Over the weekend, I visited a favorite museum, the American Museum of Natural History. Among the many excellent things to gawp at was this very tall, very thin origami tree, provided by Origami USA.
The ornaments are wonderful – stars and comets and dinosaurs and sea creatures and birds and bugs and mammoths and horses and masks! DH liked the Tyrannosaur; I liked the centipede perched on an orchid (click to view larger).
I never tire of the museum, which is even more wonderful than Night at the Museum. It has liberal pay-what-you-wish admission, but the suggested "SuperSaver" admission, which gives access to all of the special exhibits, left me a bit weak at the knees. Yeesh. I was pretty sure we were in a major recession in March, the economists finally have made it official, postdated to last December, but it would seem the treasury secretary and some others still won't admit the global economy is in a swoon and consumers could use help.
Somewhere I read that the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, after hearing a then-new celesta (a chime-like instrument that looks like a small upright piano), was determined he would be the first to feature it in a major work. He imported two from Paris under the cover of greatest secrecy – and indeed used them to sensational effect in "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."
The Nutcracker is such a holiday chestnut now (cf. this year's holiday stamps), but I've wondered what it must have been like back in the day to have experienced its debut. Perhaps not unlike how I feel about this sugar plum of a sock, worked in new-to-me Malabrigo Sock, colorway Abril.
The yarn is as singular as any I've used. It has a low velvety nap, almost like chenille, and it's on the low end of sproing for a wool yarn (Nancy reports her socks sag). Yet it's tough, surviving multiple swatch-and-frog sessions, and the knit fabric is light and supple. The yarn is pettable and face-worthy, and I'm eager to try more in all manner of projects.
The pattern is no less stellar. It's a Nancy Bush classic, Juta's Stockings, in Folk Knitting in Estonia – easy-peasy (no twists, braids, or nupps) but completely satisfying. The stitch pattern is strong enough to be handsome in any yarn, yet quiet enough to let the yarn shine. The fit can be tweaked by adjusting the number of stitches at the front and back of the sock.
It's a plum combination – and I do love sugar plums!