

362 thoughts on “Random Wednesday

  1. Socks,go for the socks. You need the break. Pick pretty yarn and knit away……..

  2. Love your “list” entries. Love ALL your entries. Good thoughts are coming your way.

  3. You have finished knitting the sweater, it is beautiful! It is definitly a victory 🙂 And there is nothing pathetic about looking forward to buttons, they are loads of fun, and make the project just perfect 🙂

  4. Socks are good. Socks are always good. Something that would make you smile would be good too… some of those wee tiny baby booties … awww… so cute.
    They might be good too. You could stock up.

  5. If it was me, I would choose plain socks in a self-striping yarn. I would not have to think while knitting them but the striping pattern would keep me amused along with showing me progress.

  6. i vote for garter stitch small lap blanket, what i call TV knitting. you know how mindless,just so your fingers keep moving and the yarn moves through your fingers and soothes and you don’t have to give it any thought at all.

  7. I could use a new pair of socks, plain or otherwise. (If you need a goal. Just sayin’).
    Can’t wait to hear more about the book. I’m intrigued.

  8. I hope you decide to knit something for yourself! Something really beautiful — in a luxurious yarn and your favourite colour… and allow yourself to feel good about taking care of yourself.

  9. If you need confort go with the socks, if you need distraction go with something new

  10. Doesnt matter what you knit. Just find a skein of the most beautiful, soft lovely yarn and be inspired.

  11. Go for the socks. Pick a yarn that makes you happy, and watch the socks grow as you knit. Then put ’em in the Christmas box, when they’re done — unless they’re still making you happy — then stick ’em on your feet!

  12. I would go with the socks. Nice, simple socks – either something for you, or something you can set aside for Christmas 2013. It’s coming.

  13. Socks,
    Maybe some self striping ones – they make you happy – you have told us so 🙂

  14. Find a gloriously soft yarn and make yourself some nice, plain, comforting socks. 🙂

  15. Simple socks for a “Gotta keep my hands entertained” plus self striping yarn for the visual entertainment. And make them for yourself, with everything that’s going on, it’s good to give yourself a little love. 🙂

  16. I agree with Alice. Socks. Self-striping to keep you amused. Also satisfying as you work through each section, and feel that you have accomplished something when everything else feels out of control.

  17. There’s always time for new projects. When I feel overwhelmed, I need comfortable, meditative knitting. Pick your favorite colour and knit socks.
    Take care 🙂

  18. Socks. Less stress is good. No cleaning of the fridge. Just find the smelly stuff and toss it. Can you tell I have some experience with this? I hope the book is done soon. Truly an accomplishment.

  19. Plain socks. Definitely. It’s comforting in the same way as a nice cup of tea.

  20. I think just plain socks in interesting yarn is just what you need. Enough to be interesting, but mindless enough that you don’t have to work hard at it. Safe travels, Stephanie.

  21. Sounds like what you need are relatively simple, small projects that you cam complete without taking up too much room during the flight. One of my favorite go-to socks is Hermione’s Everyday with a simple seed pattern. Pattern is simple, straight forward, and free. I have made several in anything from plain to variegate to self striping, and everyone likes them. Then once your knitting soul is feeling better how about something decadent for you, a not to fancy cowl made with extra special yarn or a hat.
    Keep breathing and knitting.

  22. Wingspan
    It’s all garter stitch, but has just a little bit of fun with the short rows and how cool the result is!

  23. The higher the level of stress and anxiety, the greater the need for plain soothing knitting. I vote for socks or possibly a plain, simple, square shawl on a circular needle, begun at the centre with double increases at each corner (as it might be for a new baby) in some really beautiful yarn that needs no complex pattern to speak for it. When my hair is falling out in clumps from the stress, I knit plain stuff in gorgeous yarn. It is calming for the spirit.

  24. Color Affection? Isn’t that the shawl you love? Interesting but not too difficult.
    But whatever is the least stressful should win the vote! Be good to yourself.

  25. When all else fails, go for socks. Nice, normal, non-stressful socks that you can knit in your sleep.

  26. I vote a pair of plain, comforting “oatmeal” socks for a little project, and a plain but interesting larger project. You probably know Judy’s Magic Cast On? How about a laceweight knit-in-the-round shawl? I just found and cast on “Nuvem” by Martina Behm. A pretty handpainted would keep the pattern interesting.

  27. Another vote for basic socks, but in an amusing yarn. So soothing and restful.

  28. Do not do what I did….take a lacy scarf, to which I was adding beads (not in the pattern), and try to cast on in an airport….and then there’s the beads on a plane thing. Need I say more?

  29. Socks. Simple socks in wild yarn, so that every next bit will please the soul and give some time to build strength.

  30. I know this will probably go against the grain, but here it is. Hire some help. Get someone in every week or every other week to do stuff. Laundry, housekeeping, whatever. Find a service for the groceries, or produce delivery or whatever. It doesn’t mean you are shiftless. It means you got someone to come in and help when you needed it. It also means you are participating in the local economy – even though it’s just a little job.
    It will take a load off of all of you. I know this from experience.

  31. Some luxurious socks in pretty yarn for yourself. And a blankie or those gorgeous booties for the wee one. And let yourself relax, just caress the soothing yarn, just veg out a bit to wind down. You deserve it.
    Have a great trip!

  32. Wingspan has become my favorite non-sock, low thought project. It’s all garter stitch (although that can be varied, look at the samples with the pattern!) and requires just enough thought to keep my mind minimally entertained.
    It’s rather a shawlette/scarf/accessory that I’ve come to love a lot. I’m making my 2nd one.
    Wishing you peace!

  33. Plain socks, special yarn! Make them for yourself!
    Also, I finished a little baby hoodie yesterday and can’t wait to go button shopping and am rediculously excited about it so no, #9 is totally not pathetic!

  34. Is it too much if I chime in with Color Affection also? It’s familiar enough not to take too much thought, but with a new color scheme it would be interesting enough not to get bored. I just purchased a Yet trio from Miss Babs and can’t wait to begin…. it will be my first – but you’ve talked me into it!

  35. Oh, yes, more votes for getting some help in to do “chores” and get groceries delivered. After a few orders, you’ll have a master grocery list and it will become even easier and a gift to yourself! (And to your family if you don’t have to hint strongly that they help with chores)

  36. Deep, centering breath. You’ve finished the sweater. You had Joe’s plain socks (that were too plain). Maybe something new is the thing. Even if it’s just the “looking for”, that’s a great adventure your mind can take to unwind. You can always come back to the comforting, familiar socks. Where your mind goes, your fingers follow. Knit on! ;^>

  37. Since I work at home and don’t usually do things that make me sweaty, I have no problem at all wearing the same shirt 3 days in a row.

  38. Well unless you trip is less than 2 days long, you’ll need two projects. Times like these engender extra knitting. (Unless of course you are writing a book.) Make one project sturdy safe plain socks. The other should be big and comforting to knit.

  39. I vote for socks, either plain or a nice, simple pattern like Cookie A.’s Monkey Socks (my personal favorite go-to sock). Either way, do them in a nice, soft, pretty yarn that makes you happy when you look at it and touch it.

