Do you ever have those moments when you realize that you’ve been so busy that you’ve forgotten your larger goals? I had one of those moments Tuesday. I was taking a day off and working around the house, and an episode of The Dog Whisperer caught my attention. Canine crusader, Cesar Millan, was helping a beautiful chocolate lab, blind since birth, let go of mealtime angst and an adorable shepherd-corgi mix detoxify interaction with other dogs.

It wasn’t that this was a particularly intense or unusual set of challenges for our intrepid people trainer, but it struck me that both dogs were—as is so often the case—caught up so much in the instant that they couldn’t relax without the help of the people that shared their lives. As soon as the immediate anxiety cycle was broken, these otherwise loving animals were able to step back into their otherwise healthy roles.

I realized that I’ve got some fairly nasty triggers that need a healthy dose of PSSSHT! While I’d love to have Cesar Millan around to help me work through those, I suspect that the fantasy is far more entertaining than having a straight, married dog psychologist following me around and hissing at me in stressful moments would actually be. But the basic idea is a good one. When I start locking down on the Sturm und Drang of life as a small business owner, I need to PSSSHT! myself. I suspect it may scare the PSSSHT! out of a couple of people around me before I get the hang of handling it internally, but it ought to be entertaining if nothing else.

What’s on my needles
So, for the time being, let’s catch up on knitting. I’m currently working on three active projects. I use the term active projects, because I’ve got tons of things on the needles that are on hold for one reason or another, and we’ll just have to get to those over the course of time.

The one genuinely big project that has my attention is a winter coat for myself. It’s fah-reezing in Michigan at the moment, and while I have an adequate jacket, I’ve been wanting a nice handknit barn coat for years. I’m following the frankly ill-advised tack of designing as I go, but the idea is simple. It’s a basic cardigan with set-in sleeves and a shawl collar. I got a hand taking my measurements, knit a gauge swatch, and cast on. From there, it’s been miles of stockinette and many, many more before we rest.

The fabric, as I said, is just stockinette, so I’m jazzing up the visual texture by blending three strands of basic wool in much lighter weights to create a rather bulky yarn. It’s one strand each of Cascade 200 in a dark eggplant heather, Reynolds Whiskey in an algae green heather, and Needful Super Alpaca in a rich chocolate brown. I’ll have to post photos later since Rob’s got the camera with him at the shop today, and I’m working from the house. In any case, I’ve finished the back and left front, and I’m currently up to the collar/shoulder area on the right front.

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