Saturday, February 24, 2018

All Ahead Slow

With two days left in the Ravellenics, I just finished a singleton sock. Yay, me but either I must knit much faster, with the concomitant frustrations, if I cherish any hopes of earning any medals or laurels, or continue moving forward, albeit slowly, and stop worrying about external pressures.

Soul Mate Heart Socks singleton

Meanwhile, my tabi-toed Send in the Clowns socks suffered a blowout on the right heel and left big toe. This is the second time this brand of yarn failed after moderate wear, which is disappointing.

Blowout

I know from sad experience that when sock yarn fails it's rarely worth the effort to darn the sock. Because when the yarn is this worn, it means the sock is on the verge of going to pieces – new holes inevitably appear at an ever-increasing rate. It's far better to move on and knit new socks.

Alas, this relative lack of rapid forward progress does not bode well for the upcoming Sock Madness 12. I can't say I mind overmuch. It wouldn't be the first time I ended up out of that competition.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Time to Make a Change

I started feeling dissatisfied with my Supporter's Socks. It's not the pattern, I'd knit it before; it's not the yarn either; the match just doesn't seem right. This is as far as I got. Not very, as things go. Conversely, not too far to turn back. The season of Lent is all about metanoia – re-thinking, repenting, turning back.

Disappointing Supporter's Sock

Under similar circumstances, sometimes I'd slog onward and keep on knitting, sometimes I'd set the project aside to hibernate. Not this time, even though it's my first foot.

Frogged

Sometimes one just wants a happier sock. Sometimes one needs a happier sock. This is Soul Mate Heart Socks by Elly Fales. It's a happy sock.

Soul Mate Heart Socks in progress

That's better. I'm double-dipping with Ravellenics Sock Hockey and February Sockdown (new to me designer), too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mid-February Convergences

Happy (?) Valentine's Ash Wednesday! Every once and again Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday coincide, and while neither ordinarily are important observances for me, their convergence leads to a burst of daft churchy humor that I find irresistible for its skewering of the more extreme sentiments of both holidays. YMMV, of course.

Convergence

Seriously, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a seven-week churchy season of self-improvement through fasting, prayer, penitence, and charitable giving. The season ends on Easter, which this year falls on April Fool's Day, another convergence. Ahem. At Church of the Improv one Lenten goal is to fast from using plastic. First steps include avoiding single-use plastic shopping bags and refusing plastic drinking straws at home and in restaurants. Easy-peasy – I already have an ever-expanding collection of reusable shopping bags and, on the rare occasions when I use straws, have some re-usable stainless steel ones. (I note the experience of bumping a metal straw against mouth or teeth, even very gently, greatly reduces any desire to use straws!) Anyway, MY big challenge is I'm still struggling with the vast amounts of plastic I use for stash storage. In the nine years since I started worrying in public about the matter, I have yet to find a good alternative. Hm.

Meanwhile, after much hemming and hawing, I discarded my previous plan and cast on my first Ravellenics project, a re-visit of Supporter's Socks by Linda Pankhurst. The first time around I used my own handspun; this time I'm using Fortissima Alpaka (and not liking the way it sheds). As I'm knitting along with Team BBMF, I'm fortified with my very own mini-Beyoncé and themed Sbux card. (To exactingly correct readers: Yes, I'm aware the Year of the Rooster gives way to the Year of the Dog in two days.)

Ravellenics Supporter's Socks wip

The sock is also my first foot of the new year, yet another convergence. While it's not-normal to have waited six weeks to start my first foot, it's excitingly normal to be knitting along. The last few months years have been so difficult and have passed in such a rapid blur, it's quite the treat to sit and knit, and it's in that spirit of gratitude with which I'll start my Lenten journey today.

Edited to add the hideous news of a school shooting today, this one in Florida. I like to believe a better world is possible, that such sickening acts of violence are not-normal, but they have become so frequent and active shooter training for schoolchildren has become so common that it's clear the failure is not of imagination, but of political will. And that's a cause for repentence this sad evening.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Sense of (Re)Purpose

So. It's that time in the biennium for the Ravellenic Games. As a point of fact, the fibery games start tomorrow (unlike a certain trademarked™ international sporting event that shall not be named for which official competitionRavellenic Games 2018 button has already started) and I'm ::cough:: only now pondering what I'm doing. Advance planning has been quite the luxury lately at casa Jersey Knitter, so as short as the timeline may be, let me revel in it. Hmm... maybe I'll re-purpose the August project yarn from last summer's Camp Loopy, Cascade Hampton. The yarn was intended for a summer cardigan, Tailfeather by Heidi Kirrmaier, but it never got started or blogged (oops). Now I think I'd rather use it for something different – perhaps a different cardi or perhaps a twirly summer skirt.

Maybe a skirt

Looking back at the wreckage and UFOs of last year's camp, which started so full of promise and dinosaurs, made me realize I not only did not finish a single camp project, I also did not blog about not finishing anything. Sigh. It was that kind of summer, and fall as well, the sort that makes one barely able to plan dinner while whimpering, "The horror, the horror." Looking on the bright side, it means at the very least I have yarn, and fiber too, that could become... well, 'most anything. I think that's mostly a good thing. Why, my hibernating CeCe could transform into a twirly summer skirt too. There could be twirly goodness for a second occasion! Or, I suppose I could just finish the beastly thing.

Hibernating CeCe

Looking a bit farther ahead, all the way to next week, Wednesday is both Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. Ordinarily I'm not big on observing either, but a convergence like that is a must-do. Those into penitence and fasting will be so conflicted – chocolate or no chocolate? To be continued....

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sweets and Defeats

Happy New Year! It's unusually cold and unusually snowy roundabout Exit 151... and I'm starting 2018 with a catch up from the Old Year. There's 2017 sweets...

Cara Cara Orange Pâte de Fruit

Food in Jars December challenge: Cara Cara Orange Pâte de Fruit. Cute, tasty, exotic, and too full of sugar and soluble fiber. I'm glad I tried making them, don't think I'll make them again.


... and 2017 defeats...

Socks of Shame 2017

Singleton Socks of Shame 2017, left to right, oldest to newest: Meadowlands, Fawkes, Julesokker, Love Me Knot, Chain Link, Hanauma Bay, handspun Queen of Diamonds, Twisted Madness, Dropping Madness.


... and even a bit of culture.

Yogurt

Food in Jars November challenge: Yogurt made in a mason jar and cooler. So good, I may never buy commercial yogurt again.


There's so much more that could be said, but right now I'd rather not re-tread old soles. Instead, onward to the first foot!