  40. go for the socks, or work on something that can go into the gift box so that you’re not running around like a chicken with its head cut off come time to work on the knitted gifts for Christmas.
    Socks, mittens, hats…. things that are fairly easy and you can stash dive if you feel like it (or have to buy minimal amounts if you want to).
    and yes, the sweater is as finished as it’s going to get until it takes a bath…

  41. Both. Plain socks for when you need mindless, something new/fiddly in case you need distraction.

  42. Hitchhiker? Lovely sock yarn, very simple, highly satisfying. Hang on in there, it sounds like you’ve got your priorities well sorted. Hugs.

  43. get a jump on winter and knit a fabulous hat out of fabulous yarn. Take an hour or two out of your schedule and find something great that will not make you look like a penis (I have that problem too, so I get it), and some expensive and gorgeous yarn. I say this because the end of a big project is so tiring and makes you feel so blah, so starting something exciting will hopefully give you a lift.

  44. 2 projects…plain or almost plain socks and maybe a wingspan scarf (super easy, excellent travel knitting, can be sized up to a shawl and can play with colors or not).
    As far as that totally cute baby sweater? When sewn up, toss the dry sweater in the dryer for about 5 minutes (with maybe a pair of shorts to bounce off it). Voila! Evenly fuzzy.

  45. Work ahead for winter gift. The Wurm hat is so easy but interesting. The one that you made for your daughter last winter looked great on her.

  46. Since this is my first post to you, I suppose I should say socks, but, I’m working on my 2nd summer lace robe & it’s so Blimey easy & mindless. Tell the kids & Joe to make friends with the the washer & dryer & mop then go for a long walk with knitting in hands. Can’t wait for the new book.

  47. That is the kind of baby sweater that makes me just a little sad I will not be having any more babies. I will have to knit for pregnant friends.
    Plain vanilla socks in a fun self-striping yarn. They look so impressive, and they are so delightfully mindless.
    And maybe a couple of washcloths, just because they are so fast and you get the satisfaction of finishing something really soon after you cast on.

  48. When I want something simple, I often go for baby blanket (or maybe scarf) … something where you can hit your flow and just be one with the motion!

  49. Socks. It definitely time for socks, but I do like working on my hitchhiker too.

  50. Stabilizing socks. Says it all. Done up with eye cheering, heart emboldening, hand soothing yarn.
    That sweater is super cute and I can’t wait to see what sweet buttons you pull out for it!

  51. Socks. I’ve been feeling the way you’ve been describing lately, and, despite all of the deadline knitting on my plate, I finally snapped and went for the socks. Somehow, it helped– is helping. I have no idea how, and it’s not like it’s changing anything, but it’s making me feel a bit better, and a bit better is necessary right now.

  52. I like both MJ’s suggestion of self-striping yarn and Kelly’s that you bring one of each so you can decide as the mood takes you.
    I’d also suggest Miriam Felton’s Blessing socks. From her website description, “The motif on these socks is Arabic calligraphy of the word ‘baraka’ meaning ‘blessing’. The chart was originally published in A History of Handknitting, and was found on a pillow entombed in 1275. The twisted cuff echoes the spiraling purl decreases on the toe, which it turn mimic the garter ridges and seam stitch on the comfortable, turned German heel. Knit these for someone in need of a few blessings. With good thoughts and a prayer in your heart, the recipient will know they are cared for.”
    They were the socks I was going to knit for my Maman while she recovered, and before we unexpectedly lost her. I think they go well for anyone, with no religious connotations. We all can use a blessing from time to time, can’t we?
    Hope things are holding together well.

  53. I recently made a linen stitch boomerang shawl (pattern on Ravelry). It was fun and just challenging enough to be interesting. It only uses one skein of yarn – about 400 yards. I used a lovely discontinued Shaeffer (sp?)skein and I love it.

  54. Plain socks and maybe a simple shawl or scarf—you need to have more than one thing with you of course—so sorry for your heartache—

  55. Since knitting socks has me running for a gun or a tranquilizer, I’d say do something simple, but for yourself.

  56. I vote socks because then the only thinking required is what lovely yarn and colour to make them, and that’s the best kind of thinking to have to think.
    Also, being done the knitting DEFINITELY counts as being done. The “finishing” doesn’t because it’s like the gift wrap and tag – little extras that just make it look nice(r). It’s done.
    If you can stand that funny smell in the fridge until Thursday night, you’re green. I’m sure someone ELSE who lives in your house will be bothered by it and you’ll be *gone* which means they will, ideally, do it themselves. Helpful reminder notes taped to the inside of the fridge may help. “Something in here smells. Find it, please, and deal with it while I earn some money.”

  57. Definitely socks. Someone always needs socks and they are portable and easy to knit on when you are otherwise occupied. Maybe make Joe another pair??

  58. The sweater is precious and perfect. That is not pathetic to be looking forward to the buttons. To me that sounds grounded and looking for the best in the small real things. I don’t know tons about grief but I know its best dealing with what is right there in front of you and not looking at the big picture for awhile. It’s just right to be enjoying the small things, and gradually that leads to being ready for the bigger things. Have a good trip. I’m sure the smell in the fridge won’t be fatal to anyone 😉

  59. When is the last time you knit something for yourself? I think an Encompass would be nice.

  60. Socks are good, booties better (faster) and we all know how you love the booties and the little feet they go on! Your pain is so visible and we can only pray for healing for you and your loved one. Be still and know that He is God.

  61. I’m sad. I had planned to come and see you in Conifer because I was going to be in Boulder on Saturday while my mother was speaking at a women’s conference, but we had to cancel the trip because my husband had hastily-scheduled-but-expected toe surgery two days ago. 🙁 We were hoping the surgery would be moved to next week or scheduled earlier in June, but time was against us.
    The baby sweater is so beautiful!

  62. My default is always socks, but maybe a very simple 2-row pattern? Then you can memorize it, but it won’t be completely stockinette. Or, I like the idea of self-striping yarn. I can knit that and be amused quite thoroughly by the color changes. Onward and upward. It’s going to get better.

  63. Finish the apple Bohus that got put away because it was too boring. Then you can wear it to Rhinebeck.

  64. I agree with what Holly (at 3:10pm) said – socks for comfort, anything else for distraction. One can never go wrong with socks.

  65. I think socks AND a color affection. Ah, soothing garter stitch. I think you had started one at the beginning of spring…???
    Whatever you decide, I think you should pick ”happy” colors. And keep it for yourself! You deserve something nice.

  66. Striped socks (like Noro, but maybe something more sturdy, and less expensive) – you can tell what I want to knit to take the edge off my current life. Wool purchased yesterday, head in a book last night rather than casting-on. Ahh.

  67. Simple socks from self-striping yarn. Always keeps the wolf from the door when the stress of life gets to be too much. Sending good thoughts your way.

