It has been since I last bought yarn!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Motivation

It is Oct 15th.  It is Oct 15th and I don't have a firm grip on our Halloween costume situation this year.  Every October is usually a "write off" for me... trying to get Halloween cased.  This year?  MEGA Lazy.  This is slightly because the child wants to do Star Wars again, despite husband and I desperately trying to point him in another direction.  And so, the costumes for us aren't tricky to do- and, (mom willing), Parker's idea shouldn't be too tricky either.  Mom and I will visit Fabricland tomorrow and hopefully have it all sorted by the end of the day.

Without Halloween as a usual distraction- I have more time to focus on my other projects at hand... specifically my big blue sweater.

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It's starting to look like a real live sweater isn't it?  I've got the right front ready to go next, just need to cast on and get knitting... which will hopefully happen after this post.  I'm hoping potentially by the end of this week to actually start sewing it up!

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Pile 'O Sweater Pieces!

I've even given Maudie some love and have finally turned the heel and begun the foot!

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What I haven't done and need to do, is block the Grenada Blanket.  I'm slooooooow on that front.  I have the blocking board but the motivation hasn't been there.  It needs to get there.  Come on motivation!

I've decided to make a goal for October in order to motivate myself to a finish.  By October 31 I want to be DONE the sweater, the socks AND the blanket.  It's ambitious but not unmanageable.  It would also free up my brain for November.  A lot of people participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November.  I'm declaring it NaMiKnitMo- National Mitten Knitting Month!  Specifically, I'd like to knit FOUR pairs.  I'd really like to go into December feeling indulgent in my knitting.  BUT, it means that I have to knit up four mittens prior to that.  Anyone want to set their own November Mitten knitting goal and join me!?

As hard as it is to say goodbye to summer, I'm enjoying all of this fall motivation and knitting desire!  See you with some finished items (hopefully) soon!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rolling With It

Great news- (but not if you are the one of many things like dishes and laundry in my house), my desire to knit over anything else continues at a great pace.  "Oh there's laundry to do?  Maybe tomorrow I really want to finish this sleeve."  "Oh I should go through Parker's closets and get rid of things he doesn't fit anymore and clean out the winter gear?   NOPE... knitting instead."  "Work out twice a week like you said you would after Parker went back to school?  NO- that takes up valuable knit time!"  I am a woman posessed and quite frankly... I'm just rolling with it.  (I am going once a week to my Barre workout lest you worry about my well being...)

The grey baby blanket went from 450 stitches to EIGHT and is now off the needles!

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Ends need to be sewn in and lordy does thing need a good blocking... but we're getting there.  I am concerned that the level of blocking required isn't conducive to gifting an "easy to care for blanket" but I might be too far along at this point to care.  Baby isn't due until mid November, I could potentially eek out something simple-ish.

And, as I confessed last week I am wholly consumed with knitting the giant sweater.  It is all I want to do.  I've been using it as "reward" knitting.  You want to knit a sleeve?  FIRST Cast off of the blanket!  You want to do the other sleeve?  I think that Maudie sock needs it's heel turned first!

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I've done the extensive math on adjusting my gauge for the sweater and am in the process of figuring out how many stitches I need to add in order to take it to my knees.  (Answer: a lot... )  But so far progress is moving along swimmingly.  I've already told myself that once the back is knit (currently in progress) I need to stop for another worsted mitten... and then will use the sweater as a bribe to get the mitten done. 

It helps that it has snowed already.  The weather has been either unusually warm or quite chilly.  But I don't know... maybe just giving the mojo the space it needed to return was the key.  I don't know what the key is... and I'd take the time to figure it out... but it cuts into my knitting time... which we just can't have right now.

I'm off to KNIT! ALL! THE! THINGS!

Monday, September 25, 2017

KNIT! ALL! THE! THINGS!

As the title would suggest we are well out of slump-ville these days.  In fact I kept putting off blogging (and various household "to do" list items) in favor of "just a few more rows".  I want to knit everything.  RIGHT NOW.  And quite frankly the fact that I can't just sit and knit and avoid all responsibilities I have is bumming me out.  I guess it's feast or famine with me.

The Granada blanket is growing!

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We've gone from 450 stitches to a really reasonable 168.  And I must say, the whole idea that you go from a whole lot of stitches to a whole lot less stitches is bloody brilliant!  I feel like rows go so quickly now.  I'm about to start another cabled section and I'm hoping it's going to add some size to the blanket.  I have some concerns about the size of this thing... but I'm holding on to hope for blocking to rescue the day.

