Monday, April 20, 2015

Soap Opera

It was with some trepidation that I washed my Cable Madness socks, having heard that SweetGeorgia yarn is prone to bleeding, particularly the reds. So I washed the pair in my nonreactive dyepot, and was prepared to follow with a vinegar rinse.

Washing Cable Madness socks

But when the suds parted, all was well. The wash water was clear.

Clear wash water

It was one small drama of laundry day.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Peak Bloom DC

Last week while I was attending to busyness in Washington the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms popped, literally. On Wednesday there were twigs with a faint pinky haze. On Sunday it was peak bloom. Just like that. I wish I had had the time to take the guided nighttime Lantern Walk around the Tidal Basin. I'm told in rare, magical years like this one you can see the flowers unfurl in the course of a half-hour. I also wish I had time to do this:

Paddle boat and texting

Erm, no, I don't mean ignore natural beauty to send a text message, I mean rent a Tidal Basin Paddle Boat and paddle around the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. At least I was able to walk around the Tidal Basin on Sunday. Along the way the FDR Memorial provided a nice reminder about the privileges of ableism. The statue of the four-term president looked a bit lonely...

FDR without sock

... so I had DH place my current sock, Longing for Spring by Caoua Coffee, on his shoulder. A little pink sock makes 'most anything better. This is the Round 3 pattern for Sock Madness. Having been eliminated (and also traveling), I was going to take a break, but how could anyone resist such an adorable toe-up pattern? Not I!

FDR with sock

Although waving the freak sock flag caused another photographer to blare, "Get away from the statue so I can take my picture!" I'm inclined to tell jerks to wait their turn, but DH prefers to let karma do its work, so he stepped away, she snapped her pic and flounced, and we laughed and resumed having a good time. Seriously, there were so many lovely shots to be had, why fuss over one with bad light?

Paddle boat and Jefferson Memorial

Yes, I really must try to do this someday. Meanwhile, I'm keeping an eye on the Branch Brook Park cherry blossom cam. Stay tuned for Peak Bloom NJ!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

After All

Today is the Easter Vigil, and instead of the traditional alternatives of keeping watch or falling asleep I'm staggering over the Cable Madness finish line late with the FO and a matcha mug cake in honor of this morning's lunar eclipse. It's the first time for the cake, which turned out much greener than expected.

Cable Madness FO and mug cake

It doesn't matter that I finished after the April 3 deadline – as anticipated, I was eliminated from Sock Madness competition several days earlier when the last Team EntreLac spots to advance were filled. One rather senses that others on the team are much faster knitters with more knitting time than I. Ah well, I turtled on and am very pleased with my new fancy socks. I modified the pattern with a half-drop (one sock was started on Round 1 and one sock was started on Round 17 of the 32-round cable pattern) to balance the cables. My thanks to designer Karen Buhr for a most handsome pattern!

Cable Madness modeled

Several Team EntreLac members note that SweetGeorgia yarn sometimes runs, particularly the reds, so I must remember to take precautions when I wash the socks. Ordinarily I don't find laundry terribly interesting, but this could be good blog fodder. As they say in the news biz, "If it bleeds, it leads." Which is a sobering thought the night before Easter. Maybe I'll keep watch a while after all.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Clue, April 3

On where to find the spring bunny, my contribution to Free Art Friday Montclair.

Spring bunny in the wild

Along the trail named for residents previous
flows a shallow brook with course sometimes devious:
it goes behind houses and under the street
(but don't bother the neighbors when seeking your treat).

Upstream of its pond a sign marks the spot.
Free Art waits beyond, placed at 10 on the dot.
Your prize is a bunny, seasonal and representational,
protected against weather, clement or precipitational.

On April 3
should you find this objet wee,
please snap a selfie
and post to #FAFMTC.

Good luck to the seekers, and I sure hope this time the finder posts a selfie!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Tortoise

This morning there was one last (?) hurrah from Old Man Winter, a surprise snowfall. So of course I rushed out to pose the wee bunny I crocheted for Free Art Friday Montclair. I'll announce where it's placed on Friday. Erm, is it wrong for a church lady to hide a spring bunny on Good Friday?

Wee bunny in snow

Making the bunny from the excellent pattern and photo tutorial by Janette Williams was fun and satisfying. Participating in Free Art Friday has been less so. Maybe continuing to do so makes me as mad as a March hare or as gullible as an April Fool. Ah well, my wrists needed a break from fast and furious Mad sock knitting.

Speaking of Sock Madness, here's a Sunday Review progress shot, which is when it became apparent that I possibly might be able to finish the pair before the April 3 deadline but definitely would not make the cut to advance from Round 2 to Round 3.

Cable Madness singleton plus

The cut happened the very next day. It would seem other participants are far speedier than I and have far more time to devote to Mad knitting. Or I have too many distractions. For example, on Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, I was making palm crosses instead of knitting. Slacker that I am, I made mine after the worship service to give away. Whereas overly competitive crafty types industriously weave their palm crosses ::cough:: during the worship service and ::cough:: pridefully hand them out in vast numbers afterward. I'm not very attached to the process (or the competition) – I just make 'em and give 'em away – but a few people reminded me I made them palm crosses last year, which surprised and touched me.

Palm crosses

Usually I make the palm crosses on the left, but this year I also tried the palm crosses on the right, which are fussier to make and yield tidier results.

Then there was the matter of replacing the lawn mower blade. It really, really needed replacing.

Old and new lawn mower blades

So, there might be snow on the ground, I may be DNQ for Sock Madness Round 3, but at least I'm ready for lawn-mowing season (whenever that may be)!