  68. Plain socks (or striped ones)! Always good for traveling or easing the mind. Something about socks that makes you feel super accomplished and smart after you finish a pair. (Also, slightly smug.) =)

  69. I am flying into Denver on Friday, too, to visit my parents and to go to hear you in Conifer. If you see a knitter at the airport with two teenagers and an elderly couple, and said knitter has obviously noticed you but is trying hard to act cool and not behave like a groupie, that will be me.

  70. A scarf always does it for me. One with a pattern, but not so complicated that I have to count a lot. There’s always something in my stash so I don’t have to leave the house to find yarn.

  71. Sometimes when it feels like life is fairly out of control, it’s nice to do something simple and life-affirming. Maybe a bunch of Mason-Dixon bibs, sweaters, or baby blankets for a shelter/program for teen mothers? Or watchcaps or super-warm socks or mittens for women/men on the street come winter?

  72. i suggest plain socks in plain-ish wool, then you can knit and doze off at the same time. ‘->

  73. Knit what makes you feel good, something you want to do in a color and yarn that you like that’s comforting to work on rather than challenging. You have enough challenges presently – be gentle and good to yourself.

  74. SOCKS! socks are my go to knitting with any massive amounts of stress, or emotional upset. a very pretty yarn can bring joy while the plain pattern soothes. And don’t worry about the non-important things, there will be time for them eventually and most humans with compassion will be understanding until then.

  75. Socks, in a pretty color. Socks are always my stand by, they got me through Grad school, radiation treatments and family gatherings. Plain socks in fun yarn, the knitting equivalent of Mac & Cheese or chocolate ice cream

  76. normally i would be commenting on the knitting, but it occurred to me to suggest you maybe look into a cleaning service? it sounds like you need to be kind to yourself, and taking some of the pressure off, by way of an hourly fee that results in clean clothes and a clean kitchen and whatever else you need to be clean, may just be the ticket.

  77. You need two projects. I vote for socks in a bright selfstriping pattern that can’t help but make you grin. Plus, Luis needs a bigger sweater. You can’t not feel hopeful knitting for babies.

  78. Be gentle with yourself and just pick out sock yarn that makes you feel “lighter” and knit good old plain socks.
    “…figuring out something new…” is more than I think you need to take on right now.
    Now, if I could take my own advice!

  79. What kind of blog would we be if we sent you off half-cocked with only one knitting project? Seriously…
    I vote for “oatmeal” socks in your favorite colorway…or maybe an easy pattern just to keep you from wanting to pull your hair out from boredom (not that that appears to be an issue just now!)
    Then, what do you have in your Ravelry queue along the means of a simple, one-skein shawlette/scarf?
    Or mittens? or some other Christmas project?

  80. I say take a look at your Christmas list and see who needs socks. Kill two birds with one stone kind of thing.

  81. Socks! Knitting socks is my go-to comfort knitting – like a piece of really good chocolate for the fingers. And the repetition of going round and round in colors that please the eye and yarn that feels good in the fingers is just what you need.

  82. Socks. They’re portable, familiar, reasonably straightforward (unless you choose a fussy pattern), can be made in any colors, will fit somebody, are useful, and don’t take so long that you’re bored long before you’re done. That’s my vote.
    Good luck with everything. Despite your post earlier this week, you really ARE Superwoman.

  83. Beware, you’ve been here before. I quote you to yourself:
    “Match their intensity.”

  84. Yes, the socks sound like an excellent plan. Soothing in their simplicity. Plus, you could pick a really nice yarn, something you’ve been saving for a rainy day.

  85. Socks. You just go around and around. If you do an afterthought/peasant heel, you don’t have to worry about shaping until the toes.

  86. I concur with PammieTaj at June 19, 2013 3:39 PM No sin asking for help or delegating help on a rare occassion. We do alot for our families before ourselves, and then we knit for them on top of it all to make sure they have something nice,special or warm. Talking to you Harlot! P.S. I don’t usually do socks, but recently have taken up because of family requests. However, I’m not finding it relaxing, and is taking me about a month to complete(Sock knitting master class). And btw, those are really nice socks you made Joe, good color combo. I’ve heard this is a whole different animal as opposed to sweaters.

  87. Dear Stephanie,
    I know the place from which you write, as my sister passed away last Friday. We had a six-week lead up to it, and one of the things that got me through was knitting, naturally. I worked on socks and a bandanna scarf, and forever, those two items will have a certain association for me. The socks are meant to be donated to a fundraiser, and I am thinking about writing a note to go with them, telling a bit of the journey that the socks have already taken with me, without ever being worn. Right before she passed, I started a pair of Mojo socks, because I knew that she would want me to continue my mojo, even under these circumstances. I have considered it to be a sacred privilege to spend time with my sister these last several weeks, to knit and ponder all that she means to me. It was one of my ways of saying farewell, and it will be my way through my grief. I wish the best to you during these hard times. These passages make us stronger and better people. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Barb G

  88. I recommend baby sacks/buntings. My friend got two of them from me at her baby shower and has already requested more since babies grow like daisies on steriods!

  89. That is a dear little sweater. 🙂 The fuzziness of your spun yarn is just perfect in garter stitch. Well done! I vote for plain socks, maybe with some spectacular yarn that will keep you knitting to see what happens next. Is there something else you can knit without thinking much? Socks work for me. (Funny that I remember when socks were an adventure, probably too hard for my brain to understand. Now they are simple car projects and stress free.)

  90. Not socks…something for baby…because babies are new..and fresh and…and inspiring…and are full of wonderment.
    You can’t be sad when you knit for babies..

  91. Did you finish your Afterlight? It’s wonderfully easy and, I’m finding, very meditative.

  92. Before you get on the plane to Colorado, do pay attention to the Lime Gulch fire. The local NPR station described it as “near Conifer.” According to the map, it’s about ten miles from town now, which could mean Conifer will stay safe and life will continue as expected. Or it could mean something completely different.

  93. Joining the “plain socks, luscious yarn” chorus. No mental strain but comfort and entertainment in the feel of really good yarn and a glorious color or stripes. And even better? Make them for yourself. Wish we/I could make this time easier for you. If I didn’t live totally on the south end of North America I’d even come clean your refrigerator.

  94. Like someone before me said, socks would make me run for the tranquilizers; however, since they are your forte (sp?), go with that. I’m making a scarf out of Koigu mitred squares and triangles – easy, portable, and oh-so-fun to watch the colors develop…maybe a baby blanket like this?? or baby hats? I keep a stash of them for “emergencies” and a co-worker had twin grandsons yesterday, so more of them are on my list….your booties are so cute, maybe more of those..

  95. Make some sturdy wool boot socks. Then give them to one of the thousands of firefighters on the fires there.

  96. I am knitting Brooklet by Cecily MacDonald. uses two yarns, one side all stockinet the, other side a simple lace…have a safe fun trip to Colorado!

  97. Stephanie, I will be thinking of you during this hard time. Also, looking forward to the new book.
    I had a misadventure with a lace stole. I kitchnered the wrong sides together and ended up with a ridge on the right side of my work. Today I was reading All Wound Up, the chapter Failure to Think. I must tell you I laughed so hard. It was a cleansing laugh. I feel so much better about myself, because someone who is a much better knitter than I makes mistakes too.
    Thank you, for you ministered to me today.

