I got far enough on Jacey's sweater that I can make it my take-to-work project: now it's just "work even for a zillion rows"--or 23 inches, whichever comes first.
I worked on the needlepoint stocking for Lydia and came to a sad decision: My eyesight is forcing a change to a different stocking. Her stocking was 14-mesh canvas, which I can do, but it's tiny stitches. But that stocking was stitched in embroidery floss, which is harder to handle than tapestry wool. And quite a few of the stitches had floss paired with a metallic thread about the consistency of a human hair. Try keeping two of those threads linked up with four strands of embroidery floss--and get it all to lie flat in the right places. It was a nightmare, even in daylight, with my glasses on, and with the day-light lamp.
I had purchased another stocking kit before I found the angel one that has proved to be so difficult. The stocking I'm going to do is a snowman--worked in tapestry wool on 12-mesh canvas. Yes! This I can do. It's not as devastatingly lovely a design as the angel--although the angel was going to look more devastated than devastating--but it's a perfectly good snowman. I may pick up some pearly blending filament to highlight the snow (which is not done in French knots, thank you very much). The tapestry wool is worked with two strands at once--not six--and since it covers on 12-mesh canvas as well as embroidery floss does on 14-mesh canvas, logic tells me that one strand of tapestry wool is at least as large as three strands of embroidery floss. And since 12-mesh canvas is only 144 stitches per square inch--while 14-mesh canvas is 196 stitches per square inch--you can see that this will work up faster, even if you disregard the floss-vs-wool issue. I'm no longer absolutely dreading the stitching. I have the canvas mounted on stretcher bars and the yarn sorted. I'll start stitching as soon as I finish this post.
Tomorrow I still need to get to the recycler's and the grocery store. (And the lottery ticket people.) The grocery store will be critical since I'm heading into a 5-day stretch of 10-hour work days. Once I drag myself to the car after work, I haven't got the energy to go shopping. I can barely crawl in the house. But I'm running low on bread, peanut butter, Diet Coke, and Lean Cuisines--all the major food groups.