Cold feet

I’m so excited–my dear friend Karen has begun writing for her blog again. She is the talented cook behind Squeaky Peanut, and her first new entry has a delicious-sounding Pink Grapefruit Sorbet, the perfect dessert for the late miserable weather. I don’t know whether she’s going to pick another cookbook project, but she spent all of 2010 cooking the Martha Stewart Dinner At Home cookbook, and if I never have to vicariously partake of another miserable weird salad, it’ll be too soon. But hey, at least I didn’t have to eat them!

In other news, Skew is going…poorly, at least if I plan to wear them. I’d been trying them on, but once I got past the heel, I couldn’t get it up over the ankle. I figure I can save them for someone with smaller feet, or frog the one partially completed sock and work on something else. That’s disappointing. It’s not that I feel I have soooo much work into them, but I’ve had a hard time making socks that fit me, and these were looking good for that. Plus, I wanted to finish something for myself, and these were looking good for that too. There’s going to be a KAL for people on the Ivory Tower board in a month or so, and that’s for a cardigan, so that’s something. I haven’t been ambitious about a sweater in a while, though. Maybe if the weather turns warm again, I won’t be disappointed about the idea of frogging a sock. My feet have been cold this evening–what a pleasant problem to have after this past week!

It won’t be too hot for socks forever.

I finished the swap gift from last week and cast on some Skew socks, just to see if I could really make them work. I suspect a lot of people have tackled these on that basis! So far, they’re easy, but interesting enough that I’m surprised how quickly they’re working up. I’m using Knit Picks Stroll Multi in Tuscany, from the Campfire sock sampler. That was a good idea–I’m glad they started making those sock samplers. They were polling about it on Ravelry a while back, if I recall. It’s a little price break, you get enough for three pairs of socks, and the colors are basically coordinated so you can mix and match if you want.

Really just showing my pretty yarn bowl.


Skew is making this yarn flash a little, which I don’t care for. I feel like I ought to be whimsical enough to find it interesting, but I’m more forcing myself to be chill about it and not rip it all out. Who sees my socks? Still I was hoping for a more stripey pattern like the ones in the pattern, rather than what’s amounting to a vague Freddy Krueger-meets-tabby cat effect. I’ll have to try this method with a more aggressively striping yarn, like other people have done. Also, slightly bigger needles. I can put on the sock in progress, but the fabric feels a little stiff. When will I learn to compensate automatically for my tendency to knit tightly? And then it seems like when I do, I overcorrect and things are baggy. Seems like I’d never knit anything if I fussed over gauge as much as it takes to get it just right.

Last Knitter Standing week 2 was terrific–and I won! Really surprised by that; I had good luck. But there’s an advantage to being back for a second week, since there are only so many cards and I remembered some of the questions from last week. There were only ten participants this time. I hope it’s because people went on vacation or something and not because they lost interest. It’s great fun, and the people are lovely. And this time, I remembered to bring my real knitting to work on between turns. Solved that idle hands problem right up.

On my way out, I was admiring some qiviut-blend sock yarn because one of the other knitters said it was like knitting with butter. I’m sure it is, but…$86/skein. And that for a blend. The more outrageous merino sock yarns now are going for about $30, so. Yeah. I didn’t buy it.

The hardest part is not knitting!

Went to game night at The Woolpack in Acton last night (site’s down temporarily) for week 1 of Last Knitter Standing, and it was such fun. This is a trivia and challenge game where you start out by casting on 10 stitches and knitting two rows, and you get to knit more or have to rip out some by answering knitting questions correctly or meeting challenges like timed knitting, word scrambles, or direct competition with other knitters at your table. Seventeen knitters at three tables played in the tournament last night.

The questions range from laughably easy to ridiculously hard, especially if you have not (gasp, blasphemy!) read any Harry Potter books, but they mostly deal with common abbreviations used in knitting and assorted facts about different types of knitting (kitchener stitch, Orenburg lace, etc). Since we were all getting to know the game and the kinds of challenges, it was hard to strategize at first, but in coming weeks, I expect the competition will heat up a lot.

The really difficult part of it all is sitting all evening with knitting on your lap and not knitting it! We were all remarking on how difficult it was to keep our hands still as we played the game and chatted between turns.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a swap gift for someone I doubt is a reader, but just in case, have kept the final product off of my Rav project page. Photo above is teaser! Small cotton items are all I want to work on a day with a predicted high of 93 and humid. Yuck. This is my least favorite kind of weather. Come back, autumn! This year, I won’t sleep through it all!

Yeah, I know, I know.

It’s barely past July 4 and I already can’t wait for fall, not least because I want to think about new sweaters and cool, crisp evenings. I’m not cut out for summer, never have been. When I was small, I couldn’t wait to go back to school, and this year I’m sad because for the first time in well over a decade, I’m not going back (as a student). I am sending my older son to kindergarten, though (already! Sniff!) so I still have the uniform and supply lists to give me that nostalgic feeling that’s part thrill, part motion sickness. It smells a little like pencil erasers.

In an effort to get out of the house of a Saturday, I went yarn trailing near home, stopping at the Woolpack in Acton and just missing The World in Stitches in Littleton (she closes at 3:30 on Saturdays). Came home with no yarn, but got the fall issue of Knit Simple, which sucked me into the new Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, Solemate, and I decided I have to see this stuff. Not sure I believe the claims about thermostatic capabilities, but several members of my family have requested socks for Christmas, and I have Hunter Hammersen’s new book Silk Road Socks, and…well, you can see it’s a convergence issue.

I bought the yarn from Simplysockyarn.com, as Jimmy Beans was sold out of most of the colors already. Tsk. It’s my first time using SSY, and I love that they only show what they have available. I had this same problem at String Theory: you get a full array of yummy-looking yarns, but they’re all sold out, sold out, sold out. Of course, in order for SSY’s strategy to work, one has to actually have yarns in stock, but fortunately for me, they did. I ordered Solid Blackberry and Solid Cedar.

Other than that, I’m still going around and around on Via Diagonale, and I’m becoming heartily sick of it, but I only have a couple more inches to go. Then I can finish my second, neglected Maeva sock and move on to some other things. I also need to take care of some ends and send off my Sheldon and his blankie before my friend’s friend’s new baby goes to college! I’m so bad with that…

The Woolpack is having a game night on Monday, and since my husband is on vacation this week, I just might go. It’d be more fun if I had knitting friends. Maybe if I go, I’ll make some.