I've been spending all waking hours researching replacement cars and doing essential Nomad Press and freelance work.
I'm driving a rental car that adds a charge every day (no longer paid by the insurance company of the person who totaled the car I now need to replace . . . apparently the company covers three days of rental after they OFFER you a settlement, not after you receive it; I don't know how they think a person can find and buy a car in three days, while working, no weekends included, but I don't think they think at all, actually).
The rental is a sedan, which is not at all suited to my needs, other than just getting around town. The thought of heaving boxes of books into or out of either the back seat or the trunk . . . well, that's not a pretty thought. I can't even put the hand truck or the dog crate inside to take them to see if they'll fit in the cars I'm considering, so I take a steel tape measure instead and hope measuring is good enough. I do have another car that I can move cartons of books in if I need to, but my daughter's driving it to and from her several jobs (bookstore, clothing store, teaching fencing for the city).
As sedans go, the one I'm driving is pretty decent. It's been okay in light snow and has been fine for necessary trips to Boulder and Denver, but it's definitely a temporary fix. I'll be glad to have the fundamental car problem solved.
So here's some holiday knitting that succeeds at its many tasks:
On the right are two of Jared Flood's Koolhaas hats. Jared found his design inspiration in the relatively new Seattle Central Library, the principal architect for which was Rem Koolhaas. Here's what the library itself looked like on December 28 when seen from a car window in the rain.
It's a terrific pattern. Although the start-of-round marker shifts a couple of times, once I'd made it through the repeat a full time I had the sequence memorized and it was easy to figure out when to shift the marker (necessary repeat won't work without shifting? shift!). I used Cascade 220 leftovers from the Norsk Strikkedesign sweater for my two hats. (The Norsk Strikkedesign sweater is getting a workout in this cold weather. Its sleeve length is perfect: the sleeves aren't so long that they get in the way, but they are long enough to double as built-in fingerless mitts in frigid weather.)
Just after the new Seattle Central Library opened, I walked all the way from the top to the bottom through the spiraling stacks and research areas, checking it out. It was interesting. It's still a nifty looking building, but after several years of use is taking some hits in evaluations of its functionality. Lawrence Cheek's article in the Post-Intelligencer covers those bases pretty thoroughly: "There's something missing from the art in this building, and it's so basic and simple that it can be captured in one word: warmth." Cheek also comments about odd walls installed to keep people from bonking their heads and on uncomfortable seating and noisy areas.
The Koolhaas Hat is, by comparison, extremely well designed, functional, and warm. It's a great pattern, with the decrease sequence neatly worked at the top so it doesn't interrupt the flow.
I did make it in the longer ("men's") size to ensure that there'd be plenty of wool over my ears. I wear it folded up one level (just the ribbing), which puts two layers where they're most needed.
Highly recommended. A delight to knit and to wear.
The socks on the left: these have been my carry-around, no-brain project for a while, and I made progress on them but am beginning to think of them as The Eternal Socks, which is not a good sign. I'd better finish them pretty soon and start another pair. There comes a time when even a carry-around project needs to get OFF THE NEEDLES.
I've been delayed in getting it there by the Cotton Chenille cardigan I'm making for my acupuncturist. It's also no-brainer knitting. I'm heading for the finish line on its body (the sleeves are done). No photos lately.
And now I'd better get back to work. I haven't decided yet whether it's going to be too cold today to do more car research, although it's already 4.5 degrees warmer than the predicted high (currently 16.5 degrees F/ -8.6 C). I'm at the test-driving stage. If I can't do that, though, I'll be able to get more essential desk work done. Either way is fine.
My hats and sweater, on the other hand, are superb no matter what.