Um… knitting?

I'm starting on the fall sock season, lovely, beautiful Koigu in Shepherd's Lace Rib pattern (or something, can't remember the exact name). The notes on the pattern recommend using a solid colored yarn to show off the lace better and of course I am using a painted yarn, I can't help it. It's lovely to work with, though I'm shifting from a gigantic bathmat on size 17 needles to socks on size 1s, so I'm a little disoriented.

The excitingest part though is that I have a new camera! Of my very own for the first time, no more borrowing from the band. So I'll have pictures galore with which to inundate everyone I know, and especially this unread blog: adorable child! Cute-as-buttons kittens! Knitting triumphs and travails! So much is in store!

As soon as I learn how to use the darn thing.


Birthday Heaven

There were balloons

…lots of balloons

There were presents

And even a tiara

We had a dramatic reading


And let's not forget the cake!

When it was over, we got to rest a little


M.M. was playing store with me the other day, as she often does. She does this by demanding that I buy something from her. She usually charges me '35' for whatever it is. This time though, there was a twist. At the beginning of the transaction she asked me if I was going to be 'increditive'. Not having a freaking clue what she was saying, I asked her to repeat it several times, and this is what it indubitably was. "Do you want to use cash," she explained, "or a card?"

This is a word I think should absolutely enter our language. The whole society has become chronically increditive, and it's high time we had a name for it.


Bitch, Moan

• I've had a headache for two weeks now
• I have the hiccups, which is a) embarrassing and b) annoying and c) gets painful after a while
• I have too much garbage to fit into my car, and I am probably not going to make it to the dump today, either
• My clothes don't fit
• The people at the library here are cranky and have no sense of humour

However, it is a beautiful day. We're going to get outside now.



M.M. to the kittens (in a very soft high pitched voice):

"Go ahead Rosalita, you can have some, it's ok. Evangelina will let you have some, she can share. Do you know about sharing? Everybody has to share."


What's with the "S"?

Since when did we get more than one Information Superhighway? I've noticed a burgeoning trend of bloggers referring to "the internets". And not just quaint British or non-English speaking ones, either. Are we being pretentious here, or is there something I'm missing?



M.M. was so excited about finally going to ballet that she almost couldn't do anything but run around the studio in circles. She did manage to participate in the class a reasonable amount, but she was pretty distracted and also felt the need to come out and say hi to me several times. I'm hoping and assuming that she'll get the hang of being in a class after a few times.

The whole thing was incredibly cute, with seven 3 year olds in leotards leaping and running around. This morning, M.M. asked if she had ballet again today, so I think it's safe to say she liked it.



I'm addicted to the cover art features in the new version of iTunes. I have already spent untold hours downloading the missing CD covers from my online music collection. Now I literally sometimes open iTunes just to look at them and flip through the totally cool interface. It's embarrassing.


And Here They Are…

Extended Breastfeeding

It's funny… one of the kittens is still nursing at every opportunity (like a certain almost-3-year-old I know), and I think the other one is completely done. Even in the feline world, some people are ready to give it up sooner than others. 

Interestingly, the kitten who is still nursing is more outgoing, more adventurous, and more curious than the other. The earlier weaner seems to be generally self-contained and content. She's more tolerant of M.M. mauling her and carrying her around, and has never tried to go outside.

So apparently (to my mind, anyway) the continued nursing gives that kitten support that allows her to be more daring and independent, so long as she can come back to Mom and get what she needs periodically. Though it looks to me like Mom is getting a little sick of it, and usually gets up and walks away after a very short period of nursing.


Back in the Blogosphere…maybe

You'd think I'd have a lot to talk about, having moved 300 miles, started a whole new life in a new place etc. etc. But what am I blogging about? My sucky internet service. i had to get satellite because DSL isn't available here, and wireless isn't available here, and dialup can't handle the files I have to send back and forth for work. So, satellite it is. It's perfectly satisfactory except for the past 2 1/2 days when it hasn't worked at all! Apparently some terribly fate has befallen someplace in Laredo, Texas, and this is (of course) the explanation for my lack of service. Which they can't say when it will return. 

