As I said last week, I am slowly, slowly working my way back toward normalcy after the really heavy “crunch” weeks of the semester. There is suddenly light at the end of the tunnel, though – Thanksgiving is this week (!), and then there are only three weeks of classes before the semester is over (!!). This happens every term with teaching; there is the exciting burst of beginning, then that endless slog of middle-time, and then all of a sudden the end has come and gone and you’re left wondering what on earth just happened.

This week is the one where things really start to lighten, though. It’s not over yet, but it’s starting to ease up, and the end is firmly in sight. And also, this week is Thanksgiving Break, so there is time to breathe and catch up a bit before the final push.

As always, the first harbinger of normalcy is the return of knitting. I can’t say I got much done this week, but it’s more than the week before. After much dithering over the swatch, I decided to just cast on and at least knit the ribbing because it didn’t actually require a decision.

The blog vote was also split, so I eliminated one more choice this morning and then Branden cast the deciding vote. Basketweave it is. It’s not the cushiest of the fabrics, but it has a clean, crisp texture that will work up just fine. Also, just picking something means that I’m not heading knitless into another week. (Much as I believe in letting the creative process move at its own pace, there are times as a mostly-monogamous knitter when that gets me into trouble. No knitting on the needles is one of those times, and calls for some additional prodding to reach a decision.)

I’ve also been doodling around a bit with some swatches in the Rambouillet yarn that I spun as a shop sample for Greencastle.

The color of this yarn has always made me think of fields of wheat, and for some reason it’s been calling to me lately. So last weekend I pulled out some needles and just started knitting, looking to see what would emerge. It doesn’t look like much here, but after several variations on a theme, I think I’m starting to converge on the kind of pattern I want. I spent some time yesterday flipping through the Walker books to see if there was anything along those lines, and ended up heavily modifying one of her designs to help me over some hurdles with mine. It’s not quite there yet, but the general idea is coming:

I’m interested to see where exactly this leads; I haven’t done much designing of my own stitch patterns, so it’s exciting to toy with the idea, and simple lace makes for a good canvas.

I also got to spend some quality time with my wheel earlier this week when my brain was too done with thinking to attempt design. I’ve added one more fat bobbin to the pile for Branden’s next sweater.

I thought that the sweater would be spun and half knit by now, but these things always seem to happen in their own time.

One day of teaching, one day of research, and then the rest of the week is (mostly) free for family, fun, and fiber. I can’t wait!