  98. If you do start chewing on trees, try birch twigs. I hear they’re good for your teeth.

  99. Socks. Keep them plain but make it more interesting by using self-striping yarn. That way it’s not so boring — you get to see the pretty stripes as they happen, but you don’t have to think about it or do any planning. Easy on your brain and relaxing.

  100. I’d go with the socks. Knitting plain socks seem to lower my blood pressure and allow me to avoid murdering members of my family!

  101. My husband passed away from cancer 2 years ago. When I wasn’t holding his hand, I spent all my time by his bedside knitting a baby blue alpaca vest in a very simple stitch. The thing is, I couldn’t bring myself to wearing it after he died, it brought back too many gut wrenching memories… So I unravelled it and the yarn is still waiting for me to feel ready to do something with it.
    My suggestion is to knit something for a baby, baby knits are always good for the soul!
    I agree with the comments about getting someone to help you. I didn’t ask for help and in hindsight, I should have…
    Hang in there Steph, just take it one day at a time.

  102. First the fridge: throw out what stinks to your nose, if you can not find it, your householdmembers surely will. Put in fridge half a lemon and the juice of the other half or the ground coffee from one can of it, it absorbs smells! Delegate one task to each householdmember (or more if they can take it) f.i. emptying and cleaning trashcans, washing the towels and folding them, well, you get the thought, not too much but it will be off your plate. Now, knitting. Dive in your stash, get out the leftovers to knit an BSJ (you can choose special buttons for a future new arrival when he/she has arrived to make it special) and sockyarn leftovers. Knit wristwarmers for the females on your Christmaslist. I hate open sleeves on wintercoats, although they look more sophisticated and less sporty, mittens never seem to be long enough, with wristwarmers (the upper part of socks) you will destash many leftovers and they will be warm up to the elbow, for the males knit socks this year. Boring? Remember the year you knitted huge slippers and felted them for all your familymembers? Just stick to BSJ, wristwarmers and socks, you need mindless knitting, I know from experience.

  103. Just leave a note in the refrigerator when you leave about the risks they take eating anything out of there

  104. Buttons! Of course that’s not pathetic! Sometimes those little touches are what turns something from lovely to wonderful and brings a tiny surge of delight into our lives. You might not notice little burst of joy during normal times but these are not normal times, so go for it.

  105. I say socks made out of some sort of yarn that feels so good you want to crawl inside the skein and pull the hole closed after you. Say they are socks for you to wear while writing, or relaxing, or some similar pursuit where they won’t take hard wear so you can justify using slightly less sturdy yarn.

  106. Socks, definitely. And maybe look for something new while you are in Colorado..something that makes you happy just to look at it.

  107. Definitely plain vanilla socks, in a happy color. If you really want, you could add a small cable like you did on Joe’s socks.
    However, I think you should take some lace along as well. You may want something that doesn’t *allow* you to veg (too much thinking about family issues and whatever is in the fridge and the piles of laundry). Lace doesn’t take much room, and if the socks is really what you need, you’ve got them. I’d choose a pattern you’ve already knit (so pesky errata or desired personal changes have already been made) or possibly a new one from a designer from whom you have made other, successful projects.

  108. I fell (twice) and did some damage to my neck. Ive had a headache for a week. Tomorrow I see the chiropractor, but until then, the lace shawl has been on hold and I’m knitting nice, plain socks. Theyre like quiet music :). Good for stress.

  109. a) plain socks in scrumptious yarn
    b) EZ’s Baby Surprise sweater, ditto
    c) hat[s] and scarves for the Christmas box
    d) a Miriam Felton shawl: Lune, Andromeda or Ancient Woodland
    I support the notion of ‘hired help’ – ask or hire someone to gather up ALL the laundry-to-be-done and take it to a laundromat to do it all at once. Piled up laundry takes forever to catch up in a single-machine household – commandeering 6 to 8 machines at once gets everything done in about 2 hours. (This is why I own enough underwear to survive at least a month with doing laundry LOL.) Also, ask as many friends as possible to fill your freezer with meals that just need reheating, or to drop off ready-to-eat meals at appropriate times.
    Hang in there, lady!

  110. I seem to recall a certain knitting blogger had passionate affair with a baby sweater by the name of Dream in Color some years ago, which so enthralled her she felt compelled to make it several times in a row. Something that really grabs you is what’s called for here. Whether it’s socks or one of the other excellent suggestions made here, choose yarn that makes your heart sing.

  111. Stephanie, I just lost my mother on May 16th. I do some charity knitting: baby hats and prayer shawls; so I was surprised that I was given a prayer shawl myself. If it helps, maybe knit something for the someone who is closest to the family member. Pour all the good thoughts that you can into it. It will benefit both of you.

  112. After the joy the angora blend baby sweater, you need to knit something else in angora for you. A hat, mitten with angora linning or scarf.
    I know you spin, but maybe you need to bring a spindle with some angora blend fiber. That is a personal favorite of mine now. Not the best hot weather spinning but with air conditioning…

  113. Socks, definitely simple socks. Simplicity brings a peaceful karma. Hang tight.

  114. 9. Take joy in the small things when the big things are just to big. Buttons possess a special joy at all times.
    10. Socks. Plain Vanilla Socks in a spring color.

  115. I’m sorry life is so overwhelming right now. My hubby and I are coming off of 8 months that will go down in the record books as the worst 8 months of our married life. (Our marriage is fully intact and we have been brought closer together by everything). There were hospital visits, a car accident, and a straggering lack of incoming funds coupled with the huge expense of being back in school. There were honestly days where we didn’t think we were going to survive to the next day. Everything looked so damn bleak.
    I knit socks. Simple easy pairs of socks. They kept me sane. They got me threw days that I could barely get out of bed for. I don’t regret a single minute spent with those socks. There was a certain amount of comfort that came with socks and knowing how they would turn out. The last thing you need is to end up I tears over your knitting.
    Big hugs to you and your family. And I vote for plain socks.

  116. Sometimes, when one wants to read, one is in the mood for something complex, detailed, something that teases the brain. Other times one is in the mood for beach reading—nothing heavy, barely plotted, no thinking required. I think this is what you need—beach reading, only the knitting version. Pick the socks. Use a pattern you’ve used eleventy-billion times before. Maybe ratchet it up with self-striping yarn. But, above all, something you can knit on autopilot and give your spirit time to vegetate. No shame in that.

  117. 1. It will. 2. They will. 3. Yess! 4. They can fix it. 5. Likely. 6. If you say so, I believe. 7. OF COURSE it is done. 8. Why not? 9. No. 10. Awesome. I wish I lived in Colorado. Bestest of best wishes always!

  118. Socks. In self-stripping yarn like many other brilliant people have suggested.
    Or, you could try a nice simple baby blanket. Tin can knits has a blanket called waffle – nice texture, easy to memorize, and satisfies that tactile part of knitting.