And of course, this is the week that they Powers That Be (known as the new and enthusiastic President of the Board) has decided that the big humongous book project that's been on my plate for the better part of the past year needs to be done. I'm actually glad about that. I'm not really good sans deadline, and I really want this thing to be over with so I can stop feeling guilty and oppressed about it, and so I can go on to other things that haven't yet taken on the weight of the world for me. But am I working on it? No, I am blogging – writing stuff that no one will read. Any insecurity there? Feelings of inadequacy? Hmmm…


A-Travelin' On

It's hard to believe, but life is finally moving forward! We're still homeless, but in two weeks we'll be heading on down to the new homeplace, and getting settled is actually on the horizon. I can hardly believe it, and I barely recognize the cheeriness I'm feeling today despite the rain.

I'm nearly finished the Eskimo doll – though what's left is the fiddly bits of sewing up and embellishing, so I've kind of been putting it off for a while. However, today I wound the yarn for a dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting, vaguely rationalizing it as a house present for the friends who've been letting us stay at their house. Notwithstanding the facts that a) they don't actually use dishcloths, b) there's no way in God's creation that I'll actually finish anything in the two weeks before we move, and c) I'm a bit insecure about giving someone a single dishcloth, handknit or no, as a house present for a month of hospitality.

But I couldn't help it. I'll cast on today.


Happy Easter

No recent blogging due to travel and general life hecticity. I finished the koigu socks and gave them away - they turned out nicely. Also finished a kitten, also given away, and am still working on the Anna socks and an Eskimo (at M.M.'s request). Life promises to be incredibly hectic for an undetermined length of time, until we're moved and actually living somewhere.


What Because?

Life with a two and a half year old is exciting and fun and also really really boring! I think if I have to answer one more "What because" question, my head is going to explode. We are taking an unplanned road trip starting tomorrow. It's not like me to be so wild and reckless, but this morning I wanted to be visiting my brother, and I just thought, 'well, why can't I?'. I'm just sitting around here waiting for my house to be sold and marking time, so I might as well take advantage of my state of temporary freedom to do something spontaneous and fun.



Knitting Literature

The World of Knitted Toys came to my mailbox today, and I am enthralled. I cannot wait to make a knitted wombat, a warthog, a duck-billed platypus. Also, polar bears, a Canadian Mountie, and a rhinocerous. Each pattern is accompanied by a description of the animals native environment and habits, and the photos are lovely. It's really a nice book. And think of the dioramas I'll be able to make!

Children's Literature

On another topic, we've gotten Click, Clack, Moo out of the library this week. I'd seen it before, and a friend had raved to me about Duck for President by the same author, but I didn't think they'd be good for a 2 year old. I thought both books sounded hilarious for adults, but what preschooler knows anything about labor negotiations, not to mention electric typewriters? I thought the adversarial relationship between Farmer Brown and the cows wouldn't appeal to a little kid – too much Animal Farm, not enough Old McDonald Has A Farm.

Oh how wrong I was. We went to story time at the Community Center last week and they read Click Clack Moo, and the kids were hysterical. Who knew? So we borrowed it from the library the other day, and it's just as funny at home as it was in a roomful of hyped up toddlers. We have had some discussion about what a typewriter is, and while she clearly doesn't get it ("What's the paper for?"). So I'll look for the duck one next week. And so much for my reputation as a judge of children's literary tastes.



Here's how my perfectionistic, obsessive neurosis affects my knitting. It's not by making me frog everything until there are no mistakes in the finished product. Oh no, there are plenty of mistakes in my (still unfinished) Olympic socks, and I'm perfectly happy to let them slide right by on my needles. No, my neurosis is a little more subtle.

It all started when I got the lovely Anna yarn for some nice lace socks. I decided I'd knit them for my cousin (who I'm pretty sure can't be reading this blog, but if she is, there goes that surprise).

