Actually, I’ve done a lot, but I have no pictures to show for it tonight. Yesterday, I finished up Branden’s Coriolis socks and his alpaca scarf to match the handwarmers (it’s only been on the needles for a month, derailed by Christmas knits…).

Then I began to think about the knitting grammary. I’d read all of the relevant sections of the Stanley book on the plane and I knew where to start, but I couldn’t decide whether to use the swatches once they’re finished or to leave them as sample swatches for future reference. That’s a tough one. It’s so much easier to be motivated when I have a project that I’m working toward, but the swatches can also be a lot smaller if they don’t have to become anything in particular. Hmmm.

I went a little crazy last year after knitting my sweater and Branden’s with Paton’s Classic Merino. I really liked the feel (this is before I’d been forever spoiled by LYS yarns), and there was a good sale. I broke down and made my one and only large addition to the stash, which was enough for 4 more sweaters. Crazy, I know. Or at least I know now. This is why I don’t stash more than a couple of projects in advance.

Fortunately, I didn’t get around to those sweaters right away, and am just now coming back to working with that yarn. I say fortunately, because I have now had a year to observe the yarn in the two original sweaters. It might be soft, it might come in pretty colors, and it might be cheap, but it ain’t worth making a sweater out of it. Why? Because it pills like crazy, and it doesn’t hold its shape at all. I still like my sweater ok (I will show pics someday, really), but Branden’s has just gone from bad to worse. Nothing about it hangs the way it should, and the pilling is really pretty bad. I am sure that at least some (ok maybe most…) of the shape issues are due to poor construction, but the yarn just doesn’t hold up nicely, either. So, I now have 4 sweaters’ worth of wool that I don’t know what to do with and can’t use in my favorite big yarn project (sweaters). I’ve been thinking of making a couple of small throws out of it, since they won’t get as much wear, and I don’t have enough complementary colors to go for a big afghan. I could theoretically use my swatches from the grammary to make one of the throws. Of course, that would necessitate binding the swatches together, which would hide the sample edges. Again, hmmm.

I’ve decided to just make swatches, and let them be an exercise but not a project. I will come up with something to do with that Paton’s, and until then it can continue to insulate my bookshelf in the bedroom. This may not seem like a big decision, but it’s been the one keeping me from starting the grammary all week. That, and the prospect of a million swatches. Why did you think I finished those other projects so quickly? Oh yes, this is definitely procrastination at its finest.

So, today I decided to be disciplined and spent this morning swatching. Well, I sort of spent this morning swatching. I got up and practiced a couple of cast ons. Then I baked muffins for breakfast. Then I looked at the cast ons again, and decided that I should take video of the techniques that I’m using to post. That would require a tripod, which I thought I’d brought home from work. Well, I can’t find it at home. So I went into lab and looked for it. Couldn’t find it there, either. Decided I must have just not looked hard enough at home. Came home, realized that I had looked hard enough; it’s not here. Puzzled over this. Gave up on video. Sat down and knit first swatch while chatting with Mom on phone. Watched Branden constructing light box for knitting photos (he spoils me rotten, I tell you). Baked gingerbread cookies. Observed light box progress some more. Printed Irtfa’a pattern (I’m so excited!!!). Knitted second and third grammary swatch. Made mozzarella and pizza for dinner. Helped Branden take photos of my past knitting projects (I use the term “helped” loosely here…). Realized that neither of us has any talent for arranging things nicely in photographs. Bemoaned lack of artistic skill. Remembered that there are two FOs that need to be frogged and reworked into something useful. Realized that one of them is very funny to play with. Got very silly for an hour or so. Took lots of pictures of us being silly, which we may or may not post in the future. Regained seriousness, and knitted fourth swatch while catching up on my blog subscriptions. Looked up and realized that it’s 9:30, and that I need to blog tonight. Blogged.

And that’s my day. Like I said, busy, but not much to show for it. Four tiny swatches, a few pictures that aren’t uploaded yet, some cookies, and the remains of a pizza. On the plus side, I did learn 4 new methods of casting on, 4 of binding off, and 2 new selvedges. I did not get around to swatching the Irtfa’a lace, which I had really hoped to do. But then, tomorrow is another day, and one where I don’t have to work! Yay for vacations!