So, after all that complaining, I actually knit the entire pair of house slippers this weekend. (And I do have photos, but I'm at work. I'll add them tonight.) I know, I can't believe it either.
First, I decided to tackle the yarn dilemma. I untwisted my skein, which gave me that handful of long loops. I figured I could count the loops, divide by three, and that would give me fairly equal balls of yarn (And it was bulky yarn, so counting was easy; I wouldn't try this ploy on laceweight, you'd go insane). And it actually worked! So of course, I panicked about a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that turned out to be easily solved. I'm so well-adjusted.
After that, the knitting was easy--holding three strands of bulky yarn together=fast knitting. Although, after all that, of course I didn't have the right size needles. I needed 13s, and the biggest I had was 11s. So I just used 11s and tried to knit loosely (bad knitter!). Ultimately the slippers are to be felted, so we'll see how they turn out. Mom's feet are on the small side of the smallest size (and the slippers look enormous right now), so if they wind up a bit snug after felting, it shouldn't be a problem.
I had only one serious misstep while knitting--down to, literally, the last 2 stitches, I pulled a thread to tighten a stitch and wound up ripping out 2 stitches along the sole, somehow (I think I pulled a broken yarn end loose). After passing out and coming to, I glared at the slipper for a few minutes, then found a crochet hook and pulled the yarn back through both live stitches and repeated my last stitch, fastening the edge of the top to the side. And somehow, I did it correctly. Or correctly enough that the stitches are in their rightful place and the yarn end is not dangling loosely. Thank goodness. Despite the fast pace of the knitting, I was not interested in frogging the whole thing, even if that meant Mom was stuck trying to cram 2 feet into 1 slipper . . .
So now I need to felt them. I haven't felted before, so I'm feeling a little unsure. I'll tackle that over the Thanksgiving break (4 whole days of freedom!). I'm so excited that it's finally almost my favorite time of year. Of course, the rest of the world seems to think that Christmas started almost a month ago, but I am not among those people. I love Christmas because it is special. And Christmas is not special if it constitutes 1/6 of the year.