Saturday, May 30, 2009

At Loose Ends

Pair 51:

And 52:

And now I don't know what to knit.

Maybe I should spin?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Getting Closer

Naturally, now that the toe is getting closer, I'm tempted to drive myself crazy by trying to make adult socks for pair 52. Must be reasonabe!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This time, I've really lost all sock hoppity--just in time to think it might be second sock syndrome.

The pattern (the Welsh traveling socks from Shear Spirit, but worked over 72 stitches instead of 64, with a 1 x 1 rib cuff and continuing the garter stitch/stockinette stitch ribs down the heel flap) is lovely, and I really like the yarn (Luster Sox, from Dye Dreams, in the evergreen colorway), but I'm ready to knit something else.

But I'm going to finish, darn it--although I'm going to end with a pair of baby socks, partly because of the impending end of the sock year (on Sunday), and partly because the two full skeins of sock yarn I have left want to be shawls.

I don't think it's just that I want them not to be socks. One is Schaefer Anne--which I love for socks--but which it turns out I also love for shawls.


I finished this Sunday night, blocked it yesterday, and mailed it off to Interlaken this morning. I think I should make one (or one like it) for me, don't you?

And the other skein is Madeline Tosh Sock. It's a lovely shimmery purple, but it's 100% wool, and as I've decided I like a bit of nylon in my socks, I think it would do better as a shawl too.

And that's it, in the Complete Skeins of Sock Yarn Department! I even made it through two visits to the MA Sheep and Wool Festival without buying any sock yarn... although I did buy some Spunky Eclectic roving that I'm planning to turn into sock yarn. Just probably not in time to knit up the socks by Sunday.

(Pictures of my new fiber and scary graphs of the elevation gains from our bike rides, coming soon! I might even mean that "soon"!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Which I Shouldn't Have Bothered Moving

I lived in Massachusetts before I moved to New Haven, and this week, I've been/will be back a lot!

On Saturday, my college suitemate/post-college housemate and I trooped back to Northampton to see some friends who were attending reunion. I even took pictures:

What, your college reunion didn't involve alpacas?

We may have taken a detour to Webs, because it was their tent sale and they had invited some alpacas... it's been THREE WHOLE WEEKS since I've seen any fiber-bearing animals other than Moppet, or gotten to buy any fiber!

Yesterday, I went up to Boston-ish to do some consulting, I'm going to Boston itself on Thursday to see another friend who's visiting from LA, and on Saturday I'm going to Cummington for the sheep and wool festival (you'd think that would be enough fiber- and critter-related activity for one week, but it's not).

It's been a while since I've told anyone new where I live, and I'd forgotten the "Oh... New Haven..." response. So much so that when my client yesterday said it must have been ... a shock... to move to CT, I didn't know what she meant. It was clear during the pauses that she was trying think of tactful phrasing, but it took me a second to figure out what she was being tactful about (being closer to the Yankees?). Another hardship (in addition to the difficult MA-CT border crossing--watch out for the canine patrols!) I could have avoided if I'd stayed where I was!

Sock update:

I finished pair 50 (the Blackrose Socks from Knitty) about 3 hours ago. That leaves 2 more pairs to knit over the next 2 weeks (good thing Thursday's trip to Boston is on the train, and that I won't be the driver on Saturday... now all I need to do is stay awake!), plus a shawl to finish up for Schaefer.

I'm leaning towards the Welsh Traveling Socks from Shear Spirit, and then some kind of small lace pattern for the second pair. Maybe.

After pair 52, I'm thinking about taking a small sock-cation (if I don't cast on a new pair on autopilot), because I want to make some summer sweaters while it's still only warm (rather than unbearably hot). I'd also like to work with my handspun more--I've accumulated several groups of 4 oz. skeins that might work together and I think it would be fun see what they want to be.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dear Payne Whitney,

I love you, I really do, but why are you closing right when I need you? You do this to Kevin every year, and while I pretended to sympathize with him (and I can see how it would be annoying to lose your swimming pool access every year in the last 10 days before the first triathlon of the season), I secretly knew it was a sign that you loved me best.

But now you're doing it to me too--closing and keeping me away from my beloved (although falling apart--if we can work this out, maybe you could do something about that?) ergs. And right before my birthday, just when I realized that it might be fun to reach a million meters erged (total) by that very same birthday. It would have been so easy, except that you're closed from May 16 to 24, and I might be out of town on my actual birthday, so I need to finish up by tomorrow.

