Monday, October 30, 2006

bright sky

The last days of October have been glorious. I could hardly stay at my desk today and work; this afternoon I went out for a walk to gape at the colors everywhere.

In general, downtown Raleigh is not the most scenic of locations, but we do have lots of nice trees (hence our official nick-name, the City of Oaks). There are more than just oaks, in fact the dogwoods are my favorite right now. I wish I knew more about trees - I never know what kind they are. This one is... orange. A very nice orange.

Fall makes me so happy. The shortening days are off-set by their intensity as twelve hours of sun are condensed into ten hours. Buildings that depressed me in hazy summer weather seem suddenly interesting for their shadows and clean edges.

october 30th, iii

And of course there are the blazing, spectacular trees.

october 30th, vi

As color goes, fall beats all the other seasons, hands-down.

It also makes me a little itchy. Holidays are coming, and the air is cooler, especially in the bright, clear mornings. I can't think of anything but things to make.

spice mixes
sock monsters
mix CD's
endless cups of tea

Instead I have to write some grant proposals, finish a strategic plan, go to a bunch of meetings, make some presentations, etc etc etc. And of course I have to figure out confidence intervals and t distributions, things which are very important and which I will never remember again once I have taken the final exam in December.

December... when cookie-baking and sweater-knitting should be in full gear. It's not so far away.

october 30th, ii

Friday, October 27, 2006

busy with the crafts

I am so excited to have moved on to sock pair #2 of the Socktoberfest projects. Here is a little progress shot, taken at work yesterday (the socks came with me to a very boring morning meeting where I got a couple of inches knitted).

The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, and I must say I looooove working with it. This is the Gold Hill colorway - apparently my skeins came from a really pink batch, because I've heard from other folk that theirs is way less pink. I'm making these socks for HWWLLB's mom, which is a little trick to get me through them faster because she wears size 5 shoes. Yay! Quick project! The first pair I made this month were men's large, and plain gray, and they went ON and ON and ON... though I do love the way they came out. But it's time for some color.

And speaking of color, here's a quick peek at some of the amazing crafts that are showing up on Craft of the Year:

Peek at Craft of the Year pool
Crafts submitted by (clockwise): Jaypeg, Stacie, Macoco and FurryJumperGirl.

Y'all need to get up there and post your bestest crafts! I am so in love with the crafts people have posted already. The hot pink gibbon makes me swoon. I know there are Socktoberfest projects to be finished, and beads to be threaded on suri (no I haven't gotten to that yet...) but I think I'm going to be needing to make a sock monster this weekend... I have a big tub of tube socks just waiting to be chopped and monsterized.

And by the way... feel free to steal the button! Unless it's not tacky enough for you...


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

happy birthday to me!

Okay, not to me, to my blog! Today is f.pea's one year blogiversary. Wheeeee!

To celebrate, I'm inviting you all to a crafty get-together. Just pop on over to flickr and join the Craft of the Year group. Then post your best crafty creation of 2006.

A lot of the time I use this web space to rant or to vent, but I think what means most to me about it is the chance to connect with other crafty folks - knitters, sewers, photographers, screen-printerns, all of y'all - to share our handiwork and to be inspired. So to celebrate, I thought I'd invite a little extra inspiration.

Don't be shy, now... I want to see your best stuff! You can even post more than one creation if you like, because creativity comes in both trickles and torrents. I'll be posting highlights from the group over the next few weeks, and maybe even giving out some prizes. There will be some special mentions and bonus points awarded in the following totally non-objective areas:
  • crafts that are recycled, rescued from the trash or otherwise environmentally superior
  • high fashion innovation
  • crafts that make you pump your fist and start yelling feminist slogans (in a good way)
Thanks for all your ideas, warmth and witticisms over the last year... it has been so much fun for me. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!

P.S. If you don't use flickr, just email your photo (size limit: 400 px) to f [dot] pea [at] airpost [dot] net and I'll post it for you.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I have been looking forward to this particular Monday for a looooong time. I spent the day doing only one boring errand, and otherwise thoroughly enjoying a much-needed day off. And upon reflection, it seems that a couple of lists are in order. Perhaps I am just too lazy for narrative, but I like how the list format lets you tell a story so succinctly. I rely on lists really heavily in general - I'm always making lists of things to do or get or make, which I keep in my planner at work, written on the back of my hand, and on scraps of paper in my pockets.