The poor neglected Maudie socks are no longer neglected!

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In fact today I'm thinking I should probably take some time and just bang out the heel (always complicated) and get myself back to some easier knitting on the foot.  These are still lovely- and I've decided I'm keeping them.

I've also added to the stash....

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I am OBSESSED with a sweater.  OBSESSED.  I tried it in on in a store in NYC and let's just say the only reason it didn't come home with me is I had a hard time swallowing the cost.  Especially since in general it's a fairly simple shape.  The yarn has to be thick and soft.  And I decided that going the Lion Brand route was both a) cost friendly and b) a safer bet in case this whole thing blows up in my face.

An intensive Ravelry and Pinterest search resulted in the closest option... a vintage pattern.  And whooo boy, it's so vintage the pattern requires MAJOR brain power just to follow it.  (The schematic makes my head hurt.)  I need to do some conversion on the thing since I want it to sit longer in the length (just above my knees) so I'm planning to sit down and figure it out from the top down... at least for the back part.  (I'll knit sleeves first in order to assess gauge, cuz I'm also lazy.)

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I'm excited to take a bite out of this... especially since it's bulky yarn and shouldn't take me a terribly long time once I figure out what I'm supposed to do length wise.

Also- I want to knit ALL THE MITTENS... but I can't even wrap my head around that until I get some of these other things off my plate first.  But mittens... they are coming!  Prepare yourselves!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back to School

Y'all... I love my son fiercely... but I'm going to freely admit, back to school has me all...


It's back to school and TIME (sweet, glorious time how I have missed you!) to do all the things has suddenly returned!  On Parker's first day, {as I discreetly danced out the door}, I made a HUUUUGE list of things that I needed to accomplish.  So, of course, all I did was sit on the couch and jump into my knitting.  And then the next he went to school I said to myself "SELF- we're getting things done today!"  And so... I knit more.  GUYS- I want to knit again!

WHAT?!

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This may not look like a tonne of progress, but you need to factor in that each row is 450 stitches.  This is the Granada Baby blanket and it's knit from the outside IN.  I think it's clever that as the blanket progresses the stitches get LESS not more.  It's a bit of a bear to knit, but so far I'm engaged and the rest of the household stuff is getting neglected so I guess I'm feeling it!

I've also started back in on Maudie as my "car project" (got to be at the school 45 minutes prior to end or there's no way I get parking) and even that has slightly progressed.  I fixed the miss crossed cables and now we're onward and upward on that project.

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Looking ahead I need to get on the mitten train- Parker essentially has 1 million teachers this year  and I'm probably going to need like FIVE pairs if I want to continue the gifting tradition.  (Gah!  Thank god I discovered the joy of stranded WORSTED WEIGHT mittens!)  The good news is that I'm currently in a KNIT! ALL! THE! THINGS! mindset... which bodes well for you dear reader... who stuck it out with me in that rather dry stretch.  (Thank you!)  So back to ignoring the laundry and the closets I said I was going to clean today... there's knitting to do!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Momentum Builds

GUYS!  I have mittens to show you!

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Pattern: End of May Mittens by Mandy Powers
Yarn: Diamond Galway (5050 Turquoise) and Cascade 220 Superwash (white)
Needles: US 4
Notes:  I deviated from the pattern on the cuff and knit in a picot cuff, which I always thinks adds a pretty feminine touch.  I also decreased an extra row in the mitten at the end to close up less stitches together.

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Why didn't anyone tell me about how quick and satisfying faire isle WORSTED mittens are?  I opted to go up a needle size and would potentially go up even higher.  I am a fairly tight stranded knitter (it's stressful!) and sometimes the mittens need more give than I'm knitting in them.  However that cannot stop me from how completely charmed I am by these!  It's a lovely pattern and I think I see more worsted/stranded mittens in the near future.

As if that wasn't a great way to start I even got MORE things done.  I finished up the toe on the first Maudie sock and cast on for the 2nd!

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(Frustrating though, as I was taking this photo I found major issues in the cables where I screwed up so will be ripping back about 12 rows... boo.)

Aaaaaaand I made the commitment to a new blanket for a little baby due in November... and even cast on.

