Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Event Horizon

When last I blogged I was looking forward to watching the first presidential candidate debate. Somehow since then the VP candidate debate, the second presidential candidate debate, and Rhinebeck have all flown by – this evening is the third and final presidential candidate debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Along the way things have only gotten stranger and stranger, falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of cynicism and paranoia to the point where serious writers in serious publications can talk about one candidate as Demogorgon. At least I have a singleton sock to show for all the time spent away from blogging.

As before, I'm not one for liveblogging, but I'll be ready tonight with favorite beverages, nibbles, and debate bingo. And as always, see you on the other side.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Socks

My plan for this evening is to watch the first presidential candidate debate – available in the U.S. and globally on broadcast and cable TV, online, and even in virtual reality – and to knit debate socks. I got yarn expressly for the occasion, BMFA Super Sparkle, colorway Stars Speckled Skein. It's red, white, and blue shot with silver sparkles, and I love it.

BMFA Super Sparkle yarn, colorway Stars Speckled Skein

It's expected the debate will be both widely and closely watched in the U.S. and around the world, with TV ratings comparable to the Super Bowl, the most colossal of all U.S. sporting events,First debate and with far more profound consequences. Stock markets around the world are down in advance of the debate, reflecting concerns about the outcome. For all that, a fizzy sports rally atmosphere would seem to prevail at the site of the debate, Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

I'm not going to try liveblogging the debate, but such a momentous occasion calls for at least a sock update at the close of the day, and perhaps a bit of commentary. So, gentle readers, happy viewing wherever you may be or not if you so choose, and in any case see you on the other side.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finally Fallish

It still looks much like summer roundabout Exit 151, but fallish temperatures arrived over the weekend. Suddenly my Morning Walk gauge swatch for #FallSweaterChallenge begins to have just the right amount of anticipation.

Gauge swatch

With a bit of finger-blocking, the gauge of the swatch is spot on. But rather than block the swatch properly, I'm going to tink it and cast on. While #gaugematters, as per usual I'm that worried about not having Enough Yarn. (I'm also wondering about who thought up that particular hashtag. Jeepers.)

Meanwhile, a last bit of summer goodness arrived over the weekend: my bonus yarn for completing three monthsCamp Loopy 2016 button of Camp Loopy 2016 projects (to recap, that's 3 Color Cashmere Cowl in June, Simple Straight Skirt in July, and Sabine in August). Thanks to the moderators, elves, and my fellow pirate campers, it was one of the easiest and most congenial KALs I've ever participated in, and the yarny incentive surely doesn't hurt. There was a choice of three – I selected Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock dyed in an exclusive colorway, Color in the Clouds. I love, love, love its funfetti cake speckles!

Bonus yarn

There was an unexpected additional loyalty incentive in my parcel: a Loopy Groupie drawstring project bag, Loopy Legends yarn, and sweets.

More goodies

I ordered something to keep my bonus yarn company – alas, that got mixed up, but is in the process of being set right. Still, color me a happy summer camper and (hopefully) soon to be well on my way into fall knitting.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Destination: Vest

Happy Equinox! Summer temperatures and humidity may linger, but the days are getting noticeably shorter roundabout Exit 151. With Mercury the communicator going direct, it seems only fitting to post a post.

Planetary matters are on my mind today not least because last Friday hometown hero Buzz Aldrin, resplendent in a Destination: Mars T-shirt, was in town. He was third in his class at West Point, was a fighter pilot, holds a PhD from MIT, and is one of the first humans to walk on the moon and is among the first humans to successfully complete a space walk.

Buzz Aldrin

In his honor the middle school he attended was rededicated as Buzz Aldrin Middle School. Appropriately, it's a STEM school.

Buzz Aldrin Middle School

There were many speeches and reminiscences, Buzz led a rousing (?) cheer, and the local bakeshop made astronaut cookies.

Astronaut cookies

Foolishly, I forgot to wear something suitably geeky-patriotic to the ceremony (I have a NASA T-shirt somewhere) and to bring a hat, a bottle of water, and a U.S. flag and so paid the consequences. I may have been unprepared, but others came ready. I saw one well-equipped couple using wire cutters to help themselves to the event posters fastened to the school fence! Aiya.

Woe and alas, that fun Friday segued into a nervous weekend in the NY/NJ region. The current story is a single suspect is responsible for homemade bombs that exploded Saturday morning in Seaside Park and Saturday evening in Chelsea and for a pressure cooker bomb found in Chelsea and five pipe bombs found in Elizabeth later that evening. The manhunt included an ill-advised cell phone alert and, after a shoot out and chase, the capture alive of the suspect. Most people reacted calmly and responsibly, a few not so much. The NJ beaches re-opened, life goes on – albeit a bit more nervously.

At the beginning of this month I signed up for the Fall Sweater Challenge. I assiduously read about the sponsors and how to get points,Fall Sweater Challenge button joined the FSC Ravelry group, selected a pattern, and ordered yarn. And then waited... patiently....

Sigh. Some participants started their projects in August.

It may be crystal clear to others, but I don't quite comprehend the pash of have and have-not hashtags for #FallSweaterChallenge. The hashtags are worth points and the points are worth prizes, although some things worth points don't seem to have a hashtag, and other things that have hashtags don't seem to be worth points. There were supposed to be participant numbers but somewhere along the way the participant numbers got dropped. Same thing with deadlines. Ah well, here goes.

I selected a designated designer pattern, Morning Walk vest by Becky Herrick, and joined the #MorningWalkKAL.


#ipickedyarn: My yarn arrived smelling strongly of vinegar, which made me worry the dye was not fully stable, often a problem with shades of red. So I gave it a bath to rinse out any excess dye. The yarn is #BMFA Targhee Worsted in colorway Vine Ripened Red, shown with some Jersey tomatoes for comparison.

Jersey tomatoes and yarn

One of the early stated goals of FSC was to flood Rhinebeck with FOs. Oh all right, despite my feeble launch I'll give it a go. Next steps, swatching and beyond to Destination: Vest!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Another Wrap

The month of August has fleeted away with only one blog post, backwards progress from two in July. Aiya! It's a new month, time for another wrap, verily, a wrap sweater. Behold Sabine by Julie Weisenberger, worked in Shibui Knits Linen, colorway 2032 Field. Here's the front of the cardigan.

Sabine front

As per usual with Cocoknits patterns, Sabine is well-written, enjoyable to knit, and the results are delightful. The pattern calls for Superior, a luxurious cashmere/silk/merino blend, but is equally lovely and considerably cooler in chainette Linen. I'm a sucker for out-of-the-ordinary yarn – Linen sometimes made crinkling sounds when still in the skein, but it softened considerably with handling or in humid weather. The knit fabric blocked easily and drapes beautifully. Here's a view of the back of the cardigan.

Sabine back

My only lament is how long it took to start and finish the sweater, my August Camp Loopy project. Initially I swatched and cast on for Hitofude, then realized I really want a Hitofude in a different color. I tried double-dipping with the 2016 Ravellenic Games, but was DNF, shorthand for the other frustrations of my frustrating August. At least I finished the cardi before the end of August, although I posted its photo to the Camp Loopy gallery so late, I'm still waiting to learn if it beat the September 1 deadline.

Other than that quibble (which is more about my schedule than the sweater), I'm very pleased. I wanted a transitional piece, a cardigan in a rich autumn color yet a breezy summer fiber for those fall days when the school year/program year has begun anew but the weather is still sticky. Summer clothes no longer seem to match the increased formality and tempo of the season, and heavy fall fabrics are completely unbearable. Enter Linen Sabine – perfection in cardigan form.