I had to put the Smoky Mountain Socks on hold again while I recover from Sock Anxiety. I mended one of my Irish Forest Socks and boldly wore the pair with by Birkenstocks to go sit in Borders and knit. When I got home, there was a matching hole in the second sock. Then i took out a bit of that yarn and tugged on it to see just how fragile it is. It is very fragile. It is just way too easy to break it. And the Smoky Mountain socks are made of the exact same stuff. I wish I'd known before I started these socks, but I didn't. So I still plan to finish them, but I just can't do it right now while I'm in mourning.
So I started a hat to match the Pine Tree Scarf for my Mom. Actually I started it repeatedly. Over and over! I had decided that I would use magic loop knitting to make a hat, thus avoiding the problem of switching to dpns or anything else at the end. I ordered interchangable tips in sizes 7, 8, and 9 and two cords, in 24" and 60" lengths. (Don't ask me how I came up with those numbers because I have no idea. One is too short for the intended purpose and the other is miles too long. But I thought excess length might somehow be a plus.) Excess length is NOT a plus. It's mass confusion. No matter how careful I tried to be, I kept getting the knitting twisted around at the halfway point when I switched needles. There were magic loops looping all over the place, including around my ankle.
I gave up and cast on for the third or fourth time on bamboo size 8 circulars that are 16" in length. 100 stitches, all stockinette all the time. It is finally off and running. I think I will add a band of color halfway along, and make a very simple hat. And recover from sock anxiety as well as magic loopitis. In between grading research papers that all sound pretty much alike. (I need new topics! I can't read about Rosa Parks many more times!!)