So to celebrate this T.G.I.M., some more lists (you know you love them):

projects completed this weekend
  • our organization's 20th anniversary par-tay (yessss!)
  • the gentleman's shooting stockings
  • a biostatistics test

now we have to wait around for xmas to get worn.

things i have knitted that were worn this weekend
stuff that went wrong at the big party that nobody noticed, because really they were too busy having fun
  • the venue forgot to order the big tent
  • cold, soggy weather
  • no sound monitors
  • lead guitarist 1/2 hour late for set
  • dessert-related confusion. too many desserts! oh no!
stuff i did with my big monday off
  • started some socks with wonderful lorna's laces
  • went to the doctor
  • thrift shopping
  • completed halloween costume
  • watched 2 episodes of MI-5
  • drank a lot of tea
people who are amazingly, incredibly nice*
  • annie O'
  • lolly
  • my sister's boyfriend, CP
* not a complete inventory

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the suri plan

Y'all are so sweet, I just have to say. I really appreciated everyone's kind & supportive comments on my mopey Monday post. (Except Jessica's - she has a little problem with projecting her desire for another baby onto others - but that's neither here nor there). Hi Jess!

Last week at Stitch & Bitch I brought my drooly silky snuggly Brushed Suri alpaca yarn and my pile of beads with the intention of getting started on the beaded Suri scarf for my mom. I had planned to thread the beads onto the yarn, knit them in on the ends of the scarf, and put a little dazzle under the Xmas tree. Incredible luxurious softness + a subtle bit of glitter = Favorite Daughter status. Right? I should think so.

Alas, it was not to be so easy. Right from the start I knew in my heart of hearts that those beads were not going to thread onto that yarn - the yarn is too fat and hairy. I knew, but I chose to pretend it might work, even as I held the beads up to the light to examine the precise size of the hole, even as I tied sewing thread onto the yarn in a vain attempt to facilitate sliding, even as I yanked and tugged and eventually broke the yarn... more than once. Oh, optimism. How it has tricked me so many times.

The knitting comrades at SnB made several helpful suggestions, including using beading silk as if it were a carry-along. That seemed like a really good idea, so I stayed up late last Wednesday night trying to make it work, but the problem with that was a lack of friction. The Suri, she is so silky, and the beading silk... well, the name gives that one away. The two just wouldn't get together, so I wound up with strings of beads hanging on long loops of white silk like baby spiders launching themselves away from the scarf (you remember that scene in Charlotte's Web, don't you?). The effect was memorable, if not exactly wearable. I wish I had taken a picture (sorry).

So then my debit card started vibrating and it occurred to me that if I just ordered some more yarn, my problems might be over. Okay, so here's the new plan: lace weight alpaca! Yes! Surely I'll be able to string the beads onto lace weight alpaca yarn and use that as a carry-along! Sadly Blue Sky Alpacas doesn't make their lace-weight yarn in the same colorway, so I wound up ordering some Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, in two different colors. Which one do you like better with these beads and the Suri?

decisions, decisions
on the left: gray beads or pinkish? center: pinkish lace yarn or grayish? on the right: the suri.

I still haven't made up my mind about the colors, so please send me your ideas. I'll let you know how the carry-along idea works. In the mean time, here's the latest progress pic of the Socktoberfest socks (I am really ready to move on to some color after this pair is done):

further progress

Monday, October 16, 2006

monday lists

On Friday I was feeling mopey and wrote a long, whiney missive that I'm glad I didn't post. I think the shorter fall days are getting to me. I'm also crazy busy, fighting off a cold and traveling a lot, and these things are adding together with the less-sunlight to equal more frequent BAD MOODS.

I even considered faking sick so that I wouldn't have to get in the car for a long drive to the Nantahala National Forest for HWWLLB's Family Camping Trip this past weekend. Now I'm so glad I pulled myself together - it was a beautiful weekend. Beautiful weather, good company and time outside worked like a tonic on me, and I got some more perspective on the things I was mopey about.

