Okay, so I ranted a bit. I think I'm okay now. As the saying goes, the only thing you can control is yourself. So, a few deep breaths later, I think I've taken the reigns in hand and done just that. Finished the med conference (whew!) and told my employer that I needed a breather. Poof! No more work until at least the end of the week. Well, not from them anyway. I will, however, be doing casino parties Wednesday through Saturday nights. From blackjack to roulette to three-card poker, look out gamblers, here I come! It's work, but it's a lot less stressful than typing. :)
To further placate myself, I decided to 'knit selfishly' and put aside gift projects for a day. Instead, I cast on for a feather and fan shawl in the yummy Rick Rack II yarn from Interlacements that I bought at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. It took me a bit to wind the entire skein into 'cakes' -- one skein made four good-sized ones -- and then I cast on using the free pattern that came with the skein. It's the basic feather and fan pattern done on size 9 needles to give a nice open feel. The picture doesn't really do justice to the colors. They're much more vibrant than this shows.
I love the feel of this yarn. It's rather silky to the touch and has a wonderful drape. When I first got it home, I was concerned because there was a quite strong smell of dye to the skein. I put it through a few cycles of soaking and a considerable amount of color came off, along with 99% of the odor. Fortunately, there's plenty of color left, so no worries about fading too much. Once the knitting is finished, though, I will be soaking it again and doing something to lock in the color. The last thing you want is to wear a shawl over a light-colored top and have color transfer.
So the rest of the week, excluding casino parties, is mine! WHEE! Maybe I'll decorate the house after all. I should make a bunch of cookies for the church "Cookies & More" sale this Saturday. I have a bracelet I want to make for a friend. I'm awaiting an order from Knit Picks to make some more coasters, this time from their actual pattern, I think, although I still may improvise with my own snowflake designs -- depends on my mood.
So, the moral for today is. . . take control! I had to slap myself around a bit and remember that I could control some portion of my December. Sure it cuts into the paycheck a little bit, but my sanity is worth it.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a. . . gerbil?