The jury is still out on whether or not idle hands truly are the devil’s plaything, although the argument could definitely be made that they sure do like to get into the pantry. No, I’m not getting into trouble, but I am getting a little frustrated.

I’ve spoiled myself with my ability to make rapid progress on socks. I have also crippled myself by signing up to work all this extra time. Sure, I could definitely use the money (the gas bill alone this month was almost $260), but I could also just use the freaking rest. Working so many nights in a row feels like setting myself up for a disappointing weekend, one in which I lose the first day to unconsciousness. I’m not even talking about the kind of day where you just laze around in PJs and have too little energy to hold the needles, let alone concentrate on a stitch pattern. I will get off work the last day of a stretch, run whatever errands I’ve been putting off, and go to bed between 10 and noon, then proceed to sleep until 2, 4, or even 6 am.

After an 18-hour slumber, trying to cram a week’s worth of knitting into a day or two seems more like work than fun, as though the socks are remaining unknit out of spite, and I’m paying them back in kind. I still work on knitting, but I mix it up with some spinning and reading, and I don’t feel like a lazy slug if I decide the hell with it, I’m gonna fart around online. I mean, that’s what the weekend is for, right? Lazing around and doing what you want. But with two (three, really) pairs of socks still on the needles, I feel an obligation to be working on them at all times on my days off, since I don’t really get much done on them during my days on.

Obviously, I could work on the socks some on the days I work, after I get home. I’ve done it before, but it’s actually a little unsatisfying for me, because you make a lot less progress in 30 or 40 minutes of bedtime or wake-up knitting, than you do in the time it takes you to catch up on the week’s worth of @midnight or listen to a few podcasts. And there are some days I get home so exhausted that I don’t bother with knitting, or even breakfast, I just wash up and go straight to bed. Thus is the drawback of working 12-hour shifts. (Don’t get me wrong, I love and prefer working 12 hours three days a week to working five 8-hour shifts. I know that if you work shorter days, you have more time in each day to do things, but I’ve been working 12s so long that I feel like if I’m going to be spending the majority of my week at work, I’d prefer to be getting overtime for it.)

I’ve been longing to make some kind of tangible progress, but being in a new work environment, I’m hesitant to bust out my knitting at the office. I’ve thought about it, but I’m just not ready to take that leap, especially after the exchange I had with a coworker about my handknit socks: I said “I wish I was knitting socks right now.” I was speaking more to the fact that I’d rather have been sitting on my couch knitting (since it was supposed to have been my night off), but I think she took it as I would like to be knitting at my desk (which, okay, I guess I did mean that a little) and said “I think that’d be too much.” And this was coming from someone who crochets.

I may be able to do that someday, or I may not. But until I have some kind of confirmation one way or the other, that it’s either okay as long as I’m keeping my eyes on my work (which I was perfectly capable of in my old job, where I did the same task plus several others), or I need to leave it at home, I’ll find other ways to keep my brain busy and my eyes open in the middle of the night. In the meantime, I think I’ve hit upon a way to feel like I’ve accomplished something in my knitting other than completing a pair of socks four rounds at a time.

I’ve previously pontificated about my PayPal problem, and how it led me to purchase a copy of the Beekeeper’s Quilt. I wasn’t really sure I’d do it out of any real desire to do it, just out of a sense of obligation. However, once I got started on it, I realized it was actually kind of enjoyable to make tiny little puffy pillows. Right out of the gate, I made about a dozen, then I ran out of steam. I tried to make them more portable by making little hexipuff kits to take to the movies with me: I took a few snack baggies and in each one I put the yarn, a pre-cut piece of the quilt batting I’m using as stuffing, and a blunt needle pre-threaded with embroidery floss. I figured I could knit each one to the bind-off point, then put the live stitches on the floss, since I for sure wouldn’t be able to do the crochet bind-off in the dark, since it’s fiddly enough for me with the lights on. (Although, now that I think of it, I’m not sure why a regular three-needle bind-off wouldn’t work. It would look different, but the edges are going to get sewn together anyway.)

Well, that turned out to be kind of a bust. We went to see Anchorman, and about halfway through, I was laughing too hard to concentrate and I put it away. Then I took the bags out of my purse and put them in my hexipuff bin, and they’ve pretty much been sitting there taunting me for the past two months. Except I didn’t feel that guilty about the poor, neglected puffs, since I was going gangbusters on socks.

It takes me 30 minutes to knit a hexipuff, from cast on to end-weaving. I figure that the 45 minutes or so after I get home in the morning are perfect: I can finish whatever podcast I was listening to during my walk, I can eat a bowl of oatmeal, and I can complete one more motif for this blanket that at one point I thought I wouldn’t finish until I was an octogenarian.