Instead of whining, I'm writing some lists of the good, the bad, and the other. Making lists helps me look a bit more objectively at what's going on in my life and why I feel the way I do, and also, how to feel better. So here we go:

things i miss
  • going out to see live music
  • drinking tea/coffee in the afternoon with friends (and without having to make an appointment)
  • thrift shopping with pals
  • unplanned saturdays
  • free time

people i miss

stuff i am really grateful for

  • walking to work every day
  • yoga
  • dinners with my sister
  • knitting and artsy-craftsy projects
  • fall colors
  • friends in blogland (and in reality)

a typical dinner with my sis

current projects

recent yarn stash enhancement

the recent sock yarn purchases, clashing happily

some things i have learned more about recently

  • short rows
  • global climate change
  • probability
  • the ethics of relationships
  • mortgages

things my cat has wiped her butt on recently

  • the bathroom floor
  • my camping chair
  • the loopy bath mat

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

tuesday sock-o-rama, sock history and a recipe

Whew! This is a whole month of crazy sock love! I was thinking Saun was right and the Year of the Sock was over, to be replaced by the Year of the Cable, but now I'm not so sure. It is a whole lotta sockin' going on out there. Maybe it's the Year of the Cabled Sock? Or perhaps the year of Socks on Cable? How about Kitchener Stitch on YouTube? Right, see it just goes on and on...

Speaking of on and on, here's my slow progress on the first of a pair of lovely Gentleman's Shooting Stockings. These socks are fun and I like the repeating pattern very much - it's easy to knit and keeps me motivated to keep slogging away at the boring long tubey foot part (5 more rows!). But sadly the socks have lost a little of their glimmer since the Brushed Suri showed up at my house...

drool suri
pictured here with the beads i'm thinking of knitting into it

I have been trying so hard to focus on the socks and not keep pulling the suri out of the box to stroke it... today I caved and put it on the swift to wind into balls. Just to wind! I haven't started knitting with it... yet. But I can hardly keep my hands off it... Gorgeous and floaty like mohair, soft and silky and non-itchy like alpaca, and it doesn't shed! Drool! Swoon! Ahem, so back to the whole sock thing...

Lolly is asking Socktoberfest participants to share their sock-making history (or her-story), so here you go (just let me get settled on the couch). I can't begin to imagine how excited you must be at the prospect of reading the history of my sock-making, so I won't prolong the anticipation another moment:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I started making socks about a year after I started knitting, and I learned from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. Now I mostly just knit socks out of my head, unless there is a really great pattern I want to try. But since I often knit socks places like conference calls or in the car, I prefer to keep it pretty basic (so no Jaywalkers yet for me).

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

You know, for durability, price and variety I really tend to favor the Knit Picks sock yarns. Their merino wool sock yarns in particular are soft and bouncy, with great colors. I think the one below is knit with Landscapes. I also like their Simple Stripes, though the wool is not as nice and soft as the merinos are. I'm also a big fan of any self-striping or self-fair-isling yarns that come from Germany or Switzerland and that have a whole pair of socks in just one skein - like Opal! But I just bought some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that I can't wait to start knitting... the colors are divine.


Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

Magic Loop! Magic Loop!


Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

Hm... I don't even know what this short-row thing is, so I guess I'll say flap.

How many pairs have you made?

A lot. I have made a lot of socks. I think every member of my family has a pair of socks I've knitted for them - I am moving on from immediate family now to cousins and from close friends to passing acquaintances. I have pairs in the cupboard (including the one pictured below) that are waiting for me to think of someone to give them to - I was knitting them at a conference and actually thought about giving them to a presenter I really enjoyed (I wonder how she would have reacted to that?). I love to have a pair of socks on the needles to take with me to meetings, on airplanes and car trips, etc.

stripey anklets

So was that little sock-history exciting? Did it make you want to run out and buy some Opal Rainforest? You're thinking about the Suri, aren't you? Well, I can't blame you.

BTW: For all you first-time sock knitters who are looking for a little support, don't miss the First-Timers Knitalong.

And finally, a recipe. Last night I wanted to use up all the veggies from our farm share since today is pick-up day, and I wound up with a great sauté that really highlights the transitional season we're in right now - lots of ripe tomatoes left to pick, but fall greens and root veggies coming in, too. You can mix this up with whatever fall veggies you like - nothing here is mandatory.

Indian Summer Sauté
serves 2-3
  • 2 large (or 3-4 small) sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch kohlrabi (or turnips or parsnips), sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 bunch pac choi (or kale, or chard, or spinach), chopped
  • 1 big handful of whole cherry tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • plenty olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • lots of salt & ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan, romano, provolone or other hard cheese
  • 1/2 lb farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, or grain of your choice
Cook the pasta whenever and set it aside to keep warm.

Get out a big wok and put in a goodly amount of olive oil (maybe 2-3 Tbsp). Heat it up to med-hi and throw in those sweet potatoes. Stir-fry them until they are beginning to get tender, about 10 minutes. Toss in the kohlrabi and stir-fry a few more minutes. Now add the onions and bell peppers. Continue to sauté about 5 minutes, til onions start to get tender.