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I won't tell you WHAT it is yet- but I will tell you I had to cast on 450 stitches.  It's a unique construction and I'm hoping that it's not going to make me crazy.  Also BONUS- used STASH YARN!

This is our last week of summer vacation.  It's back to school next week and I will fully admit that I'm looking forward to some uninterrupted knitting time.  I'm ready to get some things finished and keep building on the knitting.  Hope your summer is ending as warm and beautifully as ours is!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SHHHHHHH

SHHHHHHHHHHH nobody make any sudden movements.  Don't say ANYTHING... but, and I'm almost afraid to say this out loud so I will say it very quietly.... I think the mojo might be returning.  GAH- DON'T FRIGHTEN IT... whatever you do DO. NOT. FRIGHTEN. IT.

I finished the socks.... because they were easy and once I got going I found they progressed quite quickly.

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Pattern: Take Five Socks by DKissinger (Free Pattern!  {with, also free, membership to Ravelry!})
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici "Surf's Up"
Needles: US 1
Notes: GREAT pattern for a self striping yarn, just enough of "something" to keep you interested but not enough that you need to pay the world's closest attention.  I changed the heel to an "eye of the partridge" heel which I always prefer and as always, broke the yarn for a more even stripe pattern.

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I always appreciate a pattern that isn't just a plain sock but still compliments the wide stripes of the felici.  Long time readers will remember that this year I wanted to knit at least 2 Felici socks out of my stash and I'm happy to report I've not accomplished that.

The sock was done and I had this unfamiliar feeling... I wanted to take a bite out of something else.  A new project.  Something small.  Something that would check a box... something that wasn't too finicky.

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And so a mitten in worsted weight was born.  It's the right amount of "oooo lookie" without being too finicky and also adds a pair of mittens to the pile for Christmas when I like to give gifts to teachers.  And so far it looks kind of great.

I've also been on Ravelry a lot, looking at baby blanket patterns, as that is also going to be needed by mid November.  I'm having a hard time committing to a plan but I'm hoping a lunch with the mama this week might give me some clues in which direction I can go and maybe motivate me a little more.

And now.... quietly... I'm going to get back to the mitten.  And maybe make more progress!  I leave you with a few photos from our family's "stay-cation" this year... being around home has certainly allowed for regular routines, including knitting, to pop back into my life.

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(We climbed a mountain!)

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(We did pottery painting- that was Parker's idea.)

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(Zoo day)

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(Beach day!)

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(Mountain biking)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NEWS BULLETIN

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARY SCHEDULED KNITTING MOJO WHINING TO BRING YOU THIS IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

I finished something.

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Pattern: Cuddly Monster Blanket by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Collection Pure Wool in 930 (Blue) and 934 (Blue-Green)
Needles: US 7
Notes: Instead of stuffing the hands I left them flat as I figured it would make the inevitable need to wash it a lot easier.  It's a whole "lotta" garter stitch.  You will hate garter stitch when it's over, but you will also love the finished product.

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I'm the first to admit this... I gave this project a whole bunch of hate nearly from day one.  I didn't like the way the colors were blending and worried about the blue being too purple.  I worried about the size being too small.  I wanted desperately at several points just to be done the whole thing.  But in the end... when the last end was woven in and I took a step back I surprised myself by liking it.  Even husband was like "hey that turned out great!"  It's really stinkin' cute and I think the couple will love it.  (Even if it's a little late... oops!)

It feels good to have this off the needles and I've already started thinking about the next blanket that needs to get going soon.  I'm setting the goal to start Aug 1- so I have some time to mess around on Ravelry and find something I can really sink my teeth into.  I'm weirdly motivated on this so I'm hoping blanket #2 is what get the mojo back into the swing of things.

In other news- I've had two hours to kill time this week and both times I brought my Take 5 sock to work on, only to completely ignore it.  I realized that I didn't want to work on it because it was bothering me that the (hardly noticeable) problem of the pattern not lining up was subconsciously bugging me and I didn't want to work on it.  So- I fixed that problem.

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Left is before, right is after.  I frogged the entire leg- which sucks... but honestly I'm more interested in knitting it today than I have been in months so it was the right, but difficult call.  Hopefully we can get that off the needles soon and drive ahead to something else.

