But first (now that I've tricked you into reading this post by claiming knitting content), the salvaged yarn:
A little dark and blurry, but there it is. I got 530 yards out of the four ounces, and before washing, it came in at around 17 wpi, so even with the expected bloom, I'm guessing that it's between 15 and 16, a nice respectable fingering to lace weight yarn. The only question now is what I'm going to do with it.
I have a lot of time to think about it. My only concession to Black Friday was to go to my LYS for their sale to get yarn for Christmas presents. If all goes as planned, in the next three weeks I need to knit: a pair of colorwork mittens for my niece, a pair of cabled mittens for my brother-in-law, a lace scarf for my sister-in-law, a lace shawl for my aunt, and the sleeves and neck of Rick's sweater. Not necessarily in that order.
First is the scarf for my SIL, since I'll need to get that sent in the mail. I've started.
How great is that? It's the Jojoland Swirl Shawl (Ravelry link), except that I'm doing a modified, less-wide version for a scarf (I do have some sense of self-preservation). I'm using the Jojoland Melody yarn, which is very soft and fun to work with. I'm actually quite tempted to knit this exact scarf for myself out of my new handspun, except for the fact that there are so many darned ends (two for each of those little swirls). Aside from my relative dislike of weaving in ends, that does use up a not-insignificant amount of yarn, which I worry about with my limited supply. We'll see...
As soon as I'm done with that, I'll be knitting a pair of mittens with these.
The plan is to knit the Norwegian Snail mittens from The Knitter's Book of Yarn; I'll be using stash yarn for the third accent color. These are for my niece, who lives in cold weather. Can people who are near snow verify for me that superwash wool is still warm enough for mittens? (I have this theory that wool that'll felt a little bit would be warmer, but it's only a theory.)
Meanwhile, I want to knit Icarus for my aunt with this.
I may cast on for that soon so that I can take it to meetings this week; the beginning part of Icarus doesn't require a huge amount of concentration, while those swirls up there involve both the manipulation of multiple needles, and the picking up of stitches (which I have to pay attention to). We'll see. The thing of it is that this shawl can go up to the last minute, since my aunt will be here for Christmas and I don't have to send it. The scarf and mittens, though, have to make it into the mail.
As do the mittens for my brother-in-law, which I'll be knitting out of this (he asked for black, as did my aunt, what can I say? My relatives are trying to make me go blind). I want to knit Jared Flood's Druid Mittens, even though the only size he wrote the pattern for is women's small. My theory (and my, aren't I just full of theories today?) is that if I knit them in a heavier-weight yarn on bigger needles, I'll end up with bigger mittens. I'll cast on for the cuff and make Rick try it on; if it fits, I'm good to go. If not, then this yarn goes into stash, and we're on to Plan B. (No, I don't have a Plan B yet, but I will.)
I have an out here, though, since his birthday's in early January. If I realize (as we all know I'm going to) that there's no way on this earth I'm going to get all of that done before Christmas, I can pull the plug and call these a birthday present. I'll plan a backup something just in case.
Rick's sweater body is done, so it's just (ha! have I mentioned the condor-like wingspan?) the sleeves and neck to go. The real pressure, then, is on the first three. This is the first Christmas where I've planned to knit anything of substance for people (hats for kids aren't quite the same), so I make no promises. The funny thing is how hopeful one feels at this time of the month. Last night as I lay in bed, I found myself thinking that there was no way I wasn't going to finish these with time to spare. In fact, I thought to myself in a haze of sleepy delirium, I will have so much time when these are done that I can finish two of the pairs of socks I have OTN and give a pair each to the girls (I was feeling so happy with the world, in fact, that the plan was/is to give Older Daughter my beloved conference socks)(my delusion was not so complete, however, that I didn't make plans to call the dyer first to see if I could order more of the yarn for myself before giving this pair away).
Am I the only one laboring under delusions of a hand-knit Christmas? Am I letting myself in for late nights, sobbing into my yarn, drinking single-malt scotch and eating chocolate? Would I just be doing that anyway? Tune in next time to find out...