My cousin has two sisters. Can you see where this is going? Shortly after I got started on the Anna socks, for cousin #1, Stephanie announced the Knitting Olympics and, well, we all know where that led. My Olympic project was another pair of lace socks, these for cousin #2. Which, of course, I did not finish, but hope to be done with in the next several days. So now I'm thinking about poor old cousin #3. I hadn't planned to knit socks for her. She's younger, maybe less interested in clothing and more in Harry Potter, you know. Maybe less likely to be impressed with hand-knit socks than her older sisters. But I'd hate for her to feel left out, so…. Then I realized, these three girls have a mother. And she has feet, and I wouldn't want her to feel that I was slighting her by knitting socks for her three girls but not for her…

So where am I now? I have a single Anna sock (properly referred to as a Peaks and Valleys sock, but I'm focused on the yarn) about a quarter finished. I have a sock and a half of the Koigu Olympic socks (I think the pattern is called Straight Laced, but I'm not sure). And I have an inner compulsion to knit two more pairs of socks, patterns and yarn as yet unknown, to avoid hypothetically hurting the feelings of people who are probably not sitting around pining for hand-knit socks, or worrying about whether I like them as much as I do their sisters or daughters. I am not unaware of the fact that it's an opportunity to buy – and more importantly, consider, choose, and fondle, new yarn.

I'm also very excited because I've ordered this book and expect it to arrive in a few days. I can't wait to make whole little ecosystems of knitted arctic wildlife and the like, including little shoebox dioramas for them to live in. I'm truly, truly a dork. But a really excited dork.


Final Status

I really have to apologize for the crappy nature of my knitting photography. I'm no professional photog, but I am generally able to take a fairly decent picture, and occasionally even a really nice one. But for some reason I am unable to do make my knitting be in focus. Auto focus, manual focus, doesn't matter. I don't know why. Perhaps I'll start deliberately blurring everything and calling it artistic. Or maybe I need new glasses…

Here is the status of my socks as of the final day of the Olympics. Not a completed pair, which was my goal, but a respectable showing given that I knew I'd be a little lucky to finish one sock. I'm not too disappointed.

I must say, though, that throughout BlogLand there don't seem to be many unfinished Olympic projects hanging around. I'm very impressed by everyone's work. The complicated patterns! The many mittens! The sweaters, hats, and shawls! I'm in awe, and I'm unworthy, but inspired. Someday perhaps I won't be a knitting loser.


One Down

It turned out well, I think. I'm pleased. I am valiantly continuing to knit on sock #2 through the weekend – no quitter, I, despite the utter hopelessness of completing my Olympic challenge by the time the flame is extinguished. I'll take a photo tomorrow night to document how close I came to meeting my goal.

Well, easy come easy go.


Sockity Sock

So fast, she's invisible!

Olympic Update

One sock done, finito, kaput! Hooray. Looks nice, feels good. I ran into a few, er, blips in the last couple of inches. Suddenly I'd have not enough stitches on my needle. I confess to not having properly fixed each one. But I can't find the spots now, so I'm satisfied. I've cast on and knit about an inch of sock #2, and I'm feeling pleased about starting the downhill slope and a tad disappointed I won't be in medal contention. Although as Heather pointed out, being the sole caretaker of a 2 year old 24/7 ought to qualify me for something.

Gratuitous cuteness now, sock photos maybe tomorrow.


8 Days Down

Here we have photos. You can clearly see that I am not on schedule with the Olympic Knitting, as I'd need to be finished with sock #1 tonight to be on track to finish the pair by the 26th… that said, however, I am pleased with the progress. I've finished turning the heel and I'm well on my way to the final gusset decrease, and I didn't honestly expect to get that far in a week and a day. And hey, I've had a lot of insomnia lately, so maybe I can make significant progress tonight before I go to bed…

I'm afraid my photography is not good enough to really see, but I think it is clear that my sock doesn't look much like the photo in the book. Looking at my sock on its own, I feel pretty happy with it, and if all continues to go well, I'll be perfectly willing to give them to my cousin as planned (as long as she never sees what they're 'supposed' to look like!). However, if you can figure out what I'm doing wrong, I'd be interested to hear for the sake of my evolution as a knitter. Please be tolerant of the wretched colors in this photo. The yarn is truly much more beautiful than it appears. The reds are not so blinding, and the colors all work together much more subtly than you'd ever guess from this photography.