Add the red wine vinegar, honey, oregano, salt and pepper and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium and cover the wok for a few minutes to let everything kind of steam in the liquids. Test your potatoes to see if they are tender. Once they are done to your liking, throw in the chopped greens and cook until they are wilted, tender, or soggy - however you like them, though I prefer them just tender.

Now toss in those cherry tomatoes, squeeze in the lemon juice, stir once to mix everything, and then pour the whole mess over your pasta or grain in a big serving bowl. Grate the cheese onto the whole thing or let your eaters put it on their bowls themselves. This works great as cold pasta salad leftovers for lunch the next day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

cloudy paddling

You know it's going to be a good afternoon when it starts out this way. Boats all loaded up and ready to go; PBJ's and Peterson's Field Guide to Birds of North America in your dry bag. The sky was a beautiful steel gray with low clouds like cotton wads all across the horizon.

Some old friends of HWWLLB were in town this weekend. We had long, leisurely breakfasts and late nights with lots of wine, good food and good company. On Sunday afternoon we headed out to the Eno river for two of our favorite activities: paddling and harrassing waterfowl (known to some as "bird watching"). I like cool-weather paddling because it's the only time I'll wear sandals with socks. Wool socks + sport sandals are a great combo, since wool socks stay warm even when wet, plus it makes me feel very nerdy and Germanic (especially when the socks are either black or very colorful).

There were a lot of birds to harrass. As we put in, HWWLLB and I were taking bets on how many Great Blue Herons we would see. He guessed five. I guessed eight. I think we saw at least two dozen. There was one place where we could see nine, all at one time. We also saw dozens of Great White Egrets, a species I had never seen before in North Carolina, although they do winter here (they look a lot like the white phase of the Great Blue Heron, except their feet are black and they aren't as shaggy looking).

I just hate how much we disturb them. It's hard to avoid, since they are very shy birds and don't want to be anywhere near you, so just padding past, even on the other side of the river, really bothers them. They fly off and squawk noisily, sounding like an enormous crow with a cold. Then once you're past they circle back to the fishing spot they had staked out.

eno buddies

HWWLLB and I paddle in our great big green canoe, while our friends paddle zippy little kayaks. Together, we are known as the Birdisturbers. Watch out, waterfowl!

Friday, October 06, 2006

free pattern friday: intro to socks

If you've never made a pair of socks before, but you've been wanting to try it, here's your chance! In honor of Socktoberfest, here is an easy pattern for a pair of simple winter socks, knitted in a large gauge so the project goes quickly. I used a superwash merino yarn that is super-soft and nicely stretchy, to make a pair of comfy, warm winter socks that you can wear with boots or just around the house.

There are about as many ways to knit socks as there are toenail polish colors, but this pattern illustrates a basic formula for sock knitting that you can use over and over again for just about any sock project. It lets you knit a basic sock in any size, and any gauge, because human feet are remarkably symmetrical (and socks are stretchy and forgiving). I deduced this formula after knitting several socks out of Anne Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, which was my bible when I was first learning to knit.

The basic gist of it goes like this: a 'medium' woman's foot is around 8 inches in circumference, as is her lower calf. A 'medium' man's foot is around 10 inches in circumference, as is his lower calf. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it's just the way we evolved - for the convenience of sock knitters. So all you really have to do is knit a tube the circumference of your ankle that's stretchy and looser around the top, stick a heel in the middle, and make it long enough for your foot. Easy as pie! Really!

size: Women's medium/shoe size 7-9 US (men's medium/shoe size 9-11 US)

gauge: 4.5 stitches to the inch in st st on size US 6 needles

  • 2 (3) balls Bingo Chine (100% superwash merino, 50g/88yd) in color #515, green (main color)
  • 1 ball Bingo Chine in color #512, brown (contrast color)
  • US size 6 DPN's
  • US size 7 DPN's
  • stitch marker
  • tapestry needle
Okay, so here's the sock formula: Cast on the correct number of stitches for your gauge in order to make the circumference exactly that of your foot/lower calf - in the case of my sizing here, 8 (10) inches [so for instance, if your gauge is 6 stitches to the inch, and you want your sock to be 8 inches around, cast on 6 x 8 = 48 stitches. Easy!]. Make sure that the number of stitches you cast on is divisible by four. We will be working with half this number, and 1/4 of this number, over and over again throughout the pattern [I'll point this out using italics, over and over again until you can't take it anymore]. We'll start at the ankle, work down for the desired length, then knit a heel flap, turn the heel, pick up some stitches and do some decreasing for the heel gusset, then knit the foot of the sock, then do some more decreasing for the toe. At the end we'll graft some stitches together to make a comfy toe using the Kitchener Stitch. Ready?

