I like wool. I love its warmth and its bounciness. I love the way it takes color. I love to knit with it. But this week I discovered a drawback to wool--when it is warm and/or damp, it smells bad. I made two items of wool in which this is a rather serious drawback. The first is the below-mentioned hotpad. Hotpads sit on dining tables and absorb heat and moisture from pots. When the odor of wet sheep mingles with the odor of warm stew, it is not appetizing.
And then I made a warming pad filled with flax seeds and dry rice out of a recycled felted sweater. The flax seed in cotton has a rather distinctive odor which is not entirely unpleasant. But mix that with the odor of heated wool and yuck. So now I know why they don't make these warming things of wool or felt.
Luckily both of these little projects were more in the way of experiments than serious amounts of work and commitment.
The Smoky Mountain socks continue apace. I have turned the heel and decreases the gusset and am now at work on the foot section, which I will be at work on for quite some time, it appears. I have to keep quite a tight tension on the yarn in order to maintain 8 stitches per inch, and I just knit slowly at this gauge. So I'm still on the first sock, which means that I'm only about 1/4 the way through a pair of socks. However, they are turning out quite lovely, and I slipped it on Sam's foot this morning without telling him that it was a sock for him (he is very incurious), and the leg fits great. So onward. I will be traveling on Thursday and Friday this week, which seems to lend itself to some serious amounts of knitting. Perhaps I can finish up the foot by next Sunday.