I'm absolutely wracked with worry that I'm not going to have enough yarn. My little ball is dwindling with diabolical speed, and if I run out I'm going to tear out my hair. I'm already trying to come up with some twisted style rationalization for doing half of the second sock in a different yarn.

I continue to be very satisfied with the Koigu, and I'm happily mulling over what I'd like to use it for next, now that I've got an idea how it knits up. I'd love to do something with a simple stitch pattern that really lets those gorgeous colors shine.


Stitch Confusion

I've reached the end of my first leg, and am about to embark on the heel. I'm still worried about running out of yarn. I'm also confused. While the pattern looks very nice, it doesn't look like the picture in the book. I'm not redoing it, because there's nothing wrong with what I've got. But I wouldn't mind knowing what I'm doing wrong. The stitches of my sock run diagonally, so they spiral on down the leg. The photo of the socks in the book doesn't show this. Clearly, there's something wrong with my SSKs (I think). But I can't imagine what. I'm pretty confident that I know how an SSK works, and in all other contexts, it seems to make the stitches lean the way they're meant to, on sock decreases and such. So I don't get it. Maybe it will become clear in the fullness of time when I complete the sock, or start the next one in the next day and a half to keep up with my Olympic schedule. < end irony, sarcasm>


Enumerated Whining

Problems I'm having with my Olympic socks:

1. I broke a freaking needle – I don't even know how, it was just broken suddenly when I picked up the knitting last night. I haven't even found the other end. I have two other sets of size 1s, but neither work. They're both too long, for one thing. And one is way too bendy. And the other, wellÂ… They're Fiddlesticks bamboo needles, and clearly say "US#1" on them, but they are too fat. They felt fat, but I didn't trust my senses. I rolled them between my fingers, then a #1 from another set. Still felt fat. I finally stuck 'em in the #1 hole of my trusty Knit Chek, and it did not fit!. I'm quite peeved. I may take them back to the store I got them at. SO anyway, they're of no use as replacements for the broken needle. I've ordered a new set, so now I'll have extras.

2. I'm afraid I'm not going to have enough yarn. I have two skeins of Koigu, which should work out to 1 skein per sock, which should be pretty safe, right? But I'm not done with the leg of the first sock yet, and I'm getting twinges of anxiety when I look at the smallness of the ball. It's really looking quite small. And the foot is supposed to be longer than the leg, which doesn't even take into account the heel or toe. So I should have way more than half a ball left. I'm afraid I don't. Time will tell.

3. UmÂ… It's what? Day 6 of the Olympic Challenge? I'm supposed to be two days away from finishing the first sock? Well, read number 2 up there, bucko. Not done with the leg yet.


NPR : VP Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter

NPR : VP Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter

You have got to be kidding me. I don't know much about hunting, but I can't imagine it's easy to accidentally pepper someone in the face and chest with bullets. I'm speechless with despair.


The Passion of the Games

The Koigu sock event is off to a respectable start. Cast on was without incident, and I've completed 2" uneventfully. I figured out that I need to average 2" a day to finish the pair in 16 days, so I'm already a day behind – but I'm not in bed yet. I'm keeping my spirits up and optimistically imagining that I'll be able to catch up through a combination of days with more knitting time and becoming more familiar with the pattern, so faster.

The Koigu is excellent to work with and the colors are jewel-like and exciting. I'm having pangs of regret that I'm using a fussy pattern, as it's not ideal for showing the colors to their best advantage, but overall the effect is pleasing enough so far. I do want to do a future koigu project with a simpler stitch pattern to really revel in the colors.


Behold, the completed legwarmers!

Never mind that now that they're done, the same girl who asked me to make them - yep, refuses to wear them. I tried to put them on her once, and triggered a tantrum complete with leg-kicking and screaming "take them off! Take them o-o-o-o-o-off!!".

