Reason #1 why Mare is awesome: She crocheted me a lightsaber for my birthday.
Reason #2 why Mare is awesome: She made a cake for Kaytlyn’s baby shower, inspired by this Cake Wrecks post.
(When I told my mother that Mare made a cake with Spock holding a baby, she asked me, “Dr. Spock, or Spock with the ears?”)
Reason why Isabella (Kaytlyn and Addison’s baby) is awesome:
Look at her, only ten days old and already holding her own lightsaber.
I am not very good at blogging with my iPod touch. Rest assured that the Margaret sock and I are going to have some things to show you when we get back home from our latest trip.
Sometimes — admittedly, not often, but sometimes — everything turns out just the way you hoped it would.
If you had asked me what I wanted to see in the men’s Olympic gold medal hockey game, I swear I would have said, “I want Canada to play the U.S., I want both teams to play very well so that it’s a close, tense, exciting game, I want it to go into overtime (but not a shootout because shootouts are crappy ways to win and even crappier ways to lose), and it would be nice if Nova Scotia boy Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal.”
It might as well have been made to order.
I wasn’t worried at all about the women’s gold medal game the other day, by the way. I never doubted for a moment that we’d win that one.
Oh, yeah, and I got my gold medal, too, in the 2010 Knitting Olympics. I have officially named these the Go Canada socks. Pattern: my own, more or less. Modified Silver‘s tutorial, worsted weight and 3.75 mm (or size 5) needles, casting on 44 stitches, increasing to 48 for the stranded knitting part (chart modified from chart in Audrey Ritchie’s Maple Leaf Beanie pattern), decreasing to 40 stitches around after the maple leaves. Briggs & Little Regal in Red and Bleached White.
Yes, there really are two socks, no foolin’.
See? I told ya! The actual sock-knitting and even sock-designing process was less time-consuming than I thought it would be. I was correct in assuming that the hardest part would be adapting the chart and adapting a basic sock recipe so that the socks 1) looked the way I wanted them to and 2) fit on my feet. My first attempt accomplished neither of these things. I spent four days knitting half a sock, and then I ripped it out and started over. The first half-a-sock had the leaves exactly where I did not want them — on the front and back instead of the sides. There was probably a simple way to fix that but damned if I knew what it was, and I didn’t bother because I knew I had to start over anyway. On account of the half-a-sock was too tight to fit over my foot.
I fixed the problems on the second go-round and I might have been able to finish my socks a few days early, except that I had a really bad cold for the past week and it made me too tired and stupid to knit. I was so exhausted that I was completely incapable of knitting from a chart, increasing, or decreasing. I was only able to handle plain stockinette without screwing things up, so I took a few days off from the socks so that I wouldn’t make mistakes I would have to frog. Then, as is my custom, procrastinator that I am, I finished the last details of the Go Canada socks — weaving in ends, duplicate stitching — while watching the hockey game, and shortly afterward.
I might do some more duplicate stitching on them sometime in the future, to hide a couple of places where the floats show through and to neaten up the leaves, but then again, I might not, because I am lazy, and for all intents and purposes, they are FINISHED. As imperfect as they are, a finished pair of socks during Vancouver 2010 is a much more impressive showing than my 2006 Knitting Olympics, when I planned to knit a scarf but instead knit nothing because I wound up in the hospital due to being crazier than a sack of weasels.
The 2010 Knitting Olympics kick off in just over an hour, and I’m competing this year. I intended to take part in the first Knitting Olympics in 2006, but I wound up in the hospital when the Olympics began and was not allowed to bring sharpthings with me.
In 17 days, these two balls of yarn (Briggs & Little Regal in Red and Bleached White) should be a pair of socks. Your basic red socks, with a white maple leaf and maybe a couple of white stripes. I don’t know; I’m deciding that as I go along. I’m not sure what maple leaf chart I’m using, either. Maybe the one from Audrey Ritchie’s Maple Leaf Beanie, maybe not. I’d use the chart from Maple if I were knitting this with sock yarn, but since I’m using worsted weight and it’s only going to be 40 stitches around, a chart that’s 22 stitches wide would be gigantic.
Obsessing over stuff like this is what’s going to turn knitting a really simple pair of socks into a production that will actually take me 17 days. IF 10:00 P.M. ATLANTIC TIME EVER COMES, THAT IS. This is the longest evening ever. It’s like waiting for Christmas morning.
Since I’ve been keeping some of you in suspense about why I spent Christmas in a hotel (and by “some of you,” I mean “Heather“), I guess it’s only fair to finally explain that it was because my parents had a flood at their house and had to live at a hotel for two months while their place was being renovated. (At least this was covered by insurance.) They lost hardly any possessions, but a bunch of walls had to be torn down and replaced. And some ceilings. And a lot of flooring. Hmm. I might have even told Heather this last week.
Most of the items that were destroyed were craft supplies in my mom’s sewing room. It’s a good thing that her yarn stash isn’t as formidable as mine.
So my parents spent two months living in a hotel room with three cats, a dog, and a goldfish. (Well, at first there were two goldfish. RIP Glenn.) My mom had just had foot surgery and was supposed to mostly stay off her feet for a couple of months. Plus, my dad got pneumonia over Christmas.