Also I need to report that my foray into the Stampede wasn't it's usual success- mostly because I didn't really put in my regular effort.  I entered my Sydanmaa Mittens from waaaay back.  They are lovely, they are knit perfectly and they are so soft... but I'm being honest- they aren't show stoppers.  And I knew that going in.  I was not surprised that I didn't win anything.  The good news in all of this is that the theme next year is "WILD ROSE" and oh lordy do I have some ideas swirling in my ole head!  So who knows... hopefully I can build on that momentum.

Speaking of building on momentum... (and entirely unrelated to knitting)... THIS HAPPENED yesterday and we are VERY. VERY. EXCITED.

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And so now my days will be spent outside trying to build on this momentum and get us to a good place by the end of the summer.

YOU MAY NOW RETURN TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED KNITTING.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

That's One Slow Ass Monster

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Hey Jen how's the knitting slump?  "bout the same".  Can you tell?

Thing to admit #1:

Guys- this blanket in my "glory days" of knitting would have potentially taken me 2.5 weeks.  TWO. POINT. FIVE. WEEKS.  How long has this thing taken me?  Longer than I care to admit.  Long enough that the baby is BORN and I'm still dragging my butt on this.

Thing to admit #2:

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The main part of this blanket knit up slow.  So. SLOW.  But in the end... it's actually kind of to the small size of how I knit these and I feel badly.  Will the receive-ee's of this blanket look at me and be like "you're phoning it in"?  It's cute... but it's also... to the small size.

Thing to admit #3:

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I only have a few things left on this.  I am painfully close to being done.  Like eyes and some teeth and a quick foray into kitchner stitch to seal up these ears.  I could, potentially finish it this weekend.  I won't likely (because time... WHERE ARE YOU?)- but I could.  And the idea of moving on to something, anything else, is vastly appealing.

I'd like to knit something small next.  A quick "Oh yeah- I made that"- just to feel like I've accomplished something.  But the truth is at my current pace, I actually need to start another baby blanket for other friends due in Sept STAT... if I stand a chance if getting them the gift once baby is born.

I'm still here.  It's still happening.  I'm not going anywhere... just at an insanely slow pace.  I'm waiting the slump out.  At some point the desire and motivation to knit is going to hit me again and I'll take off... in the mean time I'm riding this out and hoping inspiration strikes soon.  Thanks for sticking with me guys... I appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Monster Mish Mash

Well- the good news is that I'm knitting now more than I have in the last 2 months... as things start to wind down we find our evenings with an hour or two where I can sit and commune with the needles again.  The bad news is that even that doesn't make this blanket seem to go any faster.

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Yes.  It's progress.  But I've forgotten what a time/yarn suck garter stitch knitting is.  It's slow.  (Note to self....  keep it light on garter stitch projects from here on out!)  The good news is that the rows are starting to feels shorter as the decreases have started adding up- and it's, in theory, faster knitting from here on out.  Would love to make some real progress on this soon- just so that I can move on to some of the moving pieces on this to at last feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Also, this weekend, after having a discussion with my MiL, I decided to enter a simple project I knit earlier this year into the Stampede.  The idea of not participating at all kind of had me down and I decided I could put something in- even if it wasn't my usual type pieces.  I'll keep that a surprise until the entry is in.  Usually I enter something I've knit that I'd categorize as "extra special".  This time I'd more categorize the project as "nice job"- but nothing outstanding.  It'll be interesting to see where that stacks up in the grand scheme of judging.

And that dear people is it.  I'm hoping next time I'm here, it's to celebrate the end of a seemingly endless forray into garter stitch and the blanket will start taking (faster) shape.  Do not fret pets, for there is hope in July.  A few morning/afternoon camps are planned and I'm hoping to capitalize on some knitting then too.

I'll leave you with this photo I took last week of Parker and I at the park- because it's cute and, well, it's my blog I can do what I like.  Haha.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Actually....

**THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY TO DO ALL THE THINGS I WANT TO DO!!!***  (she screams into the black abyss)

It's June?  How is it June?  My kid just started Kindergarten!  I just got into a working schedule and soon school is done!?  HOW IS THIS HAPPENING!?  It just seems like every time I should have some time to sneak in a few rows of something... there's something else that says "actually... no" on the schedule.

"Actually No... you can't knit this weekend... you are going to be blowing your kid's mind with cool space stuff at the Johnson Space center...."

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PS. The Saturn V Rocket is HUGE.