  119. Socks, definitely. Around and around and around. Soothing rhythm. Lovely yarn. Simple pattern — not boring, but simple. God be with ye, and try to lose yourself in the trip. All will be well. Hugs!

  120. I agree with socks. Pick your favorite sock yarn in a cheerful color–hand dyed, striped, variegated– that makes you happy. Plain old vanilla or throw in a slip stitch every 5th or 6th stitch. But I think you should take something else that requires a little bit more thinking. Another simple sweater or hat for Lou or the new baby.

  121. Just bring a few small projects…that will keep your brain fresh…I love little things….booties, little hats, perhaps a tiny Santa pin for Christmas with size 1 needles…..
    Hang in there…this too shall pass….and it won’t be as piercing as time goes by…I am older than you by about 10 years…..I have been there….more than I would have wanted to, 3 times in the last 5 months. You epitomize strength, even if you don’t feel strong at this moment…..

  122. Plain, colorful, socks…that is all you need now. Or…how about a scarf. That is simple too.

  123. beautiful sweater. I’m looking forward to seeing the wee buttons. I’m sure your choice will be fabulous.
    do you feel like knitting socks? then, yes, knit socks. If something floats your boat whilst in colorado and/or the trip there… I say do what feels right. I have 3 active pairs of socks. I really need to finish them before I start another.. but if I were starting a pair of socks, I would select Socks of Kindness: a recipe (by Chawne) I like the title as much as the pattern!
    travel safely!

  124. When I am at that stage where I need something mindless but totally absorbing so that I can just “go somewhere in my head” for a bit, I work on my “skinny scarf”. Cast on 24 to 32 stitches, with sock yarn, and knit something- patterned, ribbed, plain, garter, stocking, whatever. Knit until you need a break. Cut the yarn and get another colour of sock yarn. Knit awhile-again- whatever your fancy. I have made 6 and 7 foot scarves that I get raves about. I just wind them around my neck a few times, and ta da! Immediate trendiness!

  125. Easy scarves or mittens or socks that you know forwards and backwards. Knit ahead for the gift giving season that will come around before you know it.

  126. My thought was socks, and then I read some of the first entries, and it seems like everyone else seems to think that, too. I think you got yourself a project!

  127. Socks!! When things are stressful or tough, I go for my standard plain socks. Socks are the mac & cheese of knitting.

  128. Garter stitch or socks. Garter stitch has kept me from pulling my hair out from the root and socks have kept me from causing harm to the population at large.
    The last choice is to bring a drop spindle and some fiber and spin some fiber/mawata to make baby booties.

  129. I say go for lovely, plain vanilla socks. Though Picabeau is a lovely, simple shawl pattern, if you do want something new.

  130. Not plain but something brainless. Perhaps a bright color or contrasting heels and toe caps?

  131. Monkey socks are not too easy, not too complicated (especilly for you). I think that those who recommend baby sweeaters are on to something. The only reason that I would recommend doing something about the smell in the refrig is that at my house it would still be there, and possibly knocking on the inside refrigerator door trying to escape, when I returned and that would make me even more sad. Peace and blessings.

  132. Socks. Plain socks. Or stashbusting winter hats for the community bin. You cannot screw them up. If you like them, put them in the gift bin, if you don’t, community knitting needs them
    Send your daughter to the Laundromat. There are times when the energy you save must be your own.

  133. Stonington shawl in something delicious, like alpaca. Lots of comforting garter stich, yet construction is such that you know you’re making progress and it is not boring, just comforting. No swatching needed except for making sure you like the fabric.

  134. For the love of God…just bring plain socks and give your mind a rest while keeping your hands busy!!

  135. I am also voting for socks. Always vote for socks. Find your most titillating stash yarn and get to it.

  136. Sturdy socks. And I can’t wait to see you in CO!! Sorry this trip is just one more thing in your life.

  137. Congratulations on the sweater; it’s so sweet! Definitely do the socks because socks are small and it is very warm here in Colorado – but it’s a dry heat…

  138. Socks. Definitely socks. There is much comfort and healing in doing the familiar.

  139. Socks, but interesting yarn. Maybe self-striping so you have the Interest without the challenge?
    Also, I was reading #2 thinking “everyone in her house is a grown up, surely they can run a washer”. Glad you said it yourself.

  140. I’m with nicky at 5:38pm. Keep knitting for those who are beginning life as it completes the circle and creates a balance. How about hats for little Lou and the fuzzy sweater baby? You loaded Jen’s littlest up with them not that long ago.

  141. p.s. – You’ll need clothes for Colorado. But, it’s really the folding that takes time. I hereby grant dispensation(because you seem like the type of woman who will otherwise feel guilty) to just toss the clean clothes in a basket and wear/pack them out of there.

  142. Socks. Definitely socks to give you a bit of life affirming sanity.
    And just pack your laundry, we can do it here. 🙂
    See you Friday!

  143. I’m so sorry that so many things are difficult right now. Sending love and good vibes your way.
    I vote with the others who have suggested plain socks. When I was in a place similar to where you are now, I managed to goof up even plain socks. I decreased for the gusset without turning the heel. Not on one sock, mind you, but on both. I was incredulous.
    Whatever you decide, may it be as comforting/distracting as necessary.

  144. Socks you can give away. I can’t keep things I’ve knitted in times of stress because I remember. Mittens are also good give-always.

  145. plain socks, and also a “pretty” but brainless shawl (I see others have recommended both Wingspan and Color Affection already!)

  146. Victory socks.
    I bet you already threw out what smelled because it would sure as heck distract me from the book.

  147. Socks. Socks are always good. And I agree with the self-striping yarn. I’m currently crushing on Schoppel Wolle Zauberball.

  148. Corner-to-corner baby blanket in garter or stockinette, you choose. Striped or random or tonal or using up bits. Stays interesting, goes fast. As big as you have yarn, or want to make it.

  149. I recommend the colorplay mohair wrap (Churchmouse Yarns pattern) with Rowan Kidsilk Haze stripe yarn. Totally soothing, stockinette, you get to watch the yarn change colors and blend together, lightweight for travel.
    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  150. I vote for socks. That could be because my last two FOs were my second and third pairs ever knit, but I think it’s mostly because socks *are* sturdy and stabilizing. And when a person has knit as many pairs as you have, you really don’t have to use your brain. The sock has become a part of you. Embrace that part.
    As for the sweater, when the knitting is done, I say it’s finished as well. The rest is just accessorizing.

  151. Maybe you just need to use a bullhorn (or bullwhip?) to get Sam and Joe to pitch in a little more. Or maybe get the bossier of your two older daughters (or your mom) to come in and shame them into doing better. . . . (Even so, hugs to them all, because the various impending issues have to be affecting them, too.)
    I hate to say it, but the little sweater did make me go “Awwww”. Of course you’re looking forward to finishing it. There’s not much finishing to do on something so small, is there? And the design is simple enough that there’s nothing fiddly about finishing it.
    I will add to the chorus: knit yourself a pair of socks from some soft, self-patterning yarn. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, I would advise more baby items, a relatively simple scarf, or a pretty simple tank or shawl. Something with just enough to hold your interest, but simple enough that you can memorize the pattern and knit on through all sorts of chaos, mayhem, upheaval, madness, and strange old underpants.