So be it. Life is like that, I knit for the knitting experience. Also, now they're done. I am working on start #…4? 5? Of the Anna yarn socks. I ripped back again, and had to start over, again, despite the use of a lifeline. It was just all too wonky (to borrow a technical knitting term from Cara, my birthday buddy) to try to resurrect from the lifeline. It's going along swimmingly now, though, and I think I've already made it further than on any of my previous starts, so I'm optimistic that I'll actually create a sock this time. I'd better, because the yarn is starting to be the worse for wear. Lots of fuzzing. Some spots that are starting to seem …thin. I am in fear and trembling that having used the word 'swimmingly', I will now be sunk. But I'm here as a reporter, and as of now: all is swell.

However, I have figured out using the brilliant mathematical technique of subtracting 7 from 10, in addition to actually knowing what day it is today, that the Knitting Olympics begin in 3 days. Which means that all progress on the Anna socks is going to screech to a halt. And I'll get to start on – Koigu!

I am still too pathetic to get buttons on my template, so here: Woven into the post. Ethereal, temporal, fleeting. Buttons:

I'm considering all my Anna experiences training for the Knitting Games. I have done no other preparation thus far. But I'm not worried. I have to wind the yarn, and I have to buy the needles (my #1 dpns being otherwise engaged with the Anna sock, and there's no chance in heaven or earth that they'll be free by Friday). I suppose I should peruse the pattern again.

I should be honest with myself at this juncture. I have no illusion of finishing these socks in 16 days, but I don't feel bad about that. I'm participating with the spirit of the Olympics, to challenge myself, to see how I do. I'm not in it for a medal, but for the personal satisfaction of testing my limits, and in worldwide solidarity with knitters of all nations <…cue Olympic anthem…>.



Four jobs you've had in your life:
1. Waitress
2. Flower delivery
3. Painter
4. Box Office grunt

Four movies you could watch over and over again:
1. African Queen
2. Searching for Bobby Fischer
3. Gosford Park
4. The Muppet Movie

Four (of many) places you have lived:
1. Centreville, MD
2. Middletown, DE (I'm not kidding)
3. Pittsfield, MA
4. Colebrook, CT

Four TV shows you [used to] love to watch [back when you had a tv]:
1. The West Wing
2. Star Trek TNG
3. Friends
4. VH1 Behind the Music

Four places you've been on vacation:
1. Apalachicola, FL
2. Washington, DC
3. Cody, WY
4. Interlaken, Switzerland

Four websites you visit daily:
1. NPR
2. google
3. Weather Reports
4. This one

Four of your favorite foods:
1. blue crabs
2. shepherd's pie
3. bagels and lox
4. coffee ice cream

Four places you'd rather be right now:

1. Tahiti
2. visiting my brother
3. sailing
4. Scandinavia

Four bloggers you'll be tagging:
1. Heather
2. Cara
3. Cate
4. Claudia


Updates Galore

Meanwhile, I've got one and a half legwarmers done. No photography as yet. The completed one is not quite as long as I'd have liked – it covers the length of M.M.'s lower leg, but with no room for scrunchiness. I was worried about running out of yarn, so I didn't dare make it longer. Of course, I will probably still run out of yarn, which will mean I'll have to get more, which will mean I could make them both very, very long, but I'm taking that risk. I need to learn how to do a stretchier castoff, because what I did barely squeezes over the little foot. I'll do the next one more loosely unless I learn a new technique before then. I probably won't want to make them asymmetrical though, so I'm not going out of my way to learn it.

In other news, I swatched the llama yarn I got for Christmas, hoping to make a hat out of it, but it's too thin for the one I was thinking of. I should say I started to swatch because I only had to do a couple of rows to see that it wasn't even going to be close. A more experienced yarn maven would have known this automatically. Now I'm debating whether to find a different pattern or get different yarn. Probably different yarn, as now I'm thinking of doing fingerless gloves with the llama.

The Anna update: I got new needles – expensive, shorter, less bendy needles, and I have cast on and done about 4 rounds of the new try. I'm going to learn from my repeated mistakes and run a dental floss lifeline through it so I at least won't have to cast on again if I have another disaster. The silver lining in all this is that I am getting faster and better at this pattern. It's all part of my evolution as a knitter.

