What to do while waiting

Here I am, waiting on responses from a few queries and submissions.  I’m not in the right frame of mind to edit anything I’ve finished lately—with the mood I’ve been in lately, everything I wrote sounds like crap—and I don’t have a new story in mind to work on.  It’s frustrating, being stuck here in the middle.  I want to do something, but I can’t. 

Yesterday I brainstormed with a friend who needed help with her plot.  It was a lot of fun, much like going shopping with a friend to buy a stereo.  In the end, it’s not my money being spent, but it’s also not my stereo going home.  I can make all the suggestions I want, but ultimately, the job is all hers.  Besides, what matters most is what feels right to the other person.  I could recommend a story about vampires, but if she’d rather work on a story about talking kittens, a story about talking vampire kittens probably isn’t going to work.  (Give me enough vodka and I’ll see what I can make happen.) 

So in the mean time, I’ve been knitting.  In addition to the pair of socks I made John for Father’s Day, I’ve finished 2 socks but unfortunately, they’re not a matched set.  One is for Ryan, and the other is for me.  The one that’s for me actually has a story to go with it. 

I found a cute little sweater pattern that I wanted to make for my niece, and it requires a brand of yarn I happen to have on hand.  One skein was available, the other was part of a sock.  I figured I’d use up the full skein, then unravel (aka, frog) the sock and use that on the sweater.  (Once again, I’m putting aside my own wants for someone else, even if my niece definitely didn’t ask for a sweater from Auntie Carla.)  The only problem was, when I went to check out how much sock needed frogging, I realized I was well past the point of no return.  I’d made the cuff, turned the heel and finished the gusset, and I was halfway through the foot.  A few dedicated hours and I’d have a completed sock.  This was no time to unravel something that was so close to fruition.

So I spent most of Sunday finishing the sock.  It’s now finished, but now I need 2 more skeins of that yarn; one to make the 2nd sock, and the rest to work on the baby sweater.  Too bad I didn’t consider making baby socks with the same yarn, so they’d match with the sweater.

Sock knitting is addictive.  I never thought I’d be able to work with DPNs, but really, there’s something about knitting in the round, over and over and over again, and surprisingly, it’s not monotonous.  When you’re knitting with two needles (as I’m often knitting with just one needle), you can always say, “Let me finish this row before I…” but with DPNs, you can go on forever or until you reach the desired length.  It’s seamless, and it’s magical.  When you use self-striping yarn, you look forward to seeing what color row comes up next and how big it will be.  This morning I worked on the gray wool socks again and even though the color never changed, it was just as much fun to watch the sock growing in my hands.  Seriously, it’s magic!

Sock knitting will never overtake writing as my favorite hobby, but it’s definitely running a close second.  The problem is that since writing isn’t bringing in any money, and sock-knitting will cost me money when I start running out of yarn (somewhere in the year 2015), not to mention the time I spend knitting could be spent writing, eventually we’re going to run into a logjam here.  But in the mean time, I’m going to enjoy myself.  🙂