Summer is over!  It’s still warm, but the 100F+ days of the year are behind us and it’s such a relief to turn off the AC and open the windows.  While I was hoping the cooler weather would improve my disposition, my living situation has become rather miserable and home is no longer a good/happy/relaxing place.  Bad apartment management hit spectacular new lows over the summer; a new manager started to improve things — but last night someone shot a bullet into my next door neighbor’s apartment.  I try not to think about it too much as I’m locked into my lease for another 10 months.  And thanks to the local economy being better than most and the thousands of people who lost their homes in the Bastrop fire, local news reported this week that apartments in the area are at 100% capacity, lease renewal rents are going up by $100-150 a month, and apartment waiting lists are filled until 2013.  Not sure there is a bright side to life, but at least I have plenty of yarn to keep me occupied while I’m trapped here.

Since I’m stuck where I am, I may as well knit.  I have some sewing projects to work on, too, and I’d like to make some card sets for Christmas gifts, but I’m not terribly motivated to do much beyond knitting.  After nearly 2 months in a non-knitting funk, I dropped the latest sweater project and started working on smaller pieces that I could complete in a few weeks – and that choice has made all the difference.   My Ravelry page is expanding with photos of finished projects and I look forward to picking up something to work on in the evening because I know I’ll see some progress before I go to bed.  Sweaters are wonderful, but not necessarily the most interesting thing to work on when it’s over 100F.

Looking forward to not traveling this Thanksgiving.  Found a project I want to make for myself; if there’s anything left once I pay November bills, I’ll splurge and have the yarn ordered so I can spend my holiday weekend working on something to keep me warm.  In the meantime, I will still be plugging away on smaller projects in hopes of having a few hand-made gifts to give this year.

I can’t figure out how to get photos to appear correctly in this post, so I’m going to try to upload a gallery of some images from the last few months.  Probably should write a lot more, but I’d rather go find lunch and stand in line at a book signing.

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Haven’t felt well for weeks now – my sinuses are reacting rather violently to something, I just don’t know what. My face feels puffy, I sound like Elmer Fudd, and unfortunately my quality/quantity of sleep varies. While I’m still somewhat motivated to be active and creative, small projects are better for my attention span.  Plus it’s rewarding to see significant progress after an hour of stitching.

Hats for Romania

Fortunately, I had the perfect small project: making hats for a fellow knitter to take to kids in Romania.  I purchased the Meathead Hat pattern from Larissa Brown (which helped another family), bought some bulky yarn and US15  needles, and started stitching.

Over the last few weeks, I took my knitting with me and worked on hats during several all-day professional development events — and was delighted to find that the activity kept me alert and focused on the discussion  (the sinus stuff leave me groggy and I tend to get painfully sleepy when forced to sit still for long).   This “stay alert” side effect probably explains why I see so many people knitting during meetings.

Now that I’ve completed a baker’s dozen of the Meathead Hats, as well two hats in another pattern, I’ve really got the hang of DPNs.  In fact, I’ve discovered I truly enjoy working with a handful of pointy sticks — so I fully expect my first pair of  socks will be on the needles before long.

Stack of hats

The hats were a fun diversion – I felt productive but didn’t have any pressure to finish a project (my poor Mad  Men Mittens are on hold until I have the ability to concentrate a bit more).  In the meantime, I’m ready to start a felted bag.  The experience of working so many hats on DPNs really paid off when we learned how to start the bag with 8 stitches on 4 needles – I didn’t think twice about the process.   More to follow.