Yup. That was summer. Over now.

O’course the good thing about these cool, grey, drizzly days is that my cats get ever so affectionate. And who am I to complain about fluffy company… everywhere I go… every single step… draped over my wrists as I type… well, I admit, it’s not very conducive to productivity. But damn, they cute.
Talking of cute: How adorable is this dancing robot? Lil guy’s got rhythm.
Ahem. Back to the topic (such as it is). Yes, so, it’s distinctly autumnal all of a sardine. And my pleasure in this fact makes me realise: I have finally adjusted to the English climate. (Hey, only five years… that’s not bad, right?) After bitching and whining every single summer that it’s just not enough, it’s not reliable enough, it’s not nearly long enough… well, this summer was about the most unreliable and certainly short-lived that I’ve yet experienced, and you know? The lovely, sunny days we had recently just confused me. I didn’t quite know how to dress or what to do. Now it’s all damp and miserable again, I feel strangely relieved. Boots! Scarves! I can handle this.
And of course knitting. I am thinking about warm woolly stitches almost every minute of the day… so about 10 minutes more than usual, then. Really, I’m obsessed. And newly driven to actually Get Stuff Done. Which means being more productive with my work time, so that I can allow myself to take some knitting time. That’s a win-win idea.
There’s an interesting discussion on Ravelry about how to knit faster. It’s wandered from the usual continental/English debate* on to project fidelity (or lack thereof). It’s interesting to me that now I’ve learned the joys of having a project in every room (well, nearly), all in different stages of completion and of different levels of complexity, I actually seem to be making better progress than when I was focused on just one thing – which you might have thought would make for faster completion. But of course there’s a great advantage to having something ready to just pick up at any convenient moment, even if your big sweater/lace shawl/bed-sized afghan is at an awkward stage. And there’s another factor too: enthusiasm. Sometimes getting stuck in a dreary bit of a big project turns you off knitting generally, at least for a while, unless you have other fun things to distract you.
What about knitting smarter, though? Particularly as regards design. I wonder whether I would need to reinstate a little project monogamy if I wanted to actually create a new design, one with a bit of detail and structure to it, one that requires some mental focus. I guess there’s only one way to find out. Folks, consider this a vow: I will, before the year is out, get cracking on the cute swingy asymmetrical cabled jacket that is haunting my dreams…
But right now, I have a wedding shrug to deal with. I started swatching with my beautiful Kid Silk lace last night and suddenly I realise (being a bit slow on the uptake) that I might have rather more work on my hands than expected. Yes yes, you may all laugh now, you old KSH hands; I know it’s notorious stuff. But I honestly didn’t realise. Wish me luck.
(And just when my denim jacket was going so well… I’m halfway through the second sleeve. What are my chances of finishing the damn thing before 6 September? Considering I have this damn shrug to deal with, and preferably two, in case the colours don’t match? Dammit.)
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* Which included some links to videos and such, which I perused because I’ve been wondering how people can say it’s easier to rib continental-style when I find it so hard, and that’s encouraged me to try it again, and we’ll** report back on that later. But I also looked at Annie Modesitt’s animations on her “combined method” and I’m now thoroughly confused. Her purl is indeed the way I tried continental purl, which is smooth and simple and gets the stitch sat the wrong way round on the needle. (Bummer.) But her knit… can anyone explain to me how that is different to a regular, English-style knit stitch? Or continental. I dunno. You can’t really see how the yarn is held. Edit: I think I’ve just answered my own question, taking another look at it. The stitch is, indeed, sat differently on the needle, because of the purl stitch. Is that really the only difference? Sometimes I’m amazed at how much fuss gets made over tiny little details like that.
** No, I’m not sure why I sometimes lapse into the royal we when blogging either. But indulge me, would you? Us. Indulge us. We are amused by it.

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