Start by casting on with two size 6 needles held together - this will make your ankle really nice and elastic. Then we'll switch to regular old size 7 needles for the first part of the knitting. After a little ways, we'll change to the smaller needles. This makes the upper part of the sock a little roomier to allow for the calf.

leg & ankle
CO 36 (48) st in CC on two size 6 needles held together. Spread your stitches evenly across 3 size 7 needles (1/3 of the total number of st on each needle). PM and join, knitting in K2P2 rib.
K 4 rows in K2P2 rib, then change to MC yarn.
K 8 more rows in K2P2 rib.
Next row: Change to st st. Cont knitting in st st until sock measures 2 (3) inches long.
Next row: Change to size 6 needles. Continue knitting in st st on size 6 needles until sock measures 6 (7) inches long (or desired length).

heel flap
Next row: K9 (12), turn work. Slip first st, P17 (23). You now have half of the stitches on this needle (your stitch marker should be smack in the middle of them). Arrange the remaining 18 (24) st evenly across 2 needles (you aren't going to work with these right now, but it will be convenient to have them ready this way for later). The 18 (24) st on the single needle will form the heel flap. Turn work so that the right side is facing you [notice that half of your stitches are on the heel flap needle, and 1/4 of your stitches are on each of the two other needles].
R1: * Sl 1, K1, rep from * to end. Turn work.
R2: Sl 1, P to end. Turn work.
Rep these last two rows 8 more times, until you have 18 (24) heel flap rows worked altogether [whoa, 18 (24) is half of 36 (48)!]. You will have 9(12) stitches along the selvedge on each side [oh my gawd, 9 (12) is half of 18 (24)!].


The way you worked the heel flap stitches (slipping every other st on the RS) makes the heel flap extra-dense and gives it some cushioning. It almost looks ribbed... but it isn't.


turning the heel
The right side of the work should be facing you. Change to CC yarn.
Sl the first st, then K10 (14) st, SSK, K1, turn work.
Sl 1 st, P4 (5), P2tog, P1, turn.
Next row: Knit to 1 st before the space, SSK, K1, turn.
Next row: Purl to 1 st before the space, P2tog, P1, turn.
Repeat these last two rows until you have worked all the heel st, ending with a WS row.
You will have 12 (14) heel st left on your needle.
Change back to MC yarn.

heel gusset
Sl the first st, K across all heel st, then pick up 9 (12) selvedge st, all on needle 1. With needle 2 cont knitting across all the instep st you were holding. With needle 3, pick up 9 (12) selvedge st, and K across the heel st to your marker - you are now back at the beginning of the round, in the middle of the heel. 48 (62) total st will be on your needles [did you notice how the number of selvedge st you picked up on each side was 1/4 the total number of st? You did? You're totally getting this].

Rnd 1: K to 3 st before the end of needle 1, K2tog, K1. K across all instep st on needle 2. On needle 3, K1, SSK, K to end. 2 st dec.
Rnd 2: Knit all st.
Rep rounds 1 and 2, dec 2 st every other round in this maner until 36 (48) total st remain. You will have 9 (12) st on needles 1 and 3, and 18 (24) st on needle 2 [is the synchronicity killing you???].

Knitting the foot is the easiest part. You just knit round and round in st st until your the sock measures about 7-1/2 (8-1/2) inches long (or about 2 inches less than the desired overall length of the foot), measuring from the back of the heel.


Rnd 1: Knit to last 3 st on needle 1, K2tog, K 1. On needle 2, K1, SSK, K to last 3 st, K2tog, K1. On needle 3, K1, SSK, K to end. 4 st dec.
Rnd 2: Knit.

Rep these last two rows, dec 4 st every other row in this manner until 18 (24) st rem [that's half of the total - right?].

Now dec every rnd until only 8 st rem. We're ending with 8 st no matter how many we started with - sorry to break up the halves & quarters party. Arrange the st so that you have 4 on each needle - the first and last two st on needle 1, and the middle 4 st on needle 2.


grafting the toe with kitchener stitch
Cut off your yarn so that you have about a 6-inch tail.
Using a tapestry needle, first thread the yarn through the front stitch purl-wise, leaving this stitch on the needle.
Next, thread the yarn through the back stitch knit-wise, leaving this stitch on the needle.

