Year-end FOs (in Knitting and Life)
2007 has been rather a monumental year for me - finally moving home after so many years away, buying our first house and car, starting a career. I feel incredibly blessed by the good fortune that has come my way. It has been very exciting, yet stressful at times. Mostly, I have felt very disorganized and scatter-brained, no doubt resulting from moving twice and living out of boxes for the better part of the fall.
Things are finally starting to come together. The unpacking is mostly done, and the first floor is exactly as we want it. With the recent addition of furniture, if I may borrow from the knitting jargon, I'm now happy to declare the living room an FO:
We now look forward to painting some of the upstairs rooms and feeling a little more settled in the new year.
A few other recent FOs to report on. The interminable Brigit socks have finally been completed, and were gifted at a family gathering yesterday.
Also known as the "Smurfy Cables", these socks were the cause of much blue dye staining my hands over the last few months. I started them on a train trip from Toronto to Ottawa, and the first sock came very easily. However, I tried taking the second sock out to knit night, and it proved to be wholly incompatible with anything that distracted my attention even remotely. The repeating cable pattern is the same every time, and really shouldn't be that difficult, but every time I started feeling comfortable with it, I would cross a cable the wrong way, or turn the heel and then realize that I had mistakenly added an extra pattern repeat before the heel. Soon the Smurfy cables became the cursed cables.... Nancy and Leanne can attest that even a couple of weeks ago, as I was attempting to turn the heel for the third time, these were still giving me grief. I'm happy to see them finished, and I really like the way they turned out. Surprisingly, I think I would even knit these again for myself, but would make them a little longer. The yarn? The Meilenweit is a perfectly serviceable wool sock yarn, but not destined to become a favourite of mine. It just didn't do it for me, you know?
I've been off work over the holidays, and decided to finally organize my stash closet. I rediscovered all kinds of treasures that I had forgotten about. Among them was the end of a cone of very furry mohair blend that I bought on a whim at Woof Designs last summer (mostly a machine-knitting sweater business, they sell off their cone ends and discontinued yarns by weight. I always love to pop in and see what new on the yarn shelf at the back). Inspired by the cold snowy weather we've been having, I decided that I needed some very warm mitten for the daily trek through the snow to work.
These were knit holding together a strand of the mohair (burgandy) with Elann.com Peruvian Pure Alpaca (sherwood forest). Together, it gave a bulky weight, and and incredibly dense, warm, fuzzy fabric. These may well be the warmest knitted mittens ever - and much less bulky than my thrummed mitts.
The biggest FO of the year though, is my Ph.D. thesis. I was in Ottawa for my defense on December 13, and my presentation and oral exam went very well. The corrections were minimal, so I managed to get them all finished and submit the final copies before the week was out. It was all a bit anticlimactic really, as I had worked myself up into a nervous frenzy over it, and since we were heading into the holidays and many of my friends had already graduated and left, there weren't really many people around to celebrate with. More than anything, it brings me an enormous sense of relief to be finished. No more guilt over procrastinating, no more self-doubt about whether my work is good enough. It was wonderful, for the first time in 11 years, to be able to sit back this Christmas with my family and know that there would be no more term papers or exams, no more frantic late nights at the library, no more frustrating encounters with university administration (perhaps that last one is a little premature - I haven't got my diploma yet!). But I have regained a lot of peace and sanity these past couple of weeks, and hopefully I'm a nicer person to be around than I have been recently!
This year, the new year brings a lot of opportunity, as I have re-gained a lot of energy and free time to devote to non-academic pursuits. I plan to get myself off the couch a little more (off to research gym memberships this afternoon), and I will finally get around to checking out the class offerings at the Anna Templeton Centre, a fantastic textile arts centre just around the corner. My sister-in-law is even interested in taking a pottery class with me. I may do a little more volunteering, and I also have a little freelance writing project that I'm anxious to get working on.
I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year, and may your knitting continue to bring you joy in 2008.