Friday, December 24, 2004

One Last Thing...

Regardless of your view of the war(s) the US is currently involved in, please take a few minutes to send a Happy Holidays email to some of the servicepeople overseas:

OperationDearAbby.Net

You can pick the branch of the military you like, and just send a nice supportive message for free. It'll only take a few minutes, and I'm sure it'll make a big difference for someone who can't be with their family at this time of year.

This will be my last post until the New Year. Andrew and I are off to Orange, VA to see his grandparents and aunt and uncle tomorrow, and then up to Woodbridge tomorrow night. We'll do Christmas with his family on Sunday, lollygag for a few days, and then on Wednesday we're going to meet Janice, Melissa, Courtney, and Val (all college friends of mine) in DC for lunch and a pre-New Year's Eve get-together. Then, either the 31st or 1st, we'll be back in Charlottesville.

Happy Holidays to everyone out there in blogland. Best wishes for a peaceful and bright New Year.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me!

Yup, today I turned the big 25. My first quarter-century. Honestly, it doesn't feel too different from 24. Give me a few weeks to confirm that though. So far, I haven't noticed too many great bonuses associated with turning 25. Andrew did mention one last night, but it's only semi-relevant to my life now: I can now rent a car without paying that stupid-ass $20-a-day under-25 fee. So as soon as I save up the money to travel somewhere, I'll be able to rent a car for a slightly less-obscene price.

My birthday has been great, so far. Andrew made me chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and I opened some gifts from my family. My grandmother sent me some cute PJ's and some money to treat myself, and my mum sent me the pastry dough blender I asked for (great for making pie crusts), candy, and also some money. In addition, my mum sent me the cake plate that belonged to my great-grandmother. People who know more about such things than I estimate it was made in 1870. 135 years old, and it looks brand new. I'll post a picture of it when I get back from the holidays. It's a beautiful piece, and it'll be great for displaying desserts and as a conversation piece.

Andrew and I ran some errands, and then we went to Panera to get lunch. After lunch, he let me open my gift:

I'm so excited about this one. Andrew bought me the last two, so it was really sweet of him to finish off the set for me. We're going to camp out and watch it a bit later tonight. I can't wait!

I was going to bake myself a cake today (Andrew's mum is going to make me a cake, but that won't be until Sunday), but I'm too tired of the kitchen to think about it. I'll wait until the post-holiday sugar-aversion has faded, and maybe we'll celebrate with cake on January 24th or something.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...

Knitting

The Christmas knitting is done. I finished the last sock this morning. I would've pushed through last night (since I only had 7 rows to go), but I was just too damn tired at 1:00 am. So this morning it was. For your viewing pleasure, here are some shots of the last few gifts:

Heidi's Scarf:

Bernat's Eyelash yarn on size 11 needles. About 8 hours, total.

Liz's Scarf:

Yeah, I know - looks just like the Multidirectional Scarf I had shown last week, right? I wasn't too happy with the way that was turning out (surprise, surprise), so I frogged it. I cast on 21 stitches on 10 1/2 needles with the Filitura di Crosa Luna yarn I have for my sweater. I used up 3 balls, and managed to whip this out in 2 1/2 days - maybe 10 hours total. I landed up loving the final product, and am seriously considering making another one (maybe a bit more slowly) for my aunt Tricia. Certainly after the holidays, though.

Marcia's Hat:

Not the best shot, but. I used Alison's Beginner's Cap pattern. I cast on 96 stitches on size 8 20" circulars, with LionBrand Homespun. The hat was ultra-easy to make, thanks to the pattern. It was also a real bitch, since that yarn absolutely sucks. I'm sure Homespun is great for certain people and certain things, but I hate it. I am hereby making a resolution to knit with that and Bernat's Eyelash as little as possible for the rest of my knitting life. Anyhoo, the hat only took about 8 hours (including time to swear at the Homespun).

