Monday, June 13, 2022

Stop the Madness

Somehow I never did quite summon the necessary enthusiasm for Madness. I mean the fake Internet, do-it-for-the-lulz, March Sock Madness variety and not the real world warring madness types. The latter have a way of draining the joy from everything, rendering the former empty husks. I gathered yarn, printed the qualifying pattern, tried a few color combinations, but advanced no further. Ah well.

Instead of Madness I did a spot of baby knitting. There's nothing like babies and baby knitting to restore a sense of goodness and sanity to the world. This is Watermelon Baby Cardigan by Stitchylinda Designs worked in King Cole Cottonsoft DK. Beautiful pattern, beautiful yarn – I especially love how the yoke increases look like watermelon seeds.

Watermelon Baby Cardigan FO

That's better. On to Yarnia Sock Bingo, Summer of Socks, and the new-to-me Supersock World Championship, on Ravelry and on a companion website. Despite its grandiose name, SWC seems reasonable and mellow and I'm hoping to qualify. But, as always, the countdown timer waits for no knitter. Must knit faster.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

And It's February

And just like that, it's February and three months since my last post. The last time I started a post with "And just like that..." it was August and I was knitting along for the 2020 2021 Summer Ravellenics.2022 Winter Ravellenic Games button Now I'm knitting along for the 2022 Winter Ravellenics on Team BBMF and registered for Sock Madness 16, to commence next month. Some things don't change much. In the U.S. we're starting Year Three of the coronavirus pandemic. The official death toll is over 900,000 – it's estimated 100,000 of those deaths were added in the eight weeks since December 12 due to the Omicron variant of the virus. No surprise, Thanksgiving and Christmas were difficult. And January brought a 5-slice French toast alert. Well, so much for catching up, on to February.

In the bleak midwinter it may seem callous or bizarre to speak of Internet knitting and pandemic in the same paragraph. But... that is where I am: still here, still pondering ways to checkmate nihilism, still considering the same socks. This time I intend to finish Invitation to the Dance for WIPs Dancing. After so much upheaval, there are two verities: I know where the singleton and the yarn are and it's not a bad thing to dance.

Invitation to the Dance singleton

This year I'm trying something new as well – Fiberuary Challenge 2022, which takes place on Instagram, curated by @CreativeCece. I still don't quite get Insta, maybe this will help. At the very least, it will be an impetus to take better photos and maybe it will inspire more frequent posts.

Fiberuary Challenge schedule

I'm already behindhand with posting, but I'm not going to worry about that. February is too short for worries!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween 2021

While out for a stroll in Brookdale Park I came across two random jack-o-lanterns. Why were they there? Who put them there? I know not, but they are endearingly blog-worthy. Rated: Not scary.
Random jack-o-lanterns in Brookdale Park
While at the Montclair Film Festival I saw Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over. Then I saw director Dave Wooley and Dionne Warwick interviewed by Stephen Colbert. Rated: Not scary, in fact an excellent, uplifting movie. Plus in the live interview the diva charmingly commanded the stage.
Dave Wooley, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Colbert
I finished a pair of Simple Skype Socks, the same in the previous post. They were done in August, went on a hike, and are getting blogged now. Rated: Somewhat scary, but at least it's DONE.
Simple Skype 2 FO
For Halloween dinner we're having turkey feetloaf. Feetloaf looks nasty raw, as below, and even nastier cooked and glazed but it tastes just fine. Carving it does pose a challenge, at least for certain sensibilities: cut longitudinally the slices somewhat resemble male genitalia. Rated: Scary!
Raw feetloaf
Feetloaf reminds me: I have been to museums and seen exquisite Khmer-era statues, perfect in every detail, except they lacked feet. That's pretty much certain proof they were looted, given the broken feet and pedestals remain in Cambodia and can be matched with precision. Decades of war and political turmoil enabled wholesale plunder, yet efforts at return also progress. Rated: Hopeful.

Howabout more jack-o-lanterns? (This is not my house.) Rated: Festive, not scary.
Jack-o-lanterns on Tuxedo Road
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, August 7, 2021


Inspired by Ravellenics WIPs Wrestling, I searched for (and retrieved from under the sofa) a UFO that is this close to being an FO. Half a foot is all that's lacking, literally. Put another way, between the two of them the socks have one-and-a-half feet or are, in literary terms, sesquipedalian.

Resuming Simple Skyp
There's a tale of sadness behind all this. Back in October 2019, a month after bellybuttonknits passed away and Before Covid, I finally started knitting a replacement with this yarn for my beady, tabi-toed Send in the Clowns socks that suffered a double blowout the year before. It felt right: there was a BBK memorial KAL and Clowns is a BBK pattern. But the yarn, lovely Three Irish Girls Adorn Luxe, colorway Big Bang, didn't want to be Clowns. Nor did it want to be Kilauea, another BBK pattern. Simple Skyp just worked better, so Simple Skyp it was.

Progress was rapid – then 2020 happened. That almost sounds like a punch line, or the equivalent of the ??? lacuna in the Profit meme. As in the meme I'm not completely sure how I got from 2019 to 2021 – eventful as 2020 was, some incidents stand out crisply, but the overall sweep of time is fuzzy. A lot of last year was like that. And at some point the UFO sock ended up under the sofa, not exactly lost, more like in need of finding.

The Ravellenics end tomorrow: while I doubt these socks will be finished in time, I don't doubt they will be finished soon thanks to the Ravellenic spirit. So maybe the socks will win no official glory, but seriously, they're socks and we're talking about fake Internet medals.

To be continued.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

And It's August

And just like that, it's August. I'm knitting along for the Ravellenics 2020 2021 on Team BBMF and for Yarnia Sock Bingo, wrassling WIPs and frogging UFOs.Ravellenics 2021 button As one does in August. To whit...

Mock Sadness by Helle Slente Design, worked in Schachenmeyer Regia Cotton Color, colorway 2426 Tutti Frutti II. The pair is pictured with chocolate stroopwafels because the pattern was the second warm-up for this year's Sock Madness. Technically the FO is a wrassled WIP because I started it in early July for Sock Bingo (with yarn purchased at Yarnia), before the Ravellenics had started. Whatever. It's done, and Ravellenics glory is mine.

Mock Sadness FO, with chocolate stroopwafels
The pattern is fun, with a bit o' everything – mirrored cables, faggoting, and a wide picot hem that I swapped out for 2x2 ribbing because the wide hem looks pretty, but in my view is too hot for summer socks. I also subbed a wedge toe for the star toe because my feet are not shaped like pencil points. The yarn reminded me why I usually prefer four-ply cotton fingering to cotton sock yarn for pretty much everything, including socks. At least the pattern repeat on the yarn is consistent.

Mock Sadness FO, showing mirrored cables
A different Sock Madness warm-up pattern, How to Tame Your Dragon by Dots Dabbles, that has been languishing since February 2018, got frogged. It's not the pattern, it's not the yarn (Colinette Jitterbug, colorway Tapis) – yet somehow after more than three years I just wasn't feeling the love. I've reconditioned the yarn, of course.

How to Tame Your Dragon, frogged
In Ravellenics past, there was a medal for frogging; now there's "only" a laurel. Nonetheless, more Ravellenic glory is mine.

To be continued.