Which is totally do-able (10K both days, no problem), except that I gave myself a dramatic blister yesterday, and it hurt at practice this morning. Also, in retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have run 5 miles and erged 10K less than 12 hours before a hard practice, so my legs were really tired, and now (that it's too late to rest before a practice that's happened already), I'd kind of like to take today off from erging.

Anyway, back to us, PW. I know you are, technically, a gym, but I thought things were going well. You let me me have my own locker, borrow your towels, and leave my clothes there (although not a toothbrush), and I feel like I spend more time there than home (I definitely take more showers there--that should count for something, right?).

I know I'm married to someone else, and that I also visit the boathouse, and workout outdoors sometimes (OK, a lot). And I'm not blind, so I've seen how many other people you have over. I realize that maybe I complain too much about your ergs--maybe you had your own reasons for taking the working monitor off the working erg, and the broken monitor off the nearly broken erg, and putting the broken monitor with the working erg, and working monitor with the broken erg, and it wasn't fair of me to talk about that decision behind your back with other erg-ers.

But please, rethink this whole closing thing. Not this time, I know you've been looking forward to it, but maybe skip it in the fall? Or this time next year?


P.S. This is probably not a good time to bring up my other hobby, but I have only 2.5 more pairs left in the 52 pair plunge (and 2.5 weeks left till June 1, how convenient), and I've just sent off 2 secret knitting things, so maybe my knitblogging will get more interesting soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Still Dripping

Kevin and I trekked to Central Park on Saturday for a couples relay--I ran 2 miles (actually 2.3, just so you know), he biked 10 miles, then we rowed around the pond at the boathouse. It's sponsored by the NYC triathlon club, so there were some very fit teams--also some very fit cyclists paired with cranky, unhappy runners, when triathletes teamed up with their regular-person significant others.

Here's the moment before the race when I realize that this whole running idea was a big mistake:

(Kevin likes to take pictures at that moment because at least when I'm smiling for the camera I'm not complaining.)

We'd hoped my rowing would help in the rowboat portion, but sadly, shells and rowboats are very different. There's the shape, obviously, but the main problem is the fixed seat. Next time someone suggests that rowing takes a lot of upper body strength, I'm going to laugh: take out the legs, and it's like you're not even moving.

So I made this face most of the time:

Except when I made this face:

(I hope we're turning here--otherwise, every steering problem I had at sculling camp last summer is suddenly explained--I should be more symmetrical!)

I had this friend in college who claimed she'd never left the house without blow drying her hair (she said it spring semester of her first year, when she'd still never gone out with a wet head!). I think of her every time I arrive at work with my hair still damp (that is, nearly every day). And it's going to be worse than usual this week! Because I'm covering for my supervisor (who's on vacation), I have to work at work every single day this week... but since I have practice and refuse to pay for parking near campus, I get home from practice, leap out of the car, sprint (OK, jog as fast as I can) to the gym, shower there, get dressed, and speed walk to the library. There's barely enough time for my hair to stop dripping!

Clinton and Stacy would not approve.

Monday, May 4, 2009

47, 48, 49

How unexpected--I made some socks! (This is the last 3 weeks' worth... I should mix it up a bit, pattern-wise, huh?)

And muffins.

I drive home from practice past 4 Dunkin Donuts (wait, I forgot one... 5... plus an unknown number on parallel streets). So naturally, I was hungry for muffins by the time I got home this morning--and this is one of the days I work at home (or, you know, knit and prowl the internet), so I set out to make some.

I read an interview with a chef once, in which the chef explained that there was no need to follow recipes TOO exactly--often, the recipe calls for 4 tomatoes because there were 4 perfectly ripe tomatoes in the kitchen that day, not because they'd conducted scientific taste tests with varying quantities of tomatoes and found that 4 tomatoes produced 83% better sauce. The chef, of course, meant when cooking, and would be scandalized to learn that I apply the theory to baking as well.

In this case, the muffins were called oatmeal raisin, but the recipe didn't specify a quantity of raisins, so I put in the rest of a partly full container. I didn't have nutmeg, so I substituted cloves. I didn't have buttermilk (I never do), so I substituted vinegar, and reconstituted powdered milk (I never have regular milk either). I didn't have applesauce, so I used a partial banana. I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil (because we only ever have olive oil). And then I forgot the eggs (which we did have) entirely.

Strangely, I think they turned out quite tastily! Although the recipe implied that they'd rise dramatically, and they only rose a bit. Perhaps that was the eggs?