Monday, November 12, 2018

Cheerful Playfellow of Half-Blood Princes

It may be necessary to sit down for this one. I finished a pair of socks in time to meet the deadline for the SKA October/November Architecture Challenge. Go me.

Hidden Stairways FO modeled

This FO is Hidden Stairways by Erica Lueder, worked in Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Socknado, colorway Lichen In My Crevices. The pattern is playful, easily memorized, and delightfully absorbing. The yarn reminds me of Shakespeare's "rude ragged nurse, sullen playfellow of princes" (the Tower of London) and stands in well for Hogwarts Castle, home of the half-blood Prince. Not to be overly gloomy or lit'ry – this is a happy pairing.

Hidden Stairways FO

Despite all that knitting happiness or perhaps because of the giddy fumes, by some perversity I kept misreading the instructions for Sockdown and posting non-qualifying photos. Ahem. I have no wish to become the scofflaw of SKA. I hope I've got it all right now.

Close up of leg

The pattern is modified by substituting 2x2 ribbing on the cuff, a shortie leg (minimum of 3 inches (7.62 cm)), continuing the pattern down the heel, and tabi toes. Because the staircases at Hogwarts like to change, the second sock was knit with the pattern varied by a half drop. As the Headmaster knows, a good pair of socks is a good thing – these are a much-needed replacement for my poor Clowns). Happiness in sock form.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Of course now I can't wash my hand.

Hand stamp

I had a good time at Rhinebeck. It was strangely warm this year – not as warm as last year, yet warm enough that heavy coats were not needed and I took off my Blue Wave hat. In the afternoon it briefly rained buckets, more a summer downpour than an autumn rain. The trees were barely turned, too, in the Hudson Valley in the third week of October. Perhaps it's true climate change is coming for our yarn. Hm.

Stitch Marker Swap

However that may be, it was good to be at the fair, good to be with congenial company, good to see so many handknits and so many clusters of knitters doing their things, as the Stitch Marker Swappers, above.

Sheep cookies

There even were sheepie cookies. Which is enough, and more than enough.

Edited to add:

Angry Sheep Zojirushi cozy

Although I didn't have time to knit a new Rhinebeck sweater, I re-purposed an in-the-round Angry Sheep gauge swatch into a cozy for my Zojirushi. I love my Zojirushi, which is a thermal bottle that keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold. The cozy is to protect its finish as it clanks around in my tote bag, not because it needs extra insulation. The swatch is from the yoke of the cardi, which tapers, and the taper in the swatch rather nicely matches the taper in the Zojirushi. Happiness.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hope to See You At Rhinebeck

This year I couldn't manage a new sweater for Rhinebeck. Guess I'll have to content myself with a new hat, nothing fancy, just Blue Wave 2018 by Donna Druchunas. I made it a bit smaller than written, with the wave pattern continuous around the hat.

Bluenami hat

And here's the inside view. The hat needed light blocking, accomplished by placing it on an inverted gallon (3.78 l) jug of vinegar and misting with water. Whodathunk my head is roughly the same diameter as a gallon jug.

Inside Bluenami hat

I'm thrilled to bits to be going to Rhinebeck. It's been years since I've gone, a drought I hope to remedy in the future. And I hope to see you at the fair!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Trolls Ascendant

What a strange and terrible week it's been, so dominated by the spectacle of corrupt and spineless politics in Washington, Big Lies, and crackpot threats of violence. In an odd way it reminded me of the scene on a beach while a hurricane is going by: the warning flags are up, the water is churning with tremendous force, and yet some people are surfing. Perhaps some of the same principles of responsibility and self-care may apply.

Sandy Beach during Hurricane Olivia

When trolls are ascendant, one is left to concoct one's own sunshine amid the sturm und drang. A third way, if you will: not reacting to them, not pretending they aren't there, but a form of resistance (admittedly privileged) to their coarsened public discourse. So I've been doing some cauldron work, and am rather pleased with the results. There's more tomato jam to add to the Great Wall of Tomato Jam, this time using yellow and (more) orange tomatoes. It's Marissa's recipe again, with 20% less sugar, white vinegar substituted for cider vinegar, and ground jalapeño subbed for smoked paprika and cayenne. I'm ridiculously happy at how the colors have held during cooking and processing.

Yellow and Orange Tomato Jam

Ah, the colors. I could look at this all day. Flavor and yield are good, too. Tomato jam is often paired with cheese, but I like it best with eggs.

Red, Orange, and Yellow Tomato Jam

Meanwhile, the Diana Prince sock progresses, while as anticipated the shrug is Overtaken By Events. Ah well, maybe now more than ever a bit of Amazon fortitude and some fancy needlework is needed. Pew! Pew!

Wonder Woman W

After an absence to several years, I'm planning to go to Rhinebeck this year. I've been before, but for the first time I'm planning to stay overnight. I'm thrilled to bits, even though I'm still so busy that I'm not going to attempt to knit a sweater. But... er... well, maybe a hat.... To be continued

Friday, September 21, 2018

Away Again

And just like that, summer turns to fall. Not that you could tell by my schedule. For me it's another long flight, another cast on. This one is Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) socks by Becky Greene. I'd admired the pattern before, almost exactly one year ago, and unwisely cast on in an overly busy yarn. One year older and wiser, I'm going with a more subtle variegation, Zitron Trekking XXL colorway 77.

Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) socks cast on

That's better, sockwise. Travelwise, this trip proved rather eventful. More when I'm back in terra Jersey.