As it turned out, I finished both projects today. First I finished Earl Grey (well, one of them anyway). Michael tried it on, and lo and behold, it fit, to quote Michael “like it was made just for me.”
As Michael modeled the sock for me, Wesley kept rubbing up against Michael’s foot. I’m not sure if it was because he liked the alpaca sock or if he was hoping that affection would win him a trip outdoors (the modeling was done in front of the door to the back yard where Wesley LOVES to go play). I got a few photographs of Wesley with the sock. The cat and the sock are very close in color, and it was kind of neat. The only problem is that Wesley doesn’t photograph well – he almost always blinks! While all of this was going on, Michael started to look uncomfortable. “I’m not sure if I should tell you this…” he started. “It itches.”
We’ve had some question about whether one or both of us is allergic to alpaca. I made an alpaca silk sweater for Michael several years back. As I knit the sweater I had more and more respiratory trouble, but that didn’t alarm me because I was just getting over a case of whooping cough (aka pertussis). I caught that right before the doctors started to realize that the vaccines we were given as a child were wearing off. In any case, I presented the finished sweater to Michael and he loved it. He wore it to work one day even. The problem was, he got sick by the end of the day. His eyes were watery and he kept noticing fur coming from the sweater. “I think I’m allergic to it,” he said. I realized right then that I, too, probably was allergic to the alpaca. I later read online that it is difficult to be allergic to alpaca, so I decided that it must be something the yarn manufacturer used in the finishing process. I’ve since purchased undyed alpaca fiber for spinning and the yarn for these socks. I’ve had some respiratory trouble while knitting them, but nothing too alarming. After Michael had worn the sock for awhile experimentally, his leg stopped itching as well. The jury’s still out about the alpaca.
After all that, I moved on to the blanket. Since the yarn is acrylic, I had no trouble breathing while crocheting with it. My plan was to crochet until I ran out of yarn – I had 5 skeins of the blue and 3 of the blue/white twisted color. The blanket came out an odd shape, but I figure it is perfect for a 2-year-old at nap time. My nephew can sleep on or under it. I have to wash it before we take it to my brother’s house because, as you can see, Buttercup had to test it for me and my sister-in-law is a little bit allergic to cats.
So, I have at least pared myself down to 8 (well, 7½) projects. I have to start on the Crochet Guild project next. I also need to get the other baby blanket done by the time we head out for San Francisco. The baby in question is due on the 13th, and I arrive in the city on the 11th, so I still have some time. The Guild project, however, is somehow weighing on me. I think it’s because if I don’t finish it soon, I will have kittens and travel filling my time and I won’t be able to complete it. Let’s hope I make my deadlines!