Marcia's Fluted Banister Socks:

I used the Fluted Banister pattern from the Six Socks Knitalong (see sidebar). The pattern looks nice, but got really boring after a while. However, I'm sure Marcia will love them. Just for the record, she only got two knitted gifts (compared to my Mum's one knitted gift) because she specifically requested the Hat. Under normal circumstances she would not receive more knitwear than my mom. (And yes, I know that it sounds bad that I put that disclaimer there, but I just want to quash and thoughts that I have a disfunctional relationship with my mother. I mean, my family is disfunctional, but I don't express it in passive-agressive knitwear ways. Usually I'll just bitch about it openly. So there.) :)

So, to recap the Knitting Christmas:
Scarves:
2 (although I should get triple credit for Liz's scarf)
Socks:
3 pairs (pictures of Andrew's Schottische Kilt Hose once they've been opened and put on his feet)
Hat:
1

That's it! It seemed like so much more as I was doing it. Then again, it's been a busy Fall, knitwise. Tonight I'm starting a pair of socks for me, me, me! in Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the color "Sweetie." I'm deciding between the Crusoe pattern from knitty, or the Making Waves pattern from the Six Socks KAL. I also plan to start Vivian Hoxbro's Rainbow Jacket over the holidays. I bought this kit 3 years ago as a birthday present to myself, started it, messed it up, frogged it, and know I'm going to make a determined effort to re-start it and finish it for the Spring. Updates on that venture as they come!

Baking

Several weeks ago, I went to a holiday party that the president of UVa threw at his "residence." (It's way too big to refer to it as a "house") Anyhoo, they had extremely tasty gingerbreadpersons there (I refuse to call them "men". They have no penises, and they're certainly not women since they're completely flatchested. Thus, persons. Gender neutral. Really, they're more like gingerbread-pre-pubescent-girls. Okay, this has gone too far. Back to my story...). The gingerbreadpersons were really good, and I decided that since I'm not doing any serious traveling for the holidays this year (the first time since the winter of 1996), I'd do a lot of baking, and make tons of gingerbread persons. Brilliant!

Andrew latched onto this idea, and we decided that my baking would become our present to his grandparents and aunt and uncle. I also decided to give cookies to my co-workers. It's so much easier than trying to find price-and-personality-appropriate gifts for people I've only known for 3 months. So a-baking I will go.

I planned on two kinds of cookies: gingerbreadpersons and sugar cookies, with varying kinds of frosting. I went shopping, and bought 5 pounds of confectioners sugar, and oodles of butter. And I hunted for a gingerbreadperson cutout. I waited too long. Andrew and I searched in at least 5 stores, and no gingerbreadpersons. So I settled for gingerbreadcircles. That's okay. I'm an alternative kind of person.

I start baking. I made about 8 dozen cookies last weekend (Saturday and Sunday). I mix, chill, cut out, bake, cool, frost, dry, and wrap. Then I gift. The cookies are a huge hit. I used up all my baked stash, and planned two more batches of gingerbread and three batches of sugar cookies (not to mention the two batches of peanutbutter balls) for Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately, I took those two days off from work.

Three trips to the supermarket and god only knows how many hours of baking later, I had 20 dozen beautifully frosted cookies wrapped or drying in the kitchen last night. Here's a brief look at what I was up to:


The kitchen looked like this for 2 1/2 days. Bless Andrew's heart for being really nice about it (then again... what choice did he have? They were for his family. Either way, he's a sweetie.).




The fruits of my labors.

Today, there is no baking. I had one last project planned, but I've spent entirely too much time in the kitchen over the last few days. Don't get me wrong - I love to bake, and I love to give away stuff I bake (all the better for my ass), but this was way beyond excessive. Much like gift knitting, gift baking is better done in moderation. And, just for the record, Andrew did try to encourage me to bake a bit less, but it just didn't work with my grand plan. At the very least, I would've had to give up trying my hand at caramel frosting (which, also for the record, was a bit of a bust. I think it was a combination of me, the recipe, and the cookies.). Anyway, it's all done now, everything tastes great, and I will be the baking diva of Christmas, which, of course, is really what matters the most. :) Happy eating!

P.S. The final count was:
Used:
8 1/4 pounds of confectioners sugar, 3 bottles of molasses, 4 pounds of butter, 7 pounds of flour, 1 1/2 pounds of brown sugar, and a full bottle of vanilla, among other things.

Yield:
8 dozen peanutbutter balls, and 28 dozen cookies with various flavors of frosting.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Harry Potter Fans, Rejoice!

An early Christmas present for all you HP fans out there:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will be published July 16, 2005.

That reminds me... I should post a picture of the wizard scarf I made myself for the premier of the first movie. That, and about a dozen other pictures.

In other knitting news, I finished Liz's scarf, and mailed it out Saturday morning. It could've used a blocking before mailing, but I figured since I was just going to fold it, wrap it, and stuff it into an envelope, I could get away without blocking. That, and I didn't have time. There was more drama with the scarf, but I'll detail that tomorrow when I post some pictures.