  152. Socks. Garter stitch with a fun self striping I yarn and go crazy and let the second sock start on a different place ino the stripe sequence. Socks with a simple heel start one from the cuff, start the second from the toe. Have some simple fun. My thoughts are with you and your family and everyone else in this community who is struggling with life’s challenges. There is another side that will be reached, a new normal where we miss our friends and family who are no longer physically here but a place where we remember and savor the gift of having known, loved, fought, argued, laughed ,etc. with them.

  153. I vote for the simple socks, too. Sometimes they are just the mindless knitting you need. But also pack a ball of nice yarn and appropriate needles just in case you want to distract your brain by figuring something out. Best wishes to you.

  154. Go for the socks and self-patterning yarn.
    Buttons are charming. Having a UFO lie around for a year with two, count ’em two ends to weave in – pathetic. If the buttons take over a year to sew on, might have to re-evaluate the pathetic part.
    ps 7 years ago while supporting a dying loved one, I cleared off the table by shoving stuff in bags to meet the immediate need of space in which to eat. That stuff is still in bags. Apparently, nothing bad happened by ignoring the stuff and focusing on the human beings in need. I regret nothing.

  155. Socks, dear person. Stripy yarn, plain pattern. Auto pilot indeed to restore basic balance. 🙂

  156. Amusing self-striping socks? I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I wanted to say that your blog always really brightens my day, and so I hope that this rough time treats you and your family as kindly as at all possible.

  157. Citron? Just stockinette and except for the increase and decrease rows it’s wonderfully brainless. And especially nice knitted with malabrigo lace which comes in an insanely tight skein but knits into a wonderfully light, squishy soft fabric! I finished one just recently, and am contemplating taking another into the labour suite with me when this more-patient-than-me baby decides to introduce itself! As I said, brainless and perfect.
    And hooray for the washing pile and smelly fridge. Sometimes they need to become other people’s priorities.
    Take care xx

  158. Laura Chau’s Dipped Infinity Scarf. Looks awesome, pattern is smooth sailing and it’s a great way to use up those prewound (time saving!) sock yarn scraps.
    Also I wanted to express my condolences. For what it is worth, try to still take time for you; as women and mothers especially, there is this expectation that we be everything to everyone and that cannot be achieved without taking time for oneself too.

  159. Someone else said it, but I second Hitchhiker. Nothing better than garter stitch and variegated sock yarn, and it’s the perfect shape for easy three season wearing! Hang in there – this too shall pass…..

  160. Is it possible to beat socks for comfort knitting? I think not. And comfort is clearly called for. Plus, it will help with the laundry if a new, clean pair of socks appear! Better knit them for yourself I think.

  161. Irish Girlie’s summer infinity scarf, Summer Wind. Just the right ratio of plain knit:yarn overs to make it just short of a yawn and the end result is beautiful. Much like Ontario, summers here where I live require sweaters the very moment the sun even thinks about setting – well before 10pm. Mine has been on planes (short trip) and cars in the past week and is just about finished (I work at a job where I can not knit. Totally unfair.)

  162. Socks, of course!
    There is a really terrific, simple Plain Vanilla Socks pattern in a book called Knitting Rules…
    Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
    Travel safely. We all carry you and your family in our hearts.

  163. Yes, plain socks sounds good. Sometimes vanilla is the perfect flavor, like after a huge complex meal. All my analogies refer to food, I’m a foodie. 🙂
    I love, love, LOVE that little baby sweater. I forgot it was your handspun, that just makes it oh so much sweeter. Can’t wait to see the buttons!

  164. Plain socks. Optional bit of marvelous here and there when you feel the need for new but don’t want to commit to something big. Like a purly star or smiley face amidst the stockinette. Or morse code SOS purls around the leg. You know…to get out the grieving angst.

  165. You should knit Jared Flood’s Noro striped scarf. Pretty mindless knitting but working with 2 skeins of striping yarn makes it fun.

  166. You mentioned a funny smell….we’ll we’ve got one too! It’s the smoke from that Lime Gulch fire near Conifer. I live clear out on the eastern edge of the Denver area, probably 40+ miles from the thing, and it smells like a freakin’ campfire out here. My daughter showed me that the smoke is so thick it looks like dirty fog in the street lights. You’ve doubtless already heard what happens with fire and wind in this state. So, I’m with Connie at 5:48, but then your contacts in Conifer are probably already keeping you informed.
    I would go for the plain vanilla socks, in your favorite colors. And here’s a * Hug * from Colorado!

  167. Socks. Definitely. Plain or easy pattern, but in a yarn that makes your heart sing. Because I’ve noticed that socks are one of your go-to projects, and because the very familiar is really comforting in tough times.
    Sending you warm thoughts and virtual hugs.

  168. Wow. Many, many virtual hugs, thoughts, prayers are winging their way to you. Hope it all helps A LOT. Voting for socks, too. And maybe some good chocolate?

  169. Socks, for sure. Dig out the yarn that makes you smile most when you look at it, and work right along on plain socks or simple ones. There’s little that soothes a sore heart more, in my opinion. Warm wishes for you and your family.

  170. Hello Steph,
    The truest thing I was told when my Mum was dying was that grief makes everyone a ‘more extreme’ version of themselves, including you.
    The best thing you can give yourself is a cleaner…. Ask a good friend if you can pay them to clean your house for a little while.
    Tell your husband to sort out a laundry service once a week to do the towels and sheets (and a few smalls!).
    Tell your daughter to order on line a delivery of delicious freezer food.
    and tell everyone to ‘Raise their F***ing game’or you’ll be crushed…… and they don’t want that.
    Its Shit,
    Your strong,

  171. I don’t often comment on your blog Stephanie, but I always read.
    I’m sorry you’re having a tough time. I hope things get better for you soon 🙁
    For what it’s worth, my twopenneth is – go for the socks. If you’re anything like me though, you’ll ignore everyone and just go for what your gut tells you to knit anyway 🙂
    Liz x

  172. Nice, sturdy, plain socks… In a gorgeous, luscious, omnomnom colorway.
    I am going to live vicariously through you on two fronts: going to Colorado (home of my alma mater) and finishing a book. I will also cheer you on in both pursuits – Yaaaaaay, you can do it!! 🙂

  173. Steph,
    Move over. I’m in the same boat.
    I care for my mother who is in home hospice. Caregiving is overwhelming at times and I yearn for all things wooly.
    Can’t concentrate on a complicated pattern because my focus drifts from pattern to person. I suggest KISS. Keep it simple, sweetheart. Let the yarn comfort, rather than the pattern. Simple shawls work for me.
    Bless you.

