I do believe it's the onrushing train of a new semester!
Classes start a week from today. This week is report-back week, so I'm wading through my usual pre-semester List O' Things To Do As Of Yesterday. Last semester, the list was organized into Soon, Sooner, and Soonest; we'll see how long I can go before I'm at that stage again. I appear to have syllabi for my classes, though, and as I've taught them both before, I have lectures and assignments prepared, so I oughtn't to make a complete fool of myself during the first week. In fact, I'd be sitting pretty, really, except that one of these classes I've only taught twice before, and once was during the furloughs, so I keep wondering whether I should change it around.
Part of the reason why I'm feeling a bit like I don't have my feet under me yet is because the last week or so has been nutty. Last week I had two all-day meetings, Rick had two all-day meetings (overlapping on one of those days), we had out of town guests who came an unexpected day early (which was wonderful in a lot of ways, as it gave us far more time to visit than I'd thought we'd get!), and then as soon as we both finished our all-day meetings on Friday, we packed up the car and headed for Mammoth. Traffic wasn't too pretty, and we didn't get in until about midnight, but then we got two absolutely perfect ski days - warm and sunny and almost no wind, great snow, and the lines weren't long! The fact that Mammoth is such an absolutely huge mountain (one might even say - wait for it - mammoth) means that there's always some run, somewhere, that doesn't have a lot of people on it. And the best bit? I was skiing on my brand-new skis - a Christmas present courtesy of my beloved husband, who remembered how much I'd enjoyed them when I demo'd them last year, and hunted them out, as Nordica isn't making these anymore. The new skis with the deep side cuts are so much fun to ski on the steeps that it almost feels like I'm not working at all (barring that high-altitude panting - 11,000 feet makes for thin air)!
We got home yesterday and here I am today, having some trouble committing to the whole work thing. It's this time of the semester that it really hits me how much work eats into my knitting time. Of course, I'm bound to be singing a different tune after my first day of back-to-back meetings. In anticipation of that day (February 2, to be precise), I have already begun to line up projects, winding yarn and finding needles and patterns and packaging them all up together in knitting bags. I wouldn't want to be caught short, right?
I did finish one big project just before we left. I don't have pictures of the whole thing yet, but I do have a few of the pretty part:
Wintersweet Scarf from IK Holiday Knits. I used Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool and I completely rejiggered the edging. It was supposed to be a pretty little colorwork scarf knitted widthwise, but that meant purling the WS rows in colorwork for 60 inches or some such (further complicated by the fact that I wanted three colors, intead of the pattern's two, which would have meant long floats across the WS rows), so I had another idea (imagine some kind of drum beat indicating incipient doom here): I decided that I would cast on somewhere around 80 billion stitches, then knit the scarf part from its long edge (casting the middle bit off and then on again to create the spot where the hood is inserted) in (get this) linen stitch. With a seed stitch border.
And now that it's done, I'm not sure that it's as charming as I'd hoped it would be. Rick used a phrase that might have been "old Russian woman" when I first put it on. I need to get some opinions, so you can bet there'll be photos at some point.
Meanwhile, I'm working on the second of my third pair of Noro socks.
I have also started (more) mitts for the girls.
Anne's latest hat, David's Toque (I don't think that the pattern's out yet), and Rick wore it all weekend in the mountains, nice and cozy and warm.
I also have a pair of socks on the needles for my aunt (she requested a pair of the Lenore socks that I knitted for myself while I was in New Orleans - just like mine, she said, so I ordered the yarn and waited - it didn't come in time for the holidays, but they'll go to her as soon as they're done, a belated Christmas present). So, that seems like a reasonable set of knitting to get me set up for the start of a new semester, doesn't it? Just in case it's not, I also wound up the yarn to start a new project:
And speaking of the Babushka, I will leave you with a knitter story. On Sunday night, after our second day of skiing, we bundled up and headed out to Angel's for dinner - our favorite spot for our last night in Mammoth Lakes. I was wearing my Babushka, because it really is the scarf I wear the most. Suddenly the woman at the table behind me leaned over and said, "Excuse me. Are you a knitter?" I said yes, how did she know? But of course I knew, and I had to laugh when she asked for the pattern name, complimented the seed stitch (I love knitters!), and immediately recognized the cashmere content of the yarn when I handed it over. Am I the only one who always feels just a bit warmer when recognized out there in the world by a fellow knitter?