I have a lot of deadlines looming in the not-so-distant future, and a few that are now (thankfully) in the not-so-distant past (as in, I finished grading midterms this afternoon).

The one good thing about grading is that I have to read every paper once through before I can really start to mark it up. It’s best to have something to keep my hands busy during that first read, in order to restrain the commenting hand. That meant that I got to knit through the first reading of each of the 72 papers, and that has added up to something like progress on Branden’s sweater. I am now 12.5 inches in, which might count as the only knitting progress that’s happened since the last post, many eons ago (ok, 11 days, but it feels like eons, doesn’t it?).

I think I’ve officially entered the “shows pronounced antisocial tendencies” stage of thesis writing…or maybe it’s the “mutters to herself in a corner” stage; they’re a little hard to distinguish sometimes.

But, now that the grading insanity is finished, I will be turning my attention back to the other spectres looming in the future, but I am hopeful that this will involve at least some amount of crafting. My doctor ordered me to de-stress (ha!!), so it counts as medically necessary, right?

To that end, I got something new to play with:

(Obviously, this was only because the doctor ordered it)

I seem to be suffering from a mild case of distractedness in my crafting lately; like a great dying, only in reverse. What is that called? I’m sure there’s a biological name for it. Increased speciation? Maybe that’s it. I’m not an unfocused dilettante. No, no. I am simply promoting craft biodiversity.

Or maybe I’ve been diversifying my crafting portfolio a bit lately. Seems wise, doesn’t it? One can’t have too many fall-backs in uncertain economic times. (Wise or insane; your pick).

Actually, I’ve wanted a loom for a long time. It was a tough choice between a loom and a spinning wheel two years ago, but I went with the spinning wheel. I was planning to wait and buy a loom after we moved (somehow portable is not the first word that comes to mind here), but one came up in the area, for a very reasonable price, and from someone that I am at least acquainted with through the blogosphere. It seemed too good to pass up a chance to get a loom and enable someone else at the same time, and buying used is always something I’d rather do when I know the seller, however distantly.

And so Branden and I took an unexpected drive/ferry ride out to the Peninsula a couple of weekends ago, and brought the new baby home. We then spent an evening figuring out how to warp it, and I’ve been playing with weaving in my spare minutes.
I’ll show you that later, when I can take a decent picture.

First observations: threading a loom is not as hard as you think it will be, and boy is weaving fast! Once that warp is set up, you can make 4 inches in 20 minutes, no problem (and that’s at raw beginner stage). Compared to knitting, it’s light speed.

And you know, I could use some light speediness right now.