  174. As a person who’s in the first week of grieving for a beloved friend and family member I would suggest the socks in a really great yarn. I’m looking for a really simple shawl pattern myself because all the projects and patterns I have going are not percolating through my sad and befuddled brain. I seriously need a new utilitarian shawl to use when I sit at my computer. I need a simple pattern just to give myself a break from all the hard crap that is going on. Hang in there. It just sucks. I agree with Christina’s post 6 comments before mine. She nailed it! Sending good energy your way.

  175. Enjoy Colorado. Say hello to the mountains and the sun for me – I miss them both!
    I vote Socks or another Colour Affection shawl – long and mindless garter st, perfect for interesting wool and simple knitting.

  176. Socks. Definitely socks. Although my librarian just flew, and the TSA bullies took her knitting needles, so maybe you should take bamboo needles.

  177. Figure out something new to do and throw the socks in with it, unless figuring out that new thing just seems to be too much to get together….or perhaps plain and fancy socks. Hang in there you’ll make it thru.

  178. Good luck with finishing your book! How much longer will you be working on it? The description of your home sounds like mine at the end of a quarter in school. When grades are due, but I have 6 assignments left to grade. I would go with a sock because nothing feels better than finishing a quick comfortable project.

  179. New. Takes your mind off things when you have to concentrate a bit but not too much.

  180. Blanket squares in a bunch of different colors in a yarn you love. You get the easy repetition and portability, and starting a new color keeps you going. And color is therapeutic, I find.

  181. Socks – definitely socks. Mindless and comforting and give you a sense of control and progress.

  182. I would definitely go with socks. I am headed this morning to Chicago for a trip with my 6 y/o granddaughter. We are going to the American Girl store. I have yarn for 2 pairs of socks, as well as Morgan’s knitting project. (She usually wants to knit when I am knitting, knits a row, and is done.) Socks, easy relaxing, mindless.

  183. This time last year, I was in a position similar, but not the same as the position you are in now. My mother was dying, and my routine as her carer was up in the air. The routine of caring for her and her needs as well as my own home and partner was a hard one, but once in the routine I found I could go into a strange sort of auto-pilot, where at the end of each day I could crawl into bed knowing that clothes were washed, people were clean and no-one went to bed hungry, not on my watch. Somehow in the midst of all that, I still had time to knit.
    When my routine finally crumbled away – well, I don’t need to explain what happened, just to say that it was like I laid my head on my office desk, and didn’t have the strength to lift it up again. It was like that for a long time. Behind me was a box with 9 pairs of socks that I knitted through what was to become the darkest moments of my life.
    I knit them because my mother liked them, she always used to ask for yet another pair of blue socks. I knit them because the yarn was variegated, and I could let the colours do the work without having to remember a pattern. I knit them because I didn’t know what else to do to take my mind away from things that hurt. I needed to knit for me. I needed to do something for myself and my sanity that wasn’t selfish or self-indulgent. I still had someone at home who needed me. He never cleaned the fridge either.
    It really doesn’t matter what you knit. Knit what you’re drawn to, wether it be socks, or a shawl or a sweater. Knit with a colour that feels theraputic to you. Whatever you make will remind you of the times you are going through now, and that matters more than the crap festering in your fridge.
    I send you hugs and good wishes. I wish I could send you a housekeeper, but hey. At least you washed the towels.

  184. Hmmm, this post made me think – maybe I’m not the only one that has a stash of gifts to give that hold a secret. The dishcloths that made it through a difficult pregnancy. The pile of scarfs that hold more meaning than most need to know. And the slippers – 20 years later – the pattern is like an old friend.
    Go with the socks, I would bet the pattern is almost like a long, healing mantra.

  185. A lacey “prayer” shawl. Slightly mindless knitting for you – time to reflect on life such as it is and a nice memory to keep. Perfect time of the year where you might need it.

  186. Plain socks are your forte. Also? try Spectra. Mindless and fun. Has all the satisfaction of the Brooklyn Tweed 2 color scard, but swishier.

  187. I am all over the buttons. Remember the vintage button booth at Yarnover? Yeah. Bought about, well, um, lots of money’s worth of buttons. So I get being all excited about them. I have a set of Victorian cut metal buttons with cat faces on them that I am going to have to design a sweater for.
    How about a linen stitch scarf–use leftover sock yarn and just cast on the long way and go? Very pretty results, and lovely, mindless, good for a gift knitting.
    Socks are good,of course.

  188. Having lost a loved one to soon late last summer, don’t do your mourning now. Do your living and do your loving. Even after the envetiable, do you celebrating of your love one. Sending you hope and peace and safe travels.

  189. I would say socks for thinking time and something more difficult that requires concentrating. It may help to get your mind off other more difficult things in your life!
    Take care, Stephanie! Sending positive energy your way!

  190. Be wary of how you chew on trees…..In ‘State of Wonder’, Ann Patchett’s (author of the excellent ‘Bel Canto’)novel set in a tropical forest, the local women chew on the bark of trees (while it is still a part of the living tree) as a quasi-mystic ritual. One of the side effects of this is that they remain fertile until they die. Into their seventies and beyond. Think about that….

  191. Safe travels…and maybe knitting something a bit challenging would be less stressful. I find mindless knitting allows my mind to wander, and in tough times I am looking for the escape of being absorbed in a project.

  192. Definitely the socks! You seem to have way too much going on in the rest of your life, that knitting on some plain jane socks would probably bring a welcome sense of relief and repetition on something you really don’t need to think about!
    Good luck!

  193. Socks, unless you have a nice easy knit with yarn, pattern, needles, and notions all in a bag ready to go (like that personal sock club idea you were working on before). Or, you know, pack like me – grab something new and yarn for a plain pair of socks, just in case.

  194. I’m adding the millionth or so vote for socks in a really awesome yarn–crazy self-striping or ultra-fuzzy or both!
    But also adding the half-millionth or so vote for something new. Something not too big but that will be interesting and New.
    Actually–both. Definitely both. The better to give you options for a variety of moods 🙂

  195. vote one million +1 for plainish socks in lovely yarn.
    My wardrobe is almost entirely solids. Pick one item for the top half, one for the bottom, and I’m dressed. And, unless I’ve spilled something all over myself, clothing gets multiple wears before washing. As long as you have enough underwear–including the stretched out pair you’ve always hated–you’re good.
    I also have a good sense of smell. “Good” being relative, because most smells aren’t good. I was the first to realize that a co-worker had a drinking problem, for example. Not fun. And having a good sense of smell makes it difficult to use towels past their expiration date! So, I say you should send your family members into the kitchen and tell them not to come out until everything has been cleaned. If they balk, start to cry. You may be on the brink of that anyway, so you might as well get some use out of it. It beats gnawing trees.
    The sweater is lovely and so, so happy.
    Blessings, Steph, for you and your loved ones.

  196. Basic socks, but in a gorgeous color.
    You also might need some rewards for yourself (and maybe the family) to get you through. For example, when I have to do something unpleasant (such as go to the dentist), I preplan my reward (such as a mint mocha frappuccino from Starbucks). Chocolate is one of my consistent rewards – it works for me in almost all occasions. I also try to keep the rewards small in terms of cash and calories, because there’s no sense in my reward causing stress in other parts of my life.
    Sending positive thoughts your way for you to make it through this difficult time!