The last two Christmas gifts are still undone. I have about 3 inches to knit on the Hat, and another 5 inches and a toe on the Fluted Banister sock. They'll definitely be done by Friday, but I may be shaving it a bit close. Next year, fewer handknitted gifts. Everyone will get Susan's mini-stockings instead (12/21 entry).

More tomorrow, I promise. Today's my last day at work until January (WaHoo!), so the next two days will be consumed with baking, wrapping, knitting, wrapping, and watching some cheesy movies on TV.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Making Progress...

First, I just have to say that I went to Best Buy yesterday to buy something (a Christmas gift for someone else to give to someone else), and don't you know... they had Ball in stock. Naturally, I bought one, and completely blew my Christmas budget out of the water. Damn. I hate giving in to rampant commercialism, even if it is to make someone else happy. My BB trip actually had a different goal, so finding Ball was just an added bonus. I was serving as a personal shopper for a friend, something I definitely enjoyed doing - who doesn't love to spend other people's money? :)

Christmas knitting is moving along. I started the Hat last night, and got about 2 inches done. I'm using Alison's super-duper Beginner's Cap. This pattern is great, especially for someone like me who has never knit a hat before. Strange, I know, but the whole idea of hats just never appealed to me. But Andrew's mother specifically requested one to match a scarf I made her, so here I go. It'll also give me a chance to prove to Andrew that I actually can knit a hat. And yes, I know I said I was going to finish the Multidirectional scarf before the weekend. I'll still get there, sooner or later.

Oh, and for all the Star Trek fans out there, definitely check out this link

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Back Where I Started

I was a knitting fiend last night (more or less). I stayed up late, and finished Heidi's scarf - made out of some Bernat Eyelash yarn in a pretty purple color. So that's one more bit of Christmas knitting to cross of the list. I'll be spending some quality time with the dentist (again!) this afternoon, so progress might be slow tonight. My new goal (since we all know how I love to set arbitrary goals for myself) is to have the Multidirectional Scarf done by Friday, so I can mail it out to Liz this weekend. I don't think that's too unreasonable of a goal. ;)

For fun, here are the results of a few quizzes I took recently:




Your Element Is Water


A bit of a contradiction, you can seem both lighthearted and serious. That's because you're good at going with the flow - but you also are deep. Highly intuitive, you tune in to people's emotions and moods easily. You are able to tap into deep emotional connections and connect with others. You prefer a smooth, harmonious life - but you can navigate your way around waves. You have a knack for getting people to get along and making life a little more peaceful.



And...

I AM 13% WHITE TRASH!
13% WHITE TRASH
I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.


Last, but not least:




You Are From Saturn



You're steady, organized, and determined to achieve your dreams. You tend to play it conservative, going by the rules (at least the practical ones). You'll likely reach the top. And when you do, you'll be honorable and responsible. Focus on happiness. Don't let your goals distract you from fun! Don't be too set in your ways, and you'll be more of a success than you ever dreamed of.



Monday, December 13, 2004

Negative Progress

Not only have I committed the sin of not updating my blog in a whole week, but I'm about to start griping about Christmas knitting.

I know, I know, I brought this all down on myself.

Riddle me this: How do you make negative knitting progress without frogging? By picking up more projects, naturally.

Before this weekend, I had three Christmas projects on the needles, and I was on a Yarn Diet. Now I have four Christmas projects on the needles, I've broken my yarn diet, and I'm getting more and more annoyed with the projects I'm working on. Not only are none of them for me (whoops - my inner toddler snuck out there), but they're all very b-o-r-i-n-g. Somehow it's not so mean if I spell it out. It's not even that they're boring. It's that all these projects are not-quite-mindless enough for me to forget I'm knitting them while I watch TV. They all require just enough concentration that I'm suddenly aware of my achingly slow progress and the miles of stockinette stitch I have left.

What's really strange is that in the last few months that I've been working on these plain vanilla projects, my knitting abilities really have grown a bit. I learned how to cable, with and without a cable needle, I knitted my first project from a (very simple) chart, and I became better friends with the SSK, which had previously haunted my knitting nightmares. I feel like I've become a bit more adventurous, all the while knitting away on lots of ribbed patterns.

For the record, here's the List (in order of age):
1. Marcia's Fluted Banister socks (60% complete)
2. Liz's Third Incarnation scarf (aka the MultiDirectional Scarf) (35% complete)
3. Heidi's scarf (50% complete)
4. The Hat (not yet started)

The Lunchtime Socks are conspicuously absent - I finished them over the weekend. Andrew was upstairs working on a paper, so I knit like a fiend on Sunday, and had them done around 5:00. Today was thus my first lunch hour in over a month that I wasn't knitting or thinking about the knitting I should be doing. I read a book, and it was very nice.