1. Thread the yarn through the front stitch knit-wise and slip this stitch off the needle. Thread the yarn through the next front stitch purl-wise, leaving this stitch on the needle.

2. Thread the yarn throug h the back stitch purl-wise and slip this stitch off the needle. Thread the yarn through the next back stitch knit-wise, leaving this stitch on the needle.

Repeat numbers 1 and 2 until you have grafted all the stitches together. (Tip: if you have any copies of Interweave Knits magazine lying around your house, go look up Kitchener Stitch in the glossary at the back - they have an excellent illustration).

Thread the yarn inside the sock and tie a knot discreetly inside, then weave in the loose end. Weave in all your other loose ends.

Now make another one!

PS: I knitted these socks using just a little bit of contrast color for fun. You could leave it out entirely, make more stripes in the leg, or make the toe with the contrast color as well. If you decide not to use the CC, you can forego that extra ball of yarn altogether. Just take note that for the woman's sock, if you make it any longer than I did in the leg or the foot, you're going to need another ball of the MC yarn, because 2 balls is just barely enough for this project.

important notice: This is a free pattern and you are welcome to use it for all the non-commercial purposes you like. However, you may not reproduce this pattern to sell, and you may not sell what you make with it. You may donate what you make with it to charity, and you may use it for charity fundraisers only if 100% of the proceeds are donated to the charity (and by charity I don't mean your kid's college fund). Thanks for understanding!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

numbers < death!

You have probably head the rumors already. Test results are in, and I did just fine on a math test this week. In fact - and I can hardly believe it myself - I got a 100. On a math test. All math. That's all it was. Using the proper formulas to solve equations. Did you see that flock of pigs flying south for the winter? Pretty amazing, huh?

Despite all the whining, this biostatistics class is not going to kill me. It may be challenging, it may suck up a lot of time that I would otherwise spend knitting, going to yoga or hanging out with friends, it may require me to use the function keys on my calculator (shudder), but it is utterly do-able. I feel a little taller this week, like I have slain (slew?) a demon that has haunted me since middle school. Take that, equations!

In other news, the baby bolero (pictured above) is headed off to its rightful owner today. I am not happy at all with the weird bunching and imbalance that blocking didn't quite manage to cure (though it improved noticeably). But it is her first birthday, so this is what she's getting. She's too little to care whether it bunches anyway.

Also, mad props to Yarnmarket, who besides having the cutest little lamb as their logo, now have an Eco-Friendly Fibers section on their website. I've never even heard of half this stuff - I wish they'd send me samples to review on my blog (hint, hint - Yarnmarket are you listening?).

Look for a free pattern this Friday...

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Will it rock? Only time will tell, I suppose, but so far I think this month is looking good, at least based on this weekend. The weather is gorgeous, our house is clean and I'm more or less caught up on biostats homework. The pantry is stocked, the yarn bin is... well, overstocked, and Jackie seems to be over her bout of kitty bladder infection (Yuck. I'm really glad that's over).

This weekend felt like a reprieve. Instead of going out of town as had originally been planned, we got to stay home and do nothing (my favorite activity). And since our plans were cancelled at the very last minute, nobody even knew we were here. The phone didn't ring once, we had no plans and we made none. Aaah! This is the life!

My butt is sore from Saturday morning, because we went down to the farm to help with the sweet potato harvest. Y'all, digging taters is hard work, in case you didn't know. If you have a choice between digging taters and picking something like beans or tomatoes, take the picking job. You'll thank me later. Despite the sore butt, I felt productive and got some fresh air and exercise, so that pretty much kept me from feeling any guilt about spending the rest of the weekend slacking off.

As you can see from the above photo, I have cast on in celebration of Socktoberfest. This is my official Socktoberfest project, the Gentleman's Shooting Stockings from Knitting Vintage Socks. These are for HWWLLB so I'm doing them in charcoal gray, but now that I've gotten going I wish I'd picked more exciting colors. On the other hand, this is lovely Swiss sock yarn sent to me ages ago by my SP, Rebecca, and I'm glad to finally be using it.

Happy October, y'all. I'm about to go chow down on a delicious piece of apple pie, thanks to chef HWWLLB, who can't stop himself from baking now that there's a little snap in the air.