Finally, I'm beginning to anticipate the Knitting Olympics. I'm sorry I don't have tv and won't be able to watch the sports Olympics while I knit, because it would really be a lovely combination of activities. I know that I need another set of needles before Feb. 16, and I'm getting nagging feelings about winding the yarn and swatching. But who am I kidding? There is no chance I'm going to swatch. It's socks, I don't need to swatch and there's no chance in hell I'm going to get to it in time. There's also no chance in hell I'm going to finish them in 16 days…

…Wait, wait just a minute here. 16 days. It's 16 days long. That means it probably doesn't start on the 16th. Uh oh. I just checked Stephanie's official Knitting Olympics page and damned if it doesn't start on the 10th. Oops, that's 9 days from now. Nope, no chance in hell of a swatch.

Now if only I could figure out how to put a dang button on my blogger template. I've got no idea, and apparently it's one of those things that if you can't figure it out you're too stupid to blog, so I'm out of luck. Imagine it to your left, please. The sock team.


It's the Process, It's the Process

I'm taking deep breaths. I'm remaining calm. I knit for the experience of knitting.

Remember the sock? The skinny Anna yarn, and the tiny size 1 needles? That's the sock that I started over last week, more than once. It's been going well. The pattern is clearer to me now, the colors are gorgeous. It's relaxing and challenging at once. I've gotten about 2 inches done. I've been a little daunted by the slowness of progress (especially with the nagging awareness that the Knitting Olympics are approaching and I'm committed to a whole other pair of socks with skinny yarn and tiny needles for that. But I'm enjoying this process.

This morning, my daughter – my darling, beautiful daughter, shown here in all her adorable glory –
took two of the needles out of the knitting. There are probably experienced knitters out there who could re-insert the needles, pick the stitches back up properly and continue, only losing a round or two. I am not such a knitter. I will probably not be able to bear ripping it out again tonight, so maybe I'll try to get some expert advice tomorrow… but I see yet another new start in my future.

I will not mention the fact that I broke one of my needles last night, so I'm going to have to go somewhere like here or here in order to continue this project anyway. Maybe I'll get some help.


Oh God

I ripped it out. The Anna yarn sock, I ripped it out. I was aware of several mistakes, each of which I might have lived with alone, but the sum of which weighed on me. Then I discovered a dropped stitch. I am not experienced or deft enough a knitter to have picked it up in that tiny lacy knitting, crochet hook or no. I tried tinking back, but it was like 6 or 8 rounds, and I couldn't cope with it. I ripped back to the offending stitch, but I was unable to pick the stitches up again. So I took a deep breath and ripped it back to the border. I could pick them up in the knit row before the lace pattern started.

The good news (I guess) is that in restarting the pattern, I realized the mistakes I'd been making, so now I'm doing it right (I think). It'll be interesting to see what it looks like this time. It is highly discouraging to look at the pathetic little wisp I've got now, when I had 4 or 5 inches yesterday.

M.M. is sick today, so I don't know if I'm going to get any knitting time, either.


Finally Photography

Here is the leg warmer. I had to rip out a few rounds today as a result of somehow ending up with the wrong number of stitches. I suspect that there are errors in this piece, but I am not ripping back and starting over. It is a learning process and I believe the second one will be an improvement. It looks pretty good, and M.M. is impatient for them to be done. So.

And here are two unsatisfactory photos of the Peaks and Valleys sock in the Anna yarn. It was impossible to capture the detail in the stitches, and very difficult to get accurate color. I can't figure out why I couldn't get the camera to focus on the sock. Some weird extra-dimensional cosmic wormhole or something.

This second one has pretty good color. I've basically decided to keep on with this project despite my doubts about the yarn and my frustration with the needles and achey hands. I'm learning a lot, and I think the results will be good.


Little Needles, Little Yarn

In four days of knitting I've gotten 1/2" done on the Peaks and Valleys socks. Freakin' little needles, and freakin' skinny yarn. My fingers are achey tonight after about an hour of knitting. I've had to rip it out and start over three times, and now I'm counting the stitches every time I finish a needle - that's four times per round. It's because I'm making mistakes (ever rarer, but still it happens) and I have a really hard time fixing them if they're too far back. The yarn is so small and the stitches so fussy to my lace-novice needles that I end up making a bigger mess. If I catch it while I'm on the same needle it's semi-doable. This is not going to be a perfect pair of socks, though.