In other news, I'm very relieved to find that I don't have to make the trek up to Cape Cod to visit my grandparents this Christmas. I was contemplating driving up from D.C. the day after Christmas (it's 8 hours each way), staying for 3 days, and then making the trip back. It turns out that my aunt Tricia is flying in from Hawaii this week, so I'm off the hook to play chauffer for my grandmother.

This, of course, means I need to mail all my Christmas gifts out by the weekend to ensure their arrival in time for the Great Unwrapping. I got lucky on the shopping front this year. A Panera just opened up in Plymouth, not too far from where my grandparents live. My grandmother couldn't stop raving about the place when I talked to her on the phone last week, so I got them a gift card. Food of some kind seems to always be the best option for them - they're older, finicky, and don't have a lot of space for knicknacks.

My cousins, on the other hand, are always challenging. Well, two of them are. With my cousin Krystal, the biggest challenge is deciding which book to buy her. My cousin Cameron is only 6, and still obsessed with dinosaurs, so this year I went with coloring books and crayons. But Courtney and Whitney are always a challenge for me. Without sharing too much about family relations, lets just say that they don't really do any of the same things I did when I was their age (11 and 12) and that their mother has an oddly fluctuating sense of materialism. Oh well. Anyway, this year I went the DVD route again, and got them Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Two great classics. But I still wonder - would Mean Girls have been a better choice?

One last Christmas shopping story. There's this thing, which for the purposes of this story I will codename Ball, that I want to buy Andrew for Christmas. I went shopping on Saturday, with the desire to finish all my in-person shopping, and to do the online parts when I got home. Best Buy was one of my stops, and I borrowed Andrew's BB card (the one where they give you $5 if you spend $150. So peverse.) so I could earn him the points when I bought Ball. While out shopping I saw no less than three stores that had Ball. But, I was determined to buy it at BB. So I waited.

I get to BB, wander around, pick up a few other things that were on my list, and then go to get Ball. And don't you know - they're completely out of stock. The hot new thing-of-its-kind for Christmas, and they're out of stock. Dammit! I wandered, I searched, I moved things - no Ball. So I put back the other stuff, and left. I moved on to the next errand, buying non-denominational holiday cards. While at the Hallmark store, I remember that there's another store just around the corner that should have Ball - the same store in the mall had it, why not this one? Why not, indeed. They were also out of Ball. The did, however, have another gift that I had had in mind, but that Andrew's parents usurped away from me (okay, so usurped is a bad word. He didn't know I wanted to buy it for him, and told them about it first). So here I am, with my first gift idea right in front of me, but the thing I actually wanted to buy nowhere to be found. So peverse.

I briefly considered going back to one of the other stores that had Ball, but then decided this was a sign from some deity I don't believe in, and that maybe Andrew didn't really want Ball, it was just that I really wanted to give it to him. So I went home, with no Ball. While doing my shopping on Amazon, I again considered buying Ball, but again decided that maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part, so I didn't buy it. Then, later that evening, Andrew and I are chatting about inocuous things, and the subject of Ball happens to come up. He mentions Ball, how interested he is in Ball, and how much he thinks he'll enjoy using Ball, as soon as he can afford to buy Ball.

Dammit!

(You know, it just ocurred to me how dirty this story could possibly sound. So let me add the disclaimer that Ball is not pornography, and has no relation to sex in any way. In addition, it has been rated appropriate for teenagers by people who don't want to get sued by angry conservative parents.) ;)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Pictures

Having slacked off from blogging for the last few days, I thought it was time to catch up on my photo posting. That, and Andrew is at the library, so I have the computer all to myself. :)

First, more progress on the Fluted Bannister socks. These will definitely be done in time for Christmas, which is a relief.

Coming along nicely, if a bit slowly.

Liz's scarf (the third incarnation of it) is also moving. I originally stared the Multidirectional Scarf, but managed to forget to do the increases, so I had something that looks suspiciously like an elbow after a while. I also wasn't too keen on the garter-stitch look. So I frogged, altered the pattern a bit, and came up with this:

It's not the best of pictures. The colors are a bit more muted, and blend together much nicer in person. It's also in need of a good blocking. I don't love this scarf, but I'm pleased with how it's turning out, certainly more than the geometric scarf in Paton's Grace. Oh, and I never did find that 4th ball of Wool in the Woods silk. Grumble... grumble....

