Well, here we are in MA. I’m still not sure it’s sunk in that we’re here; we weren’t planning to come out for Christmas this year, but ended up getting a good deal on plane tickets at the last minute. In some ways, it feels like it’s been forever, and in some ways it’s like we never left. Odd how home does that to you.

We got a non-stop flight this year, so I had only a little bit of knitting time on the plane. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I would rather knit just about anywhere than in a narrow plane seat. Though traveling with Branden helps, as the person next to me doesn’t hate me if I stick an elbow over the arm rest. Besides the airport and security and sitting still for so long, I really like flying. I have to say that I got distracted from sock knitting more than once to watch the landscape below. I love the midwest; it’s like one huge patchwork quilt. And the Rockies are just gorgeous. Flying over the great lakes was nice, too. There was a light cloud cover, so there was blue sky and then white clouds and then blue water. It was like having a whole sky above you and below you at the same time. Very pretty.

My grandparents don’t have internet, so I couldn’t post last night, and I almost didn’t tonight, except that I appear to be stuck on West Coast time. I dutifully went to bed at a time appropriate to the local clocks, but have now been wide awake in bed for about 3 hours. I guess I won’t be jumping out of bed at 7 in the morning tomorrow, but the least I can do is post tonight.

I am excited, too. I might have a little more Christmas knitting after all. We’re staying with a friend of Branden’s this year, as my mom’s house is full. He came in tonight while I was knitting Branden’s Coriolis socks, and said that he had heard about felting (well, he didn’t know what it was called, but he knew that it involved wool and a washing machine). He continued to say that he thought this would be a great way to make socks to wear around the house. I don’t think he knows enough crafty people to realize how dangerous it is to make such a statement. Of course, I will be seeking out a LYS tomorrow morning and whipping up a pair of felted slipper socks. I’ve never felted before, but now is as good a time as any to learn, and switching to worsted and big needles will make things fly along after all this sock knitting.

I do have to say that Branden’s socks are coming along quite nicely, though. I started them Monday, I think, and I’m about 1/2″ from turning the heel already. And this is knitting two at once, so things are just zipping along on this pair. I think that the biggest time sink in my sock knitting is the rearranging of needles. It’s the one huge disadvantage of the 2 circs method, in my mind. I love being able to do two at once, but I’m just faster on dpns. The cables require too much stopping and finding needle ends to be efficient for me. But then again, being able to try them on while I’m working, and, most importantly, making both socks at once so that they are exactly matched seems worth the extra time. I still spend less time rearranging needles than I do re-knitting a sock, so I suppose it’s worth it. I can’t wait until after the holidays to try the knitty knit-one-inside-the-other method. I wanted to try it on these, but it’s dark, handpainted yarn, and I think I need some practice managing increases and decreases before I’m ready to try that method on dark yarn. Still, I’m intrigued.

Branden is always helpful with ideas about this sort of thing. Being an engineer, he has a very different perspective on how and why things work, and he has often come up with good ideas. In this particular case, I was saying that I thought it really was necessary for me to try the two-colored yarn method for my first attempt, since I’m pretty much guaranteed to mess it up otherwise. Of course, I then began to bemoan the fact that I wouldn’t be making a pair, and I’d probably mismatch them again. At this point, Branden gave me the quizzical “you’re not making any sense” look that immediately precedes either a very helpful idea that should have been obvious, or something crazy that really just doesn’t work (like pulling from both ends of a skein…it seems like it should work, and I bet someone has done it, but I just make an awful mess of it every time). In this case, the look preceded a very simple idea that I really should have come up with before whining out loud. I will probably now be trying the two-in-one knitting method on two differently colored pairs at one time, so that I will end up with a total of 4 (yes, 4, it seems so crazy…) socks on my needles all at once. Am I nuts? Probably. But hey, it seems to make sense, and really 4 is no harder than 2, so what the heck? If it cuts down on the needle-rearranging time, it would solve a few problems all at once. I think I’ll keep this peanut gallery around for a while longer. =)

Ok, I am losing my ability to see the screen in the dark without my glasses (sorry for the typos I’m sure I’m missing), and I believe that I may now be falling into the trap of rambling on when I have little left to talk about. And I really should try to get to sleep, as it is now late even on pacific time. So, ciao for now, and I may be back again tomorrow if I remain sleepless.