The only upside to all that stress is that I need to knit to keep my mind off things. I took advantage of this to work on the two WIPs that have been sitting around since March.
The Neverending Socks of Slight Girliness
Yarn: Patons Diploma Gold 4-ply, 50g of the black and 25-30g of the blue, from Knit2Together/Cucumberpatch in Wolstanton
Needles: 2.0mm double points
Pattern: (what should have been) basic toe-ups
Notes: I started these for The Limey in April. April! I chose the stitch pattern after I saw it on Knitpicks' Mock Croc sock pattern. I've also seen it since in a sock pattern book (maybe in Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks?). The Limey picked out the colours himself. These are the Neverending Socks because of the following:
1) I chose the stitch pattern because I thought it would be less boring than yet another basic rib pattern. Oh, how wrong I was. It's basically a lace rib, which means that it's just as boring as any 3x2 rib would be, except that I can't even mindlessly knit because I have to keep track of rows so I know where to put in the lace round. So it was not a joy to work on.
2) I started these socks toe-up with the Turkish cast-on so I could make the toes asymmetrical, because The Limey has pointy feet. The first try was too pointy. The second try felt a little weird, he said, but maybe it was okay. I merrily knit the rest of the foot, short-rowed the heel, after which he tried it on and said it was too weird and he would prefer a normal rectangular toe. I did not kill him. Eventually I just knit the rest of the sock, unraveled the toe bit, picked up the foot stitches, and knit a rectangular toe down.
3) I had only one ball of the black, which was going to have to do for the main body of both socks. The Limey vetoed a positive/negative coloured pair. So after I'd done the heel of the first sock, I kept thinking, Uh-oh, I'll have to stop soon because I need enough for the second sock. If I still worked in lab, I'd just take the yarn in, weigh it, and stop at 25g, but I have no access to a good balance right now. This went on for months. I'd knit a couple rounds, then stop due to this fear. In the end, I cannibalized some 2.0mm needles from my Print O' The Wave and started the second sock from the other end of the ball of yarn. My estimate was pretty good. By the time the second sock got around to the length of the first, there was only enough black yarn left for another two rows on each sock.
So: the Neverending Socks. Actually, it took me five months to knit just the first one; the second took me four days. And the lace does make them ever-so-slightly girly. But that's okay.
The second WIP I worked on was Print O' the Wave. I started this around the same time I started the Neverending Socks. Firstly, I would like to say right off that it is not my fault that I ran out of yarn. The pattern said I'd need 500 yards of cobweb weight yarn. I had 600m. I checked around everywhere to make sure it was indeed cobweb weight. Not only that, but I actually made the damn thing skinnier. Instead of 4 horizontal repeats in the centre panel, I only did 3. Okay, I made it slighty longer, but that took nowhere near as much yarn as doing all 4 repeats would have. So, once again: not my fault that it looks like this:
See where the needles come out of the knitting? That's how much edging is left to do. See that bit of yarn there at the lower right? That's how much yarn is left.
I've already checked with the Margaret Stove people in New Zealand, where I got the yarn. Obviously the dye lot is long gone, but they do have some of the same colour. So I'll just order a skein of that and hope the difference isn't too glaring. I'm sure it'll be noticeable, but damned if I'm going to frog this.