Thursday, July 17, 2008

Can you dig it?

Another pair of socks for the 52 pair plunge is done! These don't count for Summer of Socks, because I started them long before summer rolled around. They were "car knitting" for quite some time. I keep a small bag in the car with a small knitting project in it. This is very useful when I wind up somewhere that I have to wait. It has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. However, any project that winds up in that bag is worked on pretty sporadically while it's out in the car. And it has to be replaced when it's close to being finished. Imagine running out of knitting. I'd have to entertain myself without having something to do with my hands.

I'm kind of lagging on the knitting this week. This is because we are digging the Death Star Trench O' Drainage in the side yard. The Husband has decided that this will fix the water-in-the-basement-every-time-we-get-over-2-inches-of-rain-in-a-day problem. I'm hoping he's right, it makes a lot of sense. But I went to college so I wouldn't have to dig ditches. I suppose I could view it as aerobic ditch digging, or at the very least call it weight training.

We (and I use we in the very loosest term - I have not really done a lot of the digging here) started this exercise by renting a piece of equipment that I think is called a trencher. The Boy is shown operating this thing. It's apparently much easier to move around while the digging part (that's the technical term) is sticking up. Do you know that these things come with power steering? The next model down did not have power steering. Scary.

So renting this tool has made the digging easier. What it mostly does is loosen up the dirt and then dump it back in the trench, requiring one to follow along and remove the remaining dirt. Also, it does not like to dig out the rocks.

So today being Saturday, we are devoting the day to digging out the loose dirt and removing rocks. And then digging out more dirt and removing more rocks. My cunning plan was to go out early and dig for an hour or two, and then point out that it's pushing 90 degrees out there and we should perhaps resume later in the day when it's cooler.

Have I ever mentioned our neighbors? We have the best neighbors on planet Earth. They have 2 lovely daughters, who have grown up with The Boy, and they are in all but genetics brother and sisters. They are all charming and wonderful people, and we are beyond lucky to live next door to them.

They are also kind, helpful people. They have offered to come over and help dig this afternoon. Mrs. MarvelousNeighbor says that this will be far more productive than the trip to the gym she had planned. And Mr. MarvelousNeighbor and The Husband are always helping one another out with the major home renovation projects. So instead of showering and preparing for an afternoon of the normal weekend chores and errands, I am sitting here blogging, covered in sweat, and planning on heading back out in a little while. Because my mother did not raise me to let my neighbors work on my yard while I'm inside. Or grocery shopping. Or whatever.


The photo of the trench here shows some 8 foot lengths of pipe that The Husband dropped in to make sure that the trench was reasonably straight. It is.

So I do not anticipate a lot of knitting time this weekend. I'll have to see if I can find any of The Boy's old X-Wing fighters. I think there might be an exhaust port down at the far end of that thing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can't post, busy knitting

Or at least, I'm letting that be my excuse for not posting. Since October.

It's the zombies. I never get a minute's peace.

Anyway, since last post, I've done Sock Madness 2, which was tons of fun. And, in the wake of that, I decided that since I obviously don't have enough to do, I needed to add some more knitting tasks to my life.

So, I've signed up for both Summer of Socks 2008 and the 52 Pair Plunge II. Summer of Socks just commits me to knitting socks over the summer. The 52 Pair Plunge means I'm going to try to knit 52 pairs of socks in a year. Ouch.

So, shall I show you what I've done so far?

This is the first pair for the 52PP. The fun part of that is, one can count socks that were started before the start date of June 1, 2008, as long as they are finished between June 1 2008 and May 31 2009. So, these socks were knit for my swap partner in the Loopy Ewe Swap.

The pattern is Swirls by Monica Jines, from the Loopy Ewe Sock Club March 2008 kit. The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, Midnight Derby.

Here we have pair #2 for the 52PP. The pattern is Something's Shady by Corey Laflamme, and it was one of the lovely patterns we had for Sock Madness 2. It's knit up in Crystal Palace Panda Cotton, a bamboo/cotton/elastic blend, which is useful when you have siblings who can't wear wool (Hey, jrzygrrl, I'm talking to you). They were a birthday present for my sister, and they were only 4 months late.

Now, pair #3 for the 52PP also counts as pair #1 for SOS08. These are Pomatomus, by Cookie A. from Knitty, the fantastic online knitting magazine. It's at, and if you haven't yet checked it out, you really should. Amazing patterns, great articles, just tons of fibery goodness. And the yarn here is Fiber Optic Foot Notes, in the Summertime colorway. This is a new yarn put out by Kimber Baldwin Designs, and oh my word, it is yummy. Check out her etsy shop, I've finally figured out how to add buttons & there's one in the sidebar. (Thanks, barefootchick, for the picture & helpful directions!)

Minor Disclaimer: Kimber is in the Tuesday night knit group I've been going to for years, and in addition to being an awesome designer and dyer, she is also a great friend. So I am perhaps not entirely unbiased on the topic of her yarn. However, she has some of the most amazing color combinations I've seen, and her yarn doesn't pool. Gotta love that. And her sock yarn is a superwash merino/nylon blend. Just a joy to knit with!

And here we have pair #4 for the 52PP, and #2 for SOS08. These are Spring Forward, by Linda Welch, and they're another pattern from Knitty. And the yarn here is Fiber Optic Foot Notes, in Over The Rainbow. I am in love with these colors. I am probably going to give the Pomatomus socks away to one of my sisters or a friend, but these socks are mine.

So now I'm knitting a pair of plain vanilla socks in Swizzle by Reynolds, and a pair of Monkey Socks (another pattern by Cookie A. also from, you guessed it, Knitty) in Yarn Pirate Merino Tencel in the I Want Candy colorway. Plus a couple of other pair that I hope to finish up sooner rather than later.

I'm thinking I'm going to be knitting a few pairs of baby socks later on this year, or I will never get 52 pairs done by next May. It's sure not excessive blog posting that's slowing me down...