Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ren Fests and good friends

We spent all of Thursday driving to Hermiston, Oregon and back to see Jon and Lindsay. Why did we spend four and a half hours in the car to drive to a strange Wal-Mart, spend an hour with them at WallyWorld and then turn around and drive four and a half more hours home? Partly because we're nutters with an unfortunate amount of free (jobless) time on our hands and a questionable grasp on the concept of "carbon footprint." (If we drive nine hours in a Prius, it doesn't count, right?)

But mostly because Jon and Lindsay (and their little dog, too) have been our friends for the last eight years. Brian and Jon survived NNU's religion department together, while Lindsay and I were in the same dorm. Then Lindsay and Jon were our next door neighbors when we lived in Nampa. When we moved to Nome for the summer with our four suitcases, not only did they drive all our stuff (and our truck!) to Kansas City, but they also let us live with them for a couple of weeks before we found an apartment.

J&L are moving. Unfortunately for us, they're moving to Alaska. Hermiston was literally the closest they would be to us in all of their 3700 mile road trip. One of the last times we saw them when we all went to the KC Renaissance Festival in 2007. I sadly neglected to bring the camera that time, but we had a blast.

Shirley was much easier to transport at that festival, as I was five months pregnant with her. On Saturday, we went to Shrewsbury. The ground was too uneven for her stroller, so she had to walk a lot more than she was used to. Here she is giving us the patented "I can't believe you took me to this strange place and are expecting me to use my legs!" baby glare.

We saw a lot of strange costumes at the Faire. I didn't take pictures of the worst one I saw, as I firmly believe that some things are so awful they should not be preserved for posterity. (Suffice it to say that if I were an excessively hairy obese middle-aged man, I would choose to wear something more than just a baldrick and a kilt made of skunk skins.)

The runner up, however, would have to be the dragon-girl in the photo below. She wore a parochial-school outfit (think Britney Spears circa 1997) with a felt dragon hood extending down her back. She and her boyfriend were so inseparable during the joust that Brian and I briefly wondered what their inevitable offspring would look like, then shuddered at the mental pictures created.

I was unable to get a picture of the two gentlemen dressed as King Arthur and his squire from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, (complete with coconuts!) but they were a far second from the best costumes I saw on Saturday. This group of cranky Celts with their trophy took the cake!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Spinning update

Ever since I got my wheel, I've been trying to figure out how to make the yarn I want, instead of the yarn it wants to make.

I had some odd bits of superwash left over from making crazy batts. Not enough individually to do anything with, but collectively I had about four ounces. So I divided each color into three equal piles and put each pile into a sandwich baggie.

Pulling random colors of roving from the bag, I spun each bag onto a bobbin,

and then plied them all together as a 3-ply sock yarn. Unfortunately, plying with the wheel doesn't allow me to put as much twist into it as I do with a spindle, so the final yarn may not be suitable for socks.
I'm not sure what my total yardage was because it wouldn't all fit on my niddy-noddy. (Arguably a very good problem to have!)

I also had a bump of roving I hand-dyed either in San Francisco or shortly after we moved from there. (It's been a bit since I went on an all-out dyeing binge!)

Wanting to make mostly-identical socks, I split the roving lenghtwise, spun half on a drop spindle, and Navajo-plied the yarn to keep the color sequences intact. I've still got the other half to spin up, but I hope the yardage will equal the previous skein.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baby's first blade

I grew up on public assistance, and when I became an adult I swore up and down I'd never be dependent on the government again. But I'll do a lot of crazy things to make my baby's life better.

The most recent of those crazy things was standing in line for three hours yesterday at the Department of Health and Human Services to sign the Mimi up for the state-run health insurance program for children. (Because at least one member of our family should be able to get medical care without having to invoke EMTALA.)

Like an idiot, I had brought Shirley along with me in her stroller (and forgot to stuff knitting in my purse!) She fussed a bit, but otherwise was a trooper throughout the ordeal. So I told her that since she'd been a good girl, we' d go to the dollar store and she could pick out a new toy.

And she picked a 15" plastic Halloween cleaver! Not only does it probably glow in the dark and have a skull-shaped hilt, but it also is filled with fake blood that splashes around inside the blade. I tried repeatedly to turn Shirley's attention to other toys, but she would have none of it. I thought for a brief moment that I'd reached success with the pink furry cowboy hat that was just her size, but when I told her she could have it OR the knife, she tossed the hat on the floor and clutched the knife closer.

Next time, I think I'm going to be a lot more specific about what kind of toy she can have.