My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Columbus Day

And I think the temperature today hit 90 degrees. Yikes. It’s supposed to be 92 tomorrow, but I hear that we’ll be cooling down quite a bit in time for Stitches.

It’s Columbus Day, which means that federal government workers had a day off from work. Rather than spend the day lying on the couch, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas I went and had all my pre-surgical tests and blood-work taking care of. Good times.

Aside: why is it that after drawing blood and taping a piece of gauze over the puncture in your skin, phlebotomists use an adhesive tape that rips half your skin off when you remove it later? Yow!

I would like to tell you that after that I was busy and industrious, but I did recline on the couch and passed out for a couple of hours. But no bon-bons.

I, of course started a new sock. I actually cast on for this sock Saturday night and worked on it on Sunday. I used Fleece Artist Somoko in the “Seafoam” colorway. Here’s what it looked like.

1517782221 b4e2f5923d m Columbus Day

New Sock 100807

Notice how I’m talking in the past tense? Yeah, it is history. While I love the Somoko, it didn’t seem right for the sock. I pulled out some Cherry Tree Hill in a solid colorway (in this case pink) and started over.

1517780931 8341e5d8b1 m Columbus Day

Butterfly Sock 100807
Liking this much better I am. It is a bright pink, but looks more red in the photo. I’m calling this pattern “Butterfly Socks.”

Who is that in the background of the sock shot?

This guy:

1517782545 94ef63bf0c m Columbus Day

Polar Bear 100807

He’s a prize I got by redeeming points with a popular beverage company that rhymes with “Yoke.” He had a little Santa hat on that had their name plastered over it, but I removed it. He looked a little embarrassed wearing it.

Here is how Lucy spent her Columbus Day.

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Lucy 100807

Checking out the box that my polar bear came in. And of course, like this:

1518634210 ce963e7957 m Columbus Day

Lucy 100807a

What Month is This?

Considering that the calendar says “October,” it is feeling awfully “August” to me. It is currently 88 degrees outside!

Such high temperatures in autumn turn my brain to mush, leaving me unable to think of anything to blog about.

Lucy sez:

1506894881 09960b029b m What Month is This?

Lucy 100707

“I’ll help, Momma! Didn’t you get something fun in the mail you can show them?”

Right! I can show you this heartbreakingly gorgeous handspun sock yarn I purchased from Sachi’s Purls:

1506897379 414c246e28 m What Month is This?

Sachis Purls 100707

I can’t stop petting it!

Lucy sez:

1507752904 f26971f313 m What Month is This?

Lucy 100707a

“Focus, now! Didn’t you just finish a pair of socks?”

Why, yes, I did. Here they are:

1506896685 3186131cc9 m What Month is This?

On Hold Socks 100707

On Hold Socks (my own design) knit on 2mm needles from Shibuiknits sock yarn in color #3115, purchased from The Loopy Ewe.

Lucy sez

1507753370 6f30ad6098 m What Month is This?

Lucy 100707b

“It’s hard work being my Momma’s keeper!”

The Longest Week

It’s Thursday, right?

This is the longest week since the beginning of recorded history.

It is, coincidentally, also the first week I will have gone to work every weekday (assuming I manage to drag myself in there tomorrow) since before the beginning of summer.

Once again, I spent the evening with a small fur-bearing animal pasted to me, but I did manage to get some work done on the second On Hold sock.

1485171549 ea19af9547 m The Longest Week

On Hold Sock 100407

There was a question in the comments about what kind of row counter to use when knitting in the round.

I usually don’t use row counters when knitting socks, unless the pattern stitch is very complicated and is made up of many rows. Then I do this:

1486026718 990c422072 m The Longest Week

Stitch Counter 100407

A stitch counter threaded on a large pin that I pin through the knitted fabric near  the beginning of the round. Elegant it is not, but is works quite nicely for me.

Lucy Sez

1486025886 1ecf8a4547 m The Longest Week

Lucy 100407
“Excuse me, I’m in the middle of my kitty yoga!”

A Field Guide

In the comments yesterday, Sherry asked:

How would one find you & L-B at Stitches East?