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"Actually No... you can't knit on Tuesday.... you volunteered to chaperone a field trip to a farm!"


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(I was super excited to pet the wool of a sheep... the kids could care less about what I had to tell them about wool and lanolin.)

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This is a total aside but it was one of the "fun facts" posted and it was so interesting and also horrifying at the same time.  (Jeez Boy Bunny... leave her alone for a minute!!!)

Actually you have to go here, actually you have a meeting there, actually you have an event to attend here.... ACTUALLY ACTUALLY ACTUALLY.

It's sad that I'm ACTUALLY looking forward to a rainy forecast this weekend where maybe we can indulge in a few movies and I can ACTUALLY KNIT for a change.

There has been a "smattering" of knit progress... the hat(s!) are done.

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Pattern: Cabled Teddy Hat by Marinda Lariz
Needles: US 6
Yarn: Cascade Anchor Bay 18 Taupe
Notes:  You'll note I knit this twice.  I finished hat one and realized that I began the decreases one repeat too early... and so I cast on hat #2.  I'll keep hat 1 for another babe... and #2 will go to Kindergarten teacher.  I've decided to just give her the hat and skip the booties.  I don't have time and baby might not want wool boots when it's born in August anyways.

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This pic shows that yes, there is actually a size difference... it's small but its significant enough to me to cast on #2.

I also finished the Ballband dishcloth!  (go me!)

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Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth
Needles: US7
Yarn: Some of the Lily Sugar and Cream stash of indeterminate age
Notes: YAY!  I have met one of my yearly goals- this is dishcloth #3!  (We'll get to that at some point on this blog and check in.... today is not the day.)  I love this pattern- highly recommend.

I've also worked on (truthfully I just mostly look at this on the couch and feel badly it's not seeing progress) a bit of the Monster blanket.  I had  a moment of panic the other day that this isn't going to get done in time.  If it doesn't I might have to gift the bunny blanket - which I'd be okay with in this case.  On the upside I'm feeling less "wary" of the colorway now though and still comfortable gifting it to a little boy.  Just need to make PROGRESS now.

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So there's where I'm at this week.  Hopefully I can capitalize on the rest of this June and get some progress out the door.

Monday, May 22, 2017

That's One Way To Do It

Usually I'm a mono-knitter.  It means I have project that I'm committed to.  I'm faithful.  I work on that project.  Sometimes I divert into 2 projects to take off the edge off the one.  But usually it's just one.  However, with this slump I'm in, I'm finding that part of my issue is that the project that I should be working on isn't cast on yet... and just the idea of casting on seems too big.

This weekend I got a lot of things done that have been sitting on my "to do" list for awhile.  I decided to try a different tactic on this slump- just cast on everything.  Everything.

So, with that in mind say hello to...

THE DISHCLOTH (ballband pattern)

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THE BABY HAT (Cuddly Teddy Hat... Again.  Such a great pattern)

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THE BABY BLANKET (So cute!)

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I bought yarn for the baby blanket on Sunday.  I woke up and said to myself "I just need to get the yarn and go."  And so I went to the only yarn shop that was open at 10 am and bought my yarn.  The whole experience was more efficient than I usually am.  Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the blanket.  I've chosen a periwinkle blue and turquoise green for the blanket... although the blue is looking awfully purple here.  I'm not sure I'm happy with it.  Your thoughts?

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The yarn next to each other the blue looks bluer... in the blanket purple-er.  I'm not sure how to proceed.

I figured I'd just get them all on the needles and then pick up what my brain wants to do that day.  This way there are no excuses saying "I just don't want to put in the effort to cast on.  That's done.  It's just a matter of knitting.  I took all the work out of it.  This is either a really fantastic idea to attack the slump or it's going to blow up spectacularly in my face when I decided it's just too overwhelming to concentrate on.

The sock has also seen a lot of progress since the last time I admitted I wasn't really knitting.

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I realized last night though there's a problem.  The stripes match BEAUTIFULLY- I've mastered that skill pretty well.  The problem is that the tiny pattern DOESN'T.  I can't decide if that bothers me enough to rip out the entire leg on sock two.  I figured out that I knit the pattern earlier on sock 1.  I am leaning to rip it out and go again because it bothers me... I just can't decide if it bothers me ENOUGH.  Haha.

So lots to see here- hopefully it means the finished stuff just starts falling off the needles.  At least there's a bunch of STARTED stuff now... right?