Summer is a horrible time to move. Unfortunately, in a college town, it’s the easiest time to find new housing (at least for po’-ass renting schmucks like us). Next time we move in July, we either need to be able to afford people to do the gruntwork for us, or we need to relocate to the southern hemisphere.

It’s not all razor-wire and powdered glass though. Even though I’m bruised up and down (including a toe that broke so severely it was almost perpendicular to my foot), I’m happy, because I have an estrogen cave.

(I wish I could say I came up with that term on my own, but I picked it up from a coworker, who is also of a crafty bent.)

The cave is, by far, my favorite room in the house. It has built-in cabinets along one wall (as does the guest bedroom), and built into the underside of one of them is a small desk light. It’s the perfect location for my (drumroll please) new (to me) sewing machine. It has a window that looks out into a sunroom. The server, hard drive, printer, and all that other nerdy stuff of my husband’s is in the opposite corner, on a really nice desk set we picked up for 20 bucks on craigslist. It’s even paneled in dark wood, so it really does look and feel like a cave.

The thing about me is that I am not some delicate flower of a lady who doesn’t want to lift heavy things or get her hands dirty. (It’d actually be hilariously incongruent if I were, since I’m built like a friggin’ linebacker.) The problem is that I’m a bit of a spaz, so when there’s manual labor to be done, I consider myself lucky to end up with nothing worse than severely chapped hands and cracked fingernails. Bruises and cuts are pretty much the norm.

Add to all this the fact that we’re moving not in a big truck full of boxes, but by a carload at a time, using whatever spare help we can scrounge up, so I’m pretty exhausted. It’s tough to stay awake at night when you’ve been up half the day waiting for the cable guy or loading a bunch of crap into an F-150. It’s not the best environment for working on a pair of lacy socks.

I haven’t knit in weeks. I’ve either been too busy or too tired. And I’ve missed it, to be honest. So I’ve had to bust into the hibernating-projects basket and dive into what has to be the most mindless knitting that isn’t a straight garter-stitch scarf: the Ten Stitch Blanket.*

I really like Frankie Brown’s designs. She has a whole series of the “Ten Stitch” patterns, and I actually started out on the Ten Stitch Twist, which is the same concept except it starts out with a circle and works outward in a spiral. The blanket just starts with basically a strip that folds around itself, and except for short-row corners, is all easy-peasy garter stitch with nothing to keep track of. It’s still small enough to be portable, so I’ve been carrying it around carefully folded up inside a large messenger bag.

It was meant to be my niece’s Christmas present, but it’s not like she’s gonna know the difference if I give it to her for her third birthday instead. Of course I’m going to make something else for that, in keeping with the theme (she’s into pirates, so it’s a wee scoundrel’s life for she, or at least a wee scoundrel’s party). In fact, the husband has even offered to learn to knit just so he can make her something.

I’ve somewhat abandoned the pair of Romantic Lace socks I was working on for her. First of all, I’m just not sure I’ll have enough yarn to make them big enough (stoopid top-down socks). I could buy more, but that defeats the whole purpose of even making them to begin with: to use up the yarn left over from the Brainless Socks That Fit No One (even my skinny sister-in-law). Plus, like I said, I’ve just been too distracted lately to really be able to sink my teeth into them properly, and the lack of progress is frustrating. What I need to do is take a few hours on a Saturday, park my ass on the couch, and just crank them out.

The weird thing is that now that I’m back into the blanket (which had been collecting dust since February), I’m really liking how quickly it’s moving along and I don’t want to stop until I’m done. Right now it’s big enough to cover my legs and feet, so it’s surely big enough for her, but I’m going to keep going until I use every yard of the six skeins of Red Heart I bought specifically for this project.

* “mindless” is not, in this case, meant to be a pejorative term. I actually prefer to be able to work on projects that don’t require a lot of concentration. Partly it’s because I’m easily distracted, and partly it’s because oh hey who’s that? It basically means I can knit without having to look at it.