A valid question. So I present:

A Field Guide to Recognizing Wendy and L-B in the Wild

  • Wendy and L-B will both be wearing “I’m With Stupid” t-shirts.
  • Wendy and L-B will be constantly squabbling and fighting over who gets to buy that one-of-a-kind skein of yarn.
  • Wendy will be knitting and L-B will be frogging (because she is such a freaking perfectionist).
  • L-B will be counting rows in her knitting and Wendy will be yelling at her, “For the love of God, get a row counter!”
  • The one knitting socks with two Harmony dpns, two Inox dpns and one Pony Pearl dpn is L-B. Wendy’s needles match.
  • Approach with caution: Wendy and L-B startle easily, particularly when in their natural habitat — a convention center full of yarn.
  • When the glow of yarn lust is in their eyes and you are holding a particularly plummy skein of yarn, back away slowly. Make no sudden movements.

There, that should help.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

Aside — I googled the phrase “meanwhile, back at the ranch” and came up with this nugget of information:

The “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on Files, New York, 1997) says: “meanwhile, back at the ranch. An expression that originated as a movie caption in the silent film era at the beginning of the century, these words are used humorously today when someone wants to get back to a story after going off on a tangent.”

No need to thank me for that information. Happy to help.

Here is the first On Hold Sock.

1478784649 30b7dda3a7 m A Field Guide

On Hold Sock 100307

And a close-up.

1479642750 e614f89eba m A Field Guide

On Hold Sock Closeup 100307

Thanks for all the lovely good wishes on my upcoming surgery. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, or to the post-operative pain (which the neurosurgeon warned me could be fairly bad), but hopefully in the long run it’ll fix my issues.

And the timing is good. I’ll be at home recuperating for most of the rest of the month. Then to work for a couple of days, then off for a relaxing mini-vacation at the beginning of November. This marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year: when I get to use up my use-or-lose leave. I ought to be as good as new by the start of 2008. I hope.

Lucy is still playing with her new toy.

1478784103 309105ee2c m A Field Guide

Lucy 100307

It’s Over

What’s over?

My “Knit From Your Stash 2007” project, that’s what. It ended on September 30, and I didn’t think about it until today.

I’d sort of forgotten about it because of the Summer of Socks. I’ve knit nothing but socks all summer. And one of the original rules was that sock yarn was exempt from the ban on yarn-buying.

It has been pointed out to me by more than one person that I “cheated” by knitting socks all summer. (Heh!) In response, I say:

A. Nope, I did not cheat — the rules say that sock yarn was exempt.

B. I had no intention of knitting only socks all summer until I found out about the Summer of Socks round about April or May, so any perceived “cheating” was not intentional.

C. It’s my knitting and I’ll knit what I want to. (Wait, I feel a song coming on!)

But the bottom line is that other than socks, everything I knit during the the designated time period was from my stash — the Large Lace Collar Bohus, Cromarty, Alpine Lace, Maltese Shawl, Handsome Triangle Shawl, Kiri Shawl, Mitre Sweater, and the Cotton Cardi. I think that’s everything. And I purchased no yarn but sock yarn.

L-B and I planned the end of the project for the end of September because we planned to go to Stitches East. And we are. Going to Stitches East, that is. We’ll be there for the duration, hanging around the market and no doubt making general nuisances of ourselves. So if you see us, do stop and say “hey” will you?

On Hold Sock

Despite having a Ragdoll kitty pasted to me all night last night, I did manage to turn the heel of the first On Hold sock.

1472677857 ceb7ea8d6d m Its Over

On Hold Sock 100207

Earth Shoes

There were a lot of comments about Earth Shoes yesterday. For those of you who want more info about how they are made, the benefits of the negative heel, et cetera, Google is your friend. I have purchased my shoes from two online retailers — Zappos and Shoebuy. (You can Google them too and find their online storefronts.) While Zappos offers free overnight shipping, I do prefer Shoebuy. They always seem to have more color and size options, and once you register with them you get an automatic discount on purchases and free shipping (though not overnight). They may take a bit longer to reach me, but they are a bit cheaper, so it’s worth it.

Rori commented:

Have u tried Crocs yet? GREAT GREAT GREAT

I have several pairs of Crocs but cannot wear them right now. One of the features included in my current back issues involves a lack of control and feeling in one leg and I find Crocs to be “trippy” shoes in the first place. I would no doubt end up flat on my face every five minutes if I tried to walk around in Crocs.

That statement is a good segue to reporting that I am having back surgery in the near future. In fact, at the crack of dawn, the morning after I return from Stitches.

Timing is everything, you know.

Lucy Sez

1472677499 4e3fd53e55 m Its Over

Lucy 100207

“I suppose I’m going to have to take care of her after surgery.”