I finished the swatch for my Luna sweater. Before I forget, the "Luna sweater" is actually from the Winter 2003/2004 Vogue Knitting. It's pattern #12, subtitled "Dream Weaver." I don't think I'd call all this cable knitting a "dream" but the yarn is certainly wonderful. Beautiful color, nice hand, doesn't fuzz after repeated knitting and frogging. My only complaint would be it's slight tendency to split, probably due to the high number of plies (8, I think).

Here's the swatch I knit. I finally mastered... well, okay, not mastered, but at least became more proficient at... cabling without a cable needle. My gauge is still off, so I'll have to go up a needle size (at least), but I really enjoyed working with the yarn and the pattern, and I can't wait to get to work on a sweater. In the meantime, I think I might also do a scarf in this pattern, as further practice before tackling the actual sweater. We'll see.

Getting cozy in my knitting bag are two newly-wound balls of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport for the codenamed Fish Scarf:

I think they're looking forward to being knit. ;)

Finally, here's a sneak peak of the Lunchtime Sock. I've half the heel flap done on the second sock, so the end is in sight. This'll be another one that will definitely be done in time for Christmas, much to my relief.

Do you see the pain in the ass YO's and SSK's from Nancy Bush's Schottische Kilt Hose pattern? Yeah, neither do I. Damn variegated yarn. That won't stop me from making three Charlotte's though, of course. Note for 2005: work on yarn attitude consistency, and stop trying PITA patterns with yarns that will cruelly disguise it and make it look like something much simpler and less angst-inducing.

Yeah, I'm sure I'll succeed at that resolution.

Marginal Utility

One of the few things I took away from my economics classes in college (and there wasn't much) was an appreciation of marginal utility. If I understand the concept correctly (please don't flame me if I don't. You'll crush my ego.), marginal utility is the relationship between price and satisfaction. If you're very thirsty, you'll pay $2.00 for a bottle of water. You'll get more satisfaction from the water than you would from using that $2.00 for another purpose. After you drink the water, you'll only be slightly thirsty, and probably wouldn't pay another $2.00 for a second bottle of water (for a bathroom however...). The marginal utility of the water has decreased since your consumption of the first bottle.

The only thing I can discover that marginal utility doesn't apply to is yarn. I think most knitters can agree that they can buy a shitload of yarn, and easily go out and buy more the next day. Pity we can't knit it that fast. It's one of the peversities of nature.

Anyhoo, I went to a craft fair last Friday. It was just a group of local artists who set up booths in the ball room of Newcomb Hall, not too far from my office. I wandered over, not really expecting to find much, but you never know. There was some neat pottery, a photographer, some jewelers, woodcarving, the usual craft fair fare. I saw a few things that interested me, but not enough to go to the ATM to come back with the cash.

There were also two knitting booths there, both of which disturbed me a bit. The first one was selling felted handbags. Booga bags, Constant Companions, call them what you will. I will admit, I've never done any serious felting since I don't have my own washer, and must use the coin-op in my complex. However, my understanding of the process is that it is fairly simple. Anyways, I didn't find these bags to be particularly intricate. They were all a single color, with Fun Fur (or similar) edging the top, and an I-cord handle. The smallest of the bags was slightly larger than a change purse, and was $30.00. The larger ones, more like a small ladies handbag (maybe 8"x6") was $60.00. There was also a middle size for $45.00. At another booth was a lady selling novelty yarn scarves. Fun Fur, eyelash yarn, whatever. They were very basic garter- or stockinette-stitch scarves (she was knitting one right there on at least US 10 needles), and were going for the bargain price of $30.00. Now a novelty yarn scarf I have made, and I know that I spent $7.00 on yarn, and it took me about 8 hours of mindless knitting to make.

I know how much work and time goes into knitting. But these prices really felt like a ripoff to me. Maybe it's a double standard- I feel okay charging $50.00 and up for a pair of my socks. (For the record, almost all my socks cost ~$15.00 in materials, are knit on US 0's, and take about 25-30 hours a pair.) But I'd never pay $60.00 for a felted handbag - especially one that I knew I could make myself for about $10.00 and a weekend. Same with the scarves. Do people out there really pay this much money for this stuff? Had it been me, I would've sold those scarves for half that price, and the bags for maybe $20.00 max (adjusting for cost of materials). Maybe I'm discounting too much, but I really think that if I tried to sell my socks based on their pricing scale, I'd be asking at least $150 a pair. We often have pricing conversations on the Socknitters list and the Knitlist. The rule of thumb traditionally tends to be three times the cost of materials, adjusting for a particularly onerous project. Going by that, $30.00 for a novelty yarn scarf doesn't seem so far out of whack. Yet, knowing the skill that (doesn't) go into them, I'd still be incredibly reluctant to buy one.