  197. I vote for socks. Less mental energy and you always feel good about them. Make them cheerfully colored. Love you even from far away.

  198. Socks. Every time. If everyone knit socks there would be no need for psychiatrists. Or lawyers.

  199. I know what that smell is. It’s that stinky drip tray under the fridge, where the vent is at the very, very bottom. I hate that place. It was designed by the same person who put the flame part of the gas stuff at ankle level.

  200. Hi Stephanie – Sending you good heart thoughts. Just keep knitting (like you didn’t know that).

  201. “flame part of the gas STOVE at ankle level,” for people who can type *and* use correct English at the same time. Let’s hope the second time is the charm.

  202. Sad to hear that so much stress is happening right now, I hate that! As most have said already… find some comfort knitting! I say grab a self patterning yarn, whip up some socks, and enjoy letting someone else do the work for you! 🙂

  203. I think you should knit something simple, a beautiful scarf say, with a merino/silk blend of yarn. Feeling that squishy softness usually picks me up out of the doldrums. I need to go take my own advice there.
    I think you prefer nice wool in natural colors, and if that’s the blend that soothes you, go for it.
    I would even go so far as to say pick out a handspun you produced and make something from it.

  204. I like the idea of another sweater for a little person.
    Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

  205. You were just making some rather plane socks for Joe, weren’t you? If you’re brain needs plane and easy that’s fine, but give your heart some bright colour and soft texture. It sounds like you need it.

  206. Oh sweet lady! You’ve been going through so much and doing so much!! Please do ignore the laundry, or do what boys do and just do your own laundry – the other family members will get the point eventually. Do please DO listen to your own wee voice!! As for knitting, something easy sounds good. Cat said in some interview that easy knitting is best when you’re stressed, you can always to the tricky stuff later. 🙂 and if Cat says it you know it must e true. oh many hugs!!! you are doing so many things!!! I hope you can get through, I’ll be rooting for you. as Red Green says “we’re all in this together”

  207. Knit something to give away. You may not want to look at this project ever again because of the associations it has. Maybe a Red Scarf – cheerful color, can be as hard as you choose, and then you can give it away to a good cause (Foster Care to Success).

  208. socks. Socks for Joe, for his Christmas socks. Didn’t you say you were always behind on that for him? If so, this will make it a good, bright thing, you are putting him first by knitting his gift and having it ready IN TIME and you are doing yourself good becuase this task will be out of the way come Christmas. And if you need to give him a little gift between now and then, you will have it ready and your Christmas will be normal… Take care of you and those closest. And if you can QUICKLY identify the smell in the fridge and remove it? Do so, it will only grow in your absence this weekend. Have a great trip to Colorado, looking forward to the book, is it titled yet?

  209. I’ve got a cousin who lives in the same town in Colorado that you are going to. Try to take some time to go for a walk, maybe you can find some peace in the nature there, it’s very beautiful around there. Bring moisturizer and chapstick, it is also very very dry there.
    As for knitting, I skimmed through and someone said a simple self striping sock. I think you might enjoy that because you’ve said before you enjoy self striping. It’s fun and changes, but not by your thinking/doing.

  210. Sock on, but with yarn that makes you happy to see & touch. No somber colors, not now. My thoughts are with you.

  211. I’d probably go with simple socks or a classic Elizabeth Zimmermann pi shawl. Take good care of yourself!

  212. Sox on the Roxies Sounds good in a purple lace or something like that…you know, purple mountain magesties and all that? Then you could put in some real livly colors in there for the lights in Las Vegas and some blue tones to cover the Hoover dam. Add a tiny bit of yellow for the guys who are riding the rapids in their yellow rubber boat…make the sox look like you took a trip!

  213. I see a lot of votes for socks but I go for something new. When my life is being unbearably difficult I need distraction with something new and exciting, but not too exciting. Just difficult enough to be interesting without needing to totally concentrate. Maybe a new sock pattern…

  214. Socks are indeed wonderful knitting therapy, but I saw mention of a Color Affection in there… which is neither socks nor something new, but is also wonderfully therapy knitting.

  215. Socks. You can do them in your sleep and the soothing rhythm will do you a world of good.

  216. Maybe knit the Flanders Shawl from the current issue of Knitscene? I know you like poppies up there in Canada. It looks easy but gorgeous–just shortrows–and I’m dying to knit it myself but would love to see how it comes out.
    Whatever you knit, may you have safe travels and a little peace of mind. Don’t forget to breathe.

  217. Take the comfort project. You know it. It won’t be a challenge. You can make the calves section striped if you want to change it up and not fall asleep from boredom. And napping would be good. You are probably sleep deprived between book and life at this moment so maybe boredom would be a good thing.
    And since you always finish sooner than you think you will and NEED SOMETHING TO KNIT RIGHT NOWNOWNOW, take some emergency yarn with you.
    If nothing more than to snuggle up with and nap.

  218. Socks, socks! They travel well, the end product is very satisfying, it’s just what you need now..

  219. Take 2 projects: 1 that requires a little thought and 1 so simple it could be done while u sleep. This will allow a project for any mood.

  220. Going backwards and forwards in the blog.
    I love the sweater and booties. Sensible and luxurious at the same time. Good that the universe worked right for you there. You were owed one.
    Socks for the trip to Colorado. Plain socks on some lovely needles in a soothing yarn. Nothing better.

  221. I vote for something new but simply plain to knit – fab yarn and garter with stockinette stitch! Of course, socks have to go too 😀

  222. I liked the comment where you said “I’m the sort of woman who wears clothes not an outfit “, thats me …. LOL I feel bad about that ..but then again I dont .. Have a good day, Happy knitting !

  223. Whew! I know what you mean about the house getting away from you. In the big scheme, not importanat. Clearly, you could just take a ball of yarn and appropriate needles and make up whatever strikes you at the time. That is an amazing skill. I love the baby sweater. Here’s an idea! Why don’t you write out that pattern you just created while you are on the plane :>)
    Then you could plop it on Ravelry and make some extra $$ to pay for a little help around home.
    I’d sure buy that sweet little pattern!

  224. Good old plain utilitarian socks are my go-to for comfort knitting. I always cote socks. 🙂 Wish you’d come to Missouri!!!

  225. You probably have plenty of suggestions at this juncture, but I’ll throw in one more. I just blocked my Teygete http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/taygete
    and I didn’t realize it when I cast it on, but it is perfect mindless knitting for almost the whole thing, with a bang of lace at the end to make it look like you tried. I didn’t know it’s what I needed, but that it’s all I worked on from start to finish, was telling. Maybe it’s what you need to?
    (here’s mine: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/knitfae/taygete)

  226. The Simple Lines shawl by maanel on Ravelry is my current very favorite simple, soothing knit. If you get bored or inspired, you can whack on a different border at the end, or just follow her simple one. Looks great in solids, handpaints, or even striped as a stashbuster, and fits beautifully. Because it’s top-down, you can adjust needle size to whatever yarn you want to use and ignore gauge.

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