Things are looking much brighter today, but yesterday really was a bit of a dance on hot coals. I wish literally, because it is currently too cold to snow where I live - it's so dry, too, the snow has turned crunchy and any precipitation would come down as little ice stabs.
I can say this with authority because when I realized there was no way I could sit down and do Christmas gift knitting after posting here, I decided to take the morning off and go right off my routine to see if that wouldn't reset things, and I began the process with a long walk. By the end, my face was bright red and my fingers were numb, so I guess it's officially ski mitten weather.
(this also makes it officially Not Handknit Sock weather: if I have to wear my winter boots for heat retention, I have to switch over to cotton athletic socks because the boots, while insanely warm and comfy, keep chewing up the heels of the socks I put into them. So I guess I have some non-pressure time now to knit more socks for spring.)
My first stop after about 40 minutes in the cold was a Starbucks, because it was the first coffee shop I found. I really prefer The Second Cup, a Canadian chain with a very nice hot chocolate, less crowded spaces, and bigger comfy chairs, but freezers can't be choosers and so on. I ordered a hot chocolate with salted caramel, no whipped cream, because I would never normally do that. Not the whipped cream part - I don't like anything getting between me and my hot chocolate - but the salt part. I know it's delicious but do I really need any more of that?
(review: delicious, pretty evil, probably won't order it again unless I bring a tube of lipstick with me because I kept having to gnaw caramel encrusted with salt grains off my upper lip. Did I say delicious and evil?)
During the long hot chocolate wait my hands warmed enough for me to grab the last chair, right at the pickup counter, and get my knitting out. I was a little shaky and it was hard to work, but I gradually got some rhythm as I channeled the goodness of the person for whom I am knitting this particular project that I keep not being able to show you pictures of because Somebody, and you know who you are, reads this blog. Heh.
Well, as I sat there trying to calm down I heard a lady behind me apologizing for not noticing her coffee was ready - something about being distracted by the knitting. So then we chatted a little about what I was making and how pretty it was and how she's only ever made scarves and when she had taken her coffee and left I felt so much better!
It was like a miracle. I literally had just needed somebody to talk to me, even for a moment, about something that has nothing to do with anything. So thank you, knitting.
The stores started to open just after that and I went to my favourite clothes shop, the one I discovered with my much-loved cousin who lives in England. It's expensive but I always feel near her somehow when I go in there, which pretty much overcame the significance of the whack of physiotherapy I am still facing, and the Mariner sweater I still really want to knit in its recommended yarn.
I bought a mostly acrylic cardigan, which tells you something about my state of mind. It won't wear well, and it won't be super warm, and it cost more than the Mariner yarn will, so that was crazy. But it does look very weird and shapely, and more importantly I could wear it today if I wanted to.
And then I bought a super weird cotton skirt with giant puffed pockets at the hem, perfect for storing a ball of yarn and a sock in progress and maybe even my little bag of tools if I'm really strapped for space.
When I got home I did a bit more work on Manhat:
I'm not convinced this evokes 'maple leaf', but I won't know till I finish the colourwork so I'd better go on with it.
Ah Manhat, so much like life.