With all of the thinking required of me at work lately, I haven’t really been putting much thought into knitting. I’ve been knitting whenever I can, but I’ve been doing the mindless kind rather than more complicated projects. Sometimes it’s nice to just do some mindless stockinette, and the grafting last weekend was downright meditative. The problem, though, is that I just ran out of projects on the needles. Branden’s sweater was the only big project I had going, and I just finished it.

Usually, this would be no big deal. I’d have about 6 new things planned, would have cast one on about a week before finishing the sweater, and would have no hiccups in the knitting process. Usually.

But at the moment, I have nothing. No plans, even. I have ideas for projects, but nothing is really at the “ready to go” stage where I can just sit down and knit. I really like the designing stage of a project, but I am just having a hard time finding spare brain cells. It took me at least 3 nights to decide to make socks with my hand-dyed yarn, and a couple more to pick a stitch pattern. Fortunately, I was able to knit the toe while deciding on the stitch pattern, so I’ve made some progress.

The camera is insisting on using the flash, or a very long shutter time. The flash completely hides the pattern, so here’s a blurry picture without it, due to long exposure and hand-held photography:

I can’t believe that I am having such a hard time coming up with the next project, especially considering that I have these to pore over:

Branden decided to covertly enhance my collection of stitch dictionaries, and so these showed up earlier this week. Unfortunately, his plan to be covert failed; he just can’t keep a secret! It was a nice surprise anyway…just a few days before the books arrived, which let me also enjoy the anticipation.

The books are in Japanese, but are nicely charted and should be really easy to work from. Many of the patterns are in the Walker books, but it’s nice to see them in color and in different textures of yarn. There are also a few new stitch patterns that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Also, the books are organized so that different variations on the same stitch pattern are generally close together (often on the same page). This makes it really easy to see how minor variations change the way the pattern looks, and I’ve been having fun trying to detect the differences in similar patterns.

With all that inspiration, I will hopefully come up with something interesting to talk about soon. I’d better, because I’m leaving for a conference at 7:00 tomorrow morning, and as of right now don’t have any knitting planned. Five days and four plane trips without knitting just doesn’t sound fun, so I think I’ll be going back to the stitch dictionaries now. I should be able to find a few small take-along projects this afternoon, between laundry and packing. If not, I guess I could just take the whole stash…

I’ll be back Thursday, and will hopefully have something to show you then. Have a good week!