On the other hand, people often pay thousands, if not millions, for paintings - which are essential canvas, oil, and pigment, applied with a hair-based brush. I guess my marginal utility regarding hand-knitted items has become skewed. Since it's something I can do on my own, I'm much less willing to pay others for providing the skill for me. That, and I've become more aware of how much some (certainly not all) knitters inflate the price of their work. Or maybe I'm just a cheapskate.

I hope this post doesn't make me sound like too much of a pricing snob. I guess the difference between me and those women is that I rarely work on comission, and prefer to knit only for my pleasure and the enjoyment of giving it away to those around me or a charity. I'm not trying to turn a profit or run a business, so I have a different set of priorities than they do. That still doesn't make me want to spend $30.00 on a novelty scarf, though.

Oh, and for the record, both the tables were still pretty full when I left the fair. I only saw one person buy a felted bag, and no buyers at the scarf table. Maybe I'm not the only one with an overdeveloped sense of marginal utility.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I've Lost It

No, I'm not cracking up (although I really wonder sometimes). Of course, I can only speak for myself. God only knows what others think of my sanity.

Anyway...

I decided to knit the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. I was surfing my daily dose of blogs today, and ran across someone who had just finished it. It looked cute, and very easy. Perfect for a Christmas gift, to replace the now-abandoned cotton geometric scarf for Andrew's aunt Liz.

I contemplated my stash while I was at work, trying to think of what variegated yarns I had at home in large enough quantity for this project. Fortunately, my stash is small enough (ha!) that I can scan through most of it mentally, and usually have a good idea of what's hidden in the boxes. I couldn't think of anything good. Damn.

Got home, and discovered Andrew napping on the couch (lucky!), so I came upstairs to go through my stash in person to see what could be found. Lo and behold, I stumbled across some silk I bought from Wool in the Woods ages ago off Ebay. At the time, I was going to make socks out of it, hoping they'd be thin enough to wear with a pair of shoes I had just bought. Never mind that the yarn and shoes clashed horribly, or that none of my other handmade socks could be worn with the shoes (too tight). It was a good excuse to buy yarn. Regardless, I'm sure I bought 4 hanks of the yarn. I've found three of them. For the life of me, I have no idea where that damn 4th hank is. I'm sure I bought it, and I'm sure I didn't use it. It must be in there. I only have 3 boxes of yarn - it's a finite space. Surely I should be able to find one ball of yarn.

It's gone. Just disappared into the vapor. My only thought is that it either didn't make the move with me from Nashville, or its still hanging out in the basement of my grandparents house with my cast-off acrylic yarn (left over from my early knitting days when I wasn't such a yarn snob). The point being, it's not here, in Charlottesville, where I need it to be. So my dilemma is... do I go ahead with the scarf, using the yarn I have (since the 600 yards I have is plenty), or do I wait until I'm in Boston next, and hope the hank turns up before then?

You know what's going to happen, too, don't you? If I wait, and search my grandparent's basement, I won't find the yarn. It really will be gone for good. If, however, I go ahead and make the scarf, the yarn will turn up quite mysteriously about 3 days after I've finished the scarf, thus leaving me with 200 yards of silk yarn, and really nothing to do with it. Grrr....

If I do knit this scarf from this yarn, I'm going to name the finished product "Clementine." As in the song. You know...
"Oh my darling,
Oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine.
You were lost and gone forever,
something, something,
Clementine."

Compounding all this is my questionable like of the colorway, and whether or not it'll look good 1) knit up in this pattern, and 2) on Liz after I give it to her. Ugh. Why couldn't the damn LYS have sold me the Rowan 4-ply soft I originally wanted for the advertized price? Then I wouldn't be having these angsty problems.

Oh well. I'm going to go wind yarn and hope some miracle will happen, either in the form of some magically reproducing hanks of silk yarn, or in the form of some kind of actual decision about what to do for this pain-in-the-ass-because-I-can't-decide-what-the-hell-to-do Christmas gift.

Maybe I should just buy her something. Isn't that what normal people do?