I can't quite tell whether I'm going to like them. I feel as though the colors are so beautiful but also a little busy that you can't see the stitch pattern very well. It all blurs into a hodgepodge of pretty colors. Which may be enough. I haven't given up. For one thing I haven't accomplished enough to really decide whether I like how it looks.


New Year Knitting

I'm in a state of manic excitement over the freedom to knit without deadline and without pressure. Which is making me knit more and more enthusiastically than before Christmas. Life is full of irony. I'm working on two pairs of socks, each of which has a story.

The first started as a pair for either my daughter (2 yrs. old) or my nephew (just 1), depending on who they ended up fitting. They're Peaks and Valleys from

The pattern calls for fingering weight on size 1s in the infant size. I was raring to go, but I didn't have any fingering weight yarn, so I started it on 3s in Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran to see what would happen. They're clearly too big for socks for either M.M. or Mr. W.. But… I think they're going to be perfect as legwarmers for M.M. if I just make tubes. The pattern is easy and fun, and I like how it looks, particularly in the heavier yarn. So that's one.

The second pair is in a beautiful yarn I got the other day at my LYS, but it was without a label of any kind. The clerks said it's "Anna", whatever that means, but googling Anna yarn yields nothing helpful, so I'm flying blind here. It's very lightweight and handpainted (seems to be, anyway) in lovely blue, green, and purple. I'm starting a real pair of Peaks and Valleys that I'm planning to give a cousin when I'm done. I'm using number 1 needles, and boy is it all tiny and fussy. The drama about this yarn is that I got it home from the store and I was so excited about it that I started winding it up willy nilly and somehow created the Mother of All Tangles. It took me hours – like, double digit hours, I'm saying – to untangle the whole thing. I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning three nights in a row working on it. My back ached, my eyes crossed, my feet fell asleep as I obsessively unraveled the knots. I finished triumphantly at 1am yesterday, and cast on for the socks this morning. It's a damn good thing the stuff is so gorgeous or I never would have been able to do it.

The camera charger is on its way back to me in the mail so maybe I'll have images soon.


Holiday Recap

It's been a couple weeks since my last pathetic post, but it's been the holidays, so that's no surprise. Life is now settling back down a bit to the humdrum tedium of gray cold snowy winter in the Berkshires.

Knitting I accomplished for Christmas (sorry, no photos at the moment):

• One pair of socks for my brother, very well received, and happily, they fit.
• One stuffed elephant for my nephew, very cute, but he didn't care a bit about it. He's only one, so I'm not hurt.
• One eggplant and one cucumber for M.M., came out nicely, and she seems happy enough.

Knitting-related Christmas loot that I received:

• "Knitting in the Old Way", which I am excited about, and which has thoroughly convinced me that I've completed the transition into a total dork (do I hear the question 'what transition?') because I'm actually fascinated by the mysterious origins of handknit sweaters. I'm waiting for it to get here in the mail because I couldn't carry everything on the plane home. When it arrives I'm looking forward to diving right into it.
• A skein of lovely soft handspun llama wool, bought from someone local to my brother and sil. I'm undecided what to do with it. I'd started a pair of baby socks, but it's really not the right weight for them and I'm worried it doesn't have enough elasticity, so I ripped them out. I may try again with different needles. I'm also considering a hat.
• Gorgeous handknit Himalayan mittens with humongous beautiful cuffs.

Projects I'm contemplating now that the holiday pressure is off:

• Socks for two of my cousins, which I had originally planned for Christmas but which came off that list quite early as it became very clear that it just wasn't gonna happen. I have koigu, and I can't wait to get to it.
• The rest of the produce for M.M. That'll be a short one.
• A hat for me. My current hat is colorful, but store bought and too big for me.
• Learning cables.

Gratuitous really cute picture from Christmas: