13

Cursed Be Those Who Jaywalk In Stinky Love Socks

Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I feel like I should write the rest of this post in Pirate Speak.
 
The Jaywalker curse is over!  Man, it feels like I’ve been working on these stupid socks for forevah.  These have traveled with me to Vegas (twice, I think) and to my babymoon on Maui.  And they just never seemed to get finished no matter how hard I tried.  After their first visit to Vegas, I finished 3/4 of the first sock, only to find that it wouldn’t fit over my giant-ass foot.  It took a while (over a year) for me to suck it up and rip out round after round of those teeny tiny stitches that I had slaved over toothpick-sized needles to produce.  And after that, it took me even longer (another year) to work up the courage to cast on again.  My gauge was off the first time, and many more times, before I figured out the ideal combination of sizing and attractiveness.  I noticed that the yarn I used (Knitterly Things Vesper Sock) looks more pleasing when knit on a smaller needle, so I had to knit a larger size than I normally would to get it to fit right.  On this second go-round I also decided to knit my socks using Magic Loop and it definitely went faster once I got all the gauge bugs ironed out.  Now that I’ve learned Magic Loop, I’m a bit of a Magic Loop snob and fairly grit my teeth if I actually have to bust out dpn’s for anything.
 

 
This is my very first finished pair of socks made from Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn.  See, up there I let you in on a little secret with that link.  Shhhhh….. don’t tell everyone!  Her stuff has already gotten harder to get now that she’s been featured in some of the big knitting magazines.  She does really small updates maybe once a week, just a couple hanks of a couple of her signature colors, and a sock club.  Lucky for me, I managed to collect most of the colors I wanted before I quit my paying job to become Chief Procurer/Entertainer/Cook/Laundress for the Overlord Of Cute (Knittymunchkin).  I did keep up with the yarn club though, so my collection is still growing.
 
Glamour Magazine has been telling me for over a year now that it’s cool to wear socks with your heels.  Since my fancy shoes never see the light of day anymore (not that they had much of a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing it before Knittymunchkin either) I busted them out for my photo shoot.  I couldn’t rock the socks and heels look in real life, but I rocked it even less when taking these photos.  You should have seen me stumping around the house with my sweatpants rolled up and my fancy shoes and socks on, trying to balance the mirror just so, in order to get that one decent shot.  I know, I should probably try to maintain my aura of mystery and tell you I photographed this in some glitzy cafe whilst twirling my glossy hair around my finger, sipping coffee and looking glamorous, but hey, I haz to keep it real, yo.
 
So, ta da!  Finally we bid adieu to another achingly ancient UFO….
 

 

  • Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 442 yds of Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn in “Love Stinks (Yeah, Yeah)”
  • Needles:  40 inch Size 1 Knit Picks Harmony circulars
  • Mods:  None, except to work pattern using Magic Loop instead of dpn’s

 
OMG.  SO loving these socks!  I got all OCD and made sure the striping matched up when starting the second sock.  This required me to rip out my knitting several times and actually rewind the ball of yarn in the opposite direction.  But it was worth it because they are a perfect match.  The fit of these socks is amazing.  It really is a “snug droop-less” fit like she says.  The only thing I wasn’t super happy about was the toe.  I mean it looks fine and everything, but it feels a little uncomfortable.  Kind of binding for me.  Maybe something a little more rounded would feel better?  Something to consider for next time.  I think I might actually make another pair someday.  Be sure to look for that post sometime in 2015 ;)

Advertisements
9

Whales Before My Window

As much as I deride myself for my self-proclaimed reigning status as Queen of Unfinished Objects, when I pick up an old project that has lingered too long in limbo, there is so much more to that act for me than simply returning to a forgotten piece of knitting.  Though I may initially feel the burden of finishing what I have pushed aside, in time I feel myself returning to the scent and sensation of memories buried deep within the fibers of my work.  My fingers gently tease out the strands of time and weaves them into a subtle mantle of remembrance, transporting me to another time and place.  What begins as work becomes a reminder of a sliver of time I have forgotten.  Cherry Fizz has been such a project.
 

Sunset on Bullman Bay - October 2009


 
It is October 2009 and I am about 4 months pregnant as we make our way to the coast.  We ride a ferry I’ve never been on, something not difficult to do here in the Pacific Northwest, where water travel is the norm.  We pass miles of lonely coastline, all jagged boulders and slate-grey froth beneath a sky that perpetually hints of rain.  Scattered clusters of dilapidated homes sprout from the earth like mushrooms, moldering under lush carpets of poison green moss, a gift of the damp twilight that is their birthright.  As always, I wonder what people so far from urban life do for a living.  Are they lonesome in this isolation or have they desperately sought it?  I watch them pass and I mourn for those who don’t belong here but must stay, with a sadness that overwhelms me, despite not being mine to claim.  We are driving to Bullman Bay, where my husband will be taking a three day intensive kayaking class and I will relax, walk the beach, and generally rest myself and incubate our baby.
 
When we arrive at the Bullman Beach Inn I am amused.  I don’t know what I thought I was expecting, but this isn’t quite it.  Our room will be at the far end of what looks like an outbuilding.  We have paid for the “Waterfront Full View” room, which is a song in October – only $75 per night – and we find that the view is fantastic.  Stepping through the sliding glass door into our room, we find what is really more like a furnished apartment.  There is a living room with a recliner and small love seat, which leads straight into a small kitchen with a dining table and two chairs, both rooms flanked on one side by that stunning ocean view.  Down the short hall to the left is our bedroom, complete with two twin beds, and a bathroom to our right across from the bedroom.  All this is furnished in an eclectic mix of 60’s surfer chic and 70’s basement, complete with dark wood paneling.  I’m instantly charmed and imagine the distant day when we might bring our child here and tell him or her about the time we visited before their arrival.  The only hitch is the twin beds.  We are snugglers. Yes, I’ll admit it.  But my belly has started to swell a bit and my back, hips and knees often hurt even though I’m early in my pregnancy.  So it’s really not so bad if we have our own space at night, and it’s just for a couple days anyway.
 
I get up early with R. Darling in the mornings before his class.  We have coffee or cocoa or tea and a little something to eat.  Then he prepares to battle wind, surf, frustration and exhaustion, from his kayak on the turbulent waves off the coast of Cape Flattery.  Sometimes I go back to bed after he leaves, but mostly I curl up in the recliner and read, looking up periodically to savor the panoramic view of sky and sea through my front window.  I have brought 4 books and Cherry Fizz.  I end up reading all 4 books in the 3 days of our visit and I work on Cherry Fizz half-heartedly in between.  Yet, it is this trip that I associate Cherry Fizz with the most.  For the first trimester of my pregnancy I was so exhausted and so ill all the time that I had to quit knitting.  For some reason the activity made my nausea unbearable and I resorted to spending most of my time that I wasn’t asleep, reading books.  But by October, I was feeling better and I had missed my knitting.
 
Each day I would walk the beach once or twice, buffeted by cold winds that whipped my hair into a dark froth.  I had to remind myself to look up at the sea and savor its swirling kinetic force, because my eyes were continually searching the sand.  Sea glass, pitted stones in gloriously misshapen forms, and the rare agate, made their way into my pockets, reminders that I was indeed here and it wasn’t just a dream.
 
What I remember most is the morning R. Darling and I saw a whale from the kitchen window.  The sky had pinkened from pre-dawn grey to early morning lavender.  We were eating breakfast and chatting before R.Darling had to leave for the day, watching the light change across the open ocean before our window.  R. Darling saw it first; a plume of water bursting free in the cold morning air.  He pointed when it happened again, and I squinted but couldn’t see.  The whale moved back into deeper water and I was disheartened I did not get to see it.  Later, after R. Darling had left, I scanned the sea again, hoping I might catch a glimpse of something, anything, and I was rewarded with a momentary eruption of air and water to the left of my field of vision.  I watched the whale spouting for a while and felt a connection to this gentle creature and the rhythms of nature.  I touched my stomach and thought of my baby and wondered about our future.
 
Now, Cherry Fizz is finished and whenever I look at it, I’m transported back to that long weekend at the beach.  What a wonderful gift I have given myself.  This scarf will always evoke happy memories for me and I will remember forever the whales before my window.
 

 

  • Pattern: Cherry Fizz by Kate Gilbert  (Ravelry link here; Twist Collective Spring 2009 link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Approximately 1.39 hanks of Dream In Color Classy in “Absolute Magenta”
  • Needles:  Size 8 bamboo straights
  • Mods:  None

 

 
I love this scarf!  It was worth the nearly 2 year wait (I started it in June of 2009, let it idle until October 2009, and then dropped it again until January 2011).  The charts were complicated and I actually really enjoyed that aspect of it.  Watching the medallion shapes grow and change was really thrilling, especially when I picked it up again after my long hiatus and really dedicated myself to finishing it.  I had a little trouble with the double increase (dinc) in the pattern and realized I was most probably doing it wrong until January when I started it again.  I think there is a video now that explains how to do it, but I figured no one will probably notice except for me and I wasn’t about to rip out all of a 2/3 completed scarf just to suit my OCD tendencies.  Blocking was a pain because I didn’t have enough pins and nowhere to lay it out (Knittymunchkin’s room used to be the blocking zone) but I made do and it doesn’t look too bad.  I think I’ll get lots of use out of this and even if I don’t, it will always remind me of a special trip and a wonderful time in my life, waiting for the arrival of Little Mister.