When my brother and I came to visit, we stayed in another hotel room, which was actually larger than the one that my parents and the menagerie were living in. No, it doesn’t make sense.
Our Christmas tree was kind of small this year.
Small enough that two cats working together can manage to knock it over and run through the room with it.
My mom liked eating Christmas dinner in a restaurant, though, and decided that it is to be our new Christmas dinner tradition. I’m down with that. Way fewer dishes to do.
Mare and I didn’t actually do any yarn shopping in New York, but don’t worry — we did plenty of other shopping to make up for it. Most of my photos from the trip are still on her computer, so I’ll post them another day. You know, once I actually have them.
The sock I brought along was just a basic sock with Knit Picks Felici in the colourway Aquarium. I love the yarn, the colourway is discontinued, and I hope they introduce a new colourway that’s similar to it. Since I am essentially finished that pair of socks now (“am essentially finished” = “have not yet grafted the toe of the second sock because I am lazy”), I also cast on for a new project, Fetching in the recommended yarn, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. The colourway is 601, and in real life it looks nothing like it does on the screen on that product page. In real life it’s definitely not blue, and much more of a dusty purple.
I have completed one-and-one-third fingerless mitts, but the second one is taking longer than the first because for some reason I have suddenly forgotten how to consistently count to any number higher than one, and that slows me down somewhat.
I only knit one Christmas present this year. It was a shawl.
The Fleece Artist Goldielocks Triangle Shawl, to be exact. You know, the one that I’ve been calling the Shawl of Doom. It’s 56% Kid Mohair, 24% Silk, 20% Nylon, and 100% infuriating. The colours go very well with my giant purple stuffed hedgehog, but I actually made it for my mother.
I finished knitting it on December 23 and blocked it on December 24 by pinning it to a hotel bed and spritzing it with water.
I would explain why I spent Christmas in a hotel, but that would take far too long. My bus to New York leaves in less than three hours, and of course I am still packing. Mare and I certainly have some yarn shopping to do once we get there! Maybe I will make “Blog more often” one of my New Year’s resolutions and actually explain about the hotel next week. Or maybe not.
The end of November means the end of National Novel Writing Month, which means that once again I can rejoin the world of the living. I actually hit 50,000 words on November 28, and yesterday I went to knitting night for the first time all month, did some cross stitching for the first time in ages, and only wrote a measly one thousand words.
I was technically taking part in a NaNo online chat while I was at knitting night, but declined to take part in the hour-long “word war,” since there was no way I could type that much and still hope to get any knitting done. When the other people in chat were tallying up their word counts for the hour, I said that mine was “about five rows of a shawl.”
I did not do very much knitting in November. I did, however, show the Margaret sock a good time. I took her to an Emm Gryner show on November 2, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. There were maybe about ten people in the audience, because the venue had done basically nothing to promote the show. We were ten very appreciative people, though. And who wouldn’t appreciate an evening that included Emm Gryner and Darren Eedens playing the theme song from The Littlest Hobo?
Emm was very gracious about holding the sock, and, as you may be able to tell from her tour diary entry, she also thought it was cool that she was holding a sock that Judy Blume had held. I love people who don’t think that Can I take a picture of you holding a half-knit sock? is a weird question at all.
The title of this blog entry has been brought to you by Emm Gryner’s song “89 Days of Alcatraz” and Gennifer Choldenko’s novel Al Capone Shine My Shoes.
You may notice that the date of this post is a HORRIBLE LIE, since I am posting it well after Halloween. But these are the two pictures I meant to post on Halloween, and then I didn’t do it for some reason (i.e., laziness, forgetfulness). They are Halloween-themed, though, so please, let’s all just feed into my delusion and pretend that it is still Halloween.
First of all, bat cloth, bat cloth, BAAAAAAAAAAT CLOTHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I saw this dew-bedazzled spiderweb one morning as I stopped to tie my shoe on my way to work. So then I stopped to take a picture of it (the spiderweb, obviously, not my shoe, though admittedly the last batch of photos that I took included an accidental closeup of my knee) and I was late, but it was totally worth it. Although it would have been even more worth it if it were a better photo, but I takes what I can gets.
The Shawl of Doom marches on. It is one of those slow sort of funeral-dirge death marches, but at least it is marching.
No, I didn’t entirely forget that I had a blog. Yes, I did entirely forget to update it. I’ve been thinking lately that this site seriously needs a design makeover, which will take some time to do. Every time I think about posting, I just feel bad that I haven’t had time to prettify my poor blog, so I’ve just been trying to put it out of my mind. I AM SORRY!
The current interminable knitting project is the Return of the Shawl of Doom. It’s a simple garter stitch triangular shawl in Fleece Artist Goldielocks that I put aside (or possibly hurled violently aside) about two years ago because the yarn was driving me
crazy crazier. I am now much more capable of working with this yarn and it is no longer causing me to gnash my teeth every time I pick it up. So this is not yet a story with a happy ending, but at least it is a story with a Happy Bit Somewhere After the Beginning but Not Quite at the Middle Yet.