Startitis: It’s Contagious

There seems to be an epidemic of Startitis going around the knitting blogosphere at this time of year. I keep catching myself fondling different yarns in my stash (and anyone who has seen my stash knows that such fondling could continue for weeks – possibly months – without touching the same skein of yarn twice. It’s scary. Soon I’ll no longer be able to tell myself, “As long as it fits onto the shelf/into the cabinet/in the baskets, there’s room for another skein.” But I digress.) with no particular project in mind.

With the holidays nearly upon us, I have a stack of quick and easy hat/mitt/scarf patterns laid out temptingly on my desk, even though I do not traditionally make holiday gifts for friends and family. Perhaps it’s fear of spending money during the faltering economy, perhaps it’s college tuition payments looming for my daughter (more likely it’s simply my obsession with knitting and beautiful yarn), but this year I am more tempted than usual to knit gifts for my loved ones.

I’m working on a pair of simple ribbed mitts right now, in a semisolid colorway that resembles split pea soup crossed with pond scum. There is someone in my immediate family who is fond of such greens… (you know who you are). My daughter wants a hat or two or three. My husband would like a pair of mitts. So I keep winding skeins on the swift and ball winder, then casting on for one project after another, yet none of them holds my interest. My eyes keep wandering around the stash, and my fingers twitch to touch something different than that which is in my hands at the moment.

Maybe my impatience is a corollary of this disconcerting weather more than it is of the time of year. Our weird California weather continues, although at least today didn’t get any warmer than the mid 60’s. Yesterday it reached nearly 80 degrees, and to my mind that is simply too warm for mid-November. Where is the rain? We need it desperately! In the garden, although there are many plants at the end of their cycle for this year, others seem also to be succumbing to startitis. The hellebores are just poking up new stalks:

even as the dogwood leaves, in brilliant crimson, begin to fall:

The cymbidium orchids have put out dozens of bud stalks, and soon will be in full glorious bloom; once again for a few months they will justify the long summer months when there is nothing to look at but their rather boring, swordlike leaves.

Newly planted calla lilies seem content with their new spot in the ground; their blooms are vibrant and graceful, and have already lasted more than a few weeks. When the rain finally begins, their upturned cups will hold the water like a glimmering gift.

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