Is this not the cutest thing? It is a pattern from Earthheart designs. A picture of a sheep in an aran sweater inspired it. Here is the link to buy the pattern, if you want one and your local LYS doesn’t stock it:

http://www.earthheartdesigns.com/images/Patterns/Sam%20the%20Ram/Sam_the_Ram.jpg

Back to school at work is now officially Not Fun. Part of it is that we are just working way too much — I’m going 12 days straight, 9 hours a day, with a 15-minute lunch break, and the owners are doing more than that. (Don’t imagine overtime pay or commissions — it’s not that kind of job.) And part of it is that people are not themselves. That may include us, too. The folks who are shopping now are largely the ones who have had their assignments changed, or whose purchase orders were delayed, or who still have construction going on in their classrooms. And then we are sold out of much of what they want — unavoidable, but it means spending much of the day apologizing to people who are terribly upset. So the overall combined stress level in the room at any given time is about the same as in an emergency room. But I think a large part of what is so stressful about it for me is in the physical environment. The noise level is much higher than normal, we are crowded to the extent that it is hard not to run into people or step on the dog, the store is a mess and we have no time to fix that, our work surfaces are covered with stuff… And then I come home to find that I will have to clean the kitchen before I can cook dinner.

Ah, but I am trying not to whine.

I am working — at a rate of about 10 rows a day — on the second pair of socks. I am using “Lacy Leaves,” a pattern band which should fit the instep perfectly. I have given the first (non-lacy) pair to #2 son and am making the second pair for myself.

Knitting the Blues was toying with the idea of having a Sam the Ram Knitalong this winter.(http://soupgirls.typepad.com/knittingtheblues/2004/05/im_being_drawn_.html ) If you would like to join in, visit her and say so. Perhaps there will be enough response to get one together.