I had to go to Office Max on my way to work today to get nice paper for my fellowship application. I use the term “on my way” loosely here, as Office Max is a mile and a half in the wrong direction to go to school. That means that I got in a 3 mile walk in the sunshine this morning. Nice way to start the day.

I hadn’t remembered that OM was quite so far away. I was thinking that it was just under a mile, and expected it to take less time than it did to get there. This meant that I missed the bus I had intended to take. And that meant that I had time to poke around and look at things other than resume paper while I was there, and that is dangerous. It’s probably very strange, but I love office supply stores. Almost as much as yarn stores. Yes, really. Amazing, huh?

I picked up some paper, and staples (we’ve been running low at work, and unimaginable disarray would result if we actually did manage to run out), and envelopes, and Post-it notes. Now, if there is one thing I love more than office supply stores, it is post-it notes. I use them for everything. All of my books are chock full of them, with little notes scribbled here and there. I think part of this comes from my inability to write in books. I’m not sure why, but I cannot bring myself to deface my books with writing. Journal articles are another story, but books are sacred and must remain spotless. I know, it’s weird. Instead of underlining or highlighting, I just fill them up with stickies. All of my papers at work are marked with post-its, and when I’m doing a big project I even color-code them so that I can find the papers I need in a hurry. You may think that this is odd or perhaps even unhealthy, but I definitely love my post-it notes. You can imagine, then, that I picked up a few in different shapes, sizes and colors while at OM this morning. This should keep me well supplied for a while, don’t you think? (Actually, this is only a little more than half of the pile…the rest are already at work, waiting for me to begin sorting papers tomorrow for that review article I’m supposed to be writing…)

But that’s not all. Nope, there’s more and better to come. Big post-it notes!

I’m probably way behind the times, and these have probably been around for eons, but today is the first time I could think of something useful to do with post-its this big. What, you say, could I possibly find useful about huge post-it notes? How about row markers?

(See? I really was going to get knitting content in there somewhere…it’s not all about my strange office supply obsessions)

I was going crazy with my standard rubber-backed ruler marker the other day, and complaining that none of my stickies were big enough to cover a whole row of my charts. Well, today that problem has been solved, and there will be no more rulers to get knocked off by a cat when I’m halfway done with a row and don’t remember where I let off. That in and of itself seems like ample reason to keep 3M in business by buying a lifetime supply. Don’t worry. I didn’t buy a lifetime supply. Just a few pads. I’ll save the lifetime supply for another day.

What’s that? Oh, yes, that is the Irtfa’a pattern underneath those stickies. And yes, I have been working on it. Did you think I’d forgotten? I’m all for progress blogging, but even I have to admit that it’s a real stretch to post every day about having finished another 8 rows in laceweight. The thing just looks like a big blue-grey blob most of the time, so it’s hard to tell that it’s changed at all when I’ve only added a few repeats. Trust me…it can be really hard to tell that anything’s been added. So, to avoid killing my blog audience off with boredom, I have been working quietly on Irtfa’a and blogging about other things. Since you mentioned it, though, I am happy to report that I have just finished the 7th repeat out of 10 in the small feathers section, and should be into the quills by the end of the week. Yay! I have 24 more rows in this pattern, and then 30 in the quill pattern. And then I’m done with the body of the shawl! The edging is going to take a while, I think, but I’m definitely past the half way point now, and sailing right along toward the finish line. That should get me finished up in very good time to start the Bee Stole when the yarn arrives, which is an exciting prospect.

(Oh, and in the interests of factual accuracy, it stays light out until about 5:45, not 6:15 right now. I forgot that I took the bus home the night that I noticed that the light hadn’t completely disappeared, and I have to leave earlier when I take the bus. Still, 5:45 is better than 5:00!)