It's been a good weekend for knitting. And laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. The good news on that front is that Rick found a way to set things up so that I can put the drying line up myself. Up until now, getting the line up involved all kinds of machinations best handled by a tall person (tying it high up in trees), because the only place to put it up is right in our front yard where it's in the way when not in use. But, Rick being the clever engineering sort that he is, he came up with a way to put hooks and pulleys and cleats in all of the appropriate places so that a height-challenged person such as myself can still get sufficient tension on the line to avoid ending up with all of her laundry in the grass.
So, between washing and hanging and folding (the humidity has been so low again that clothes were drying far faster than they would have in the dryer), I worked on socks. On Friday night, I finished Younger Daughter's socks. The timing was fortuitous, as she'd just been beaten quite soundly in a family game of Carcassonne, and the socks were a perfect consolation prize. She promptly put them on, and only took them off so that I could wash and dry them once yesterday morning (the wool socks dried in 30 minutes outside; this might give you some sense of the drouth we're dealing with here), and is wearing them again this morning.
Here's a dark but visible close-up of the pattern motif.
Aren't they fun? To recap, these are Laura's Kicking Leaves socks, knitted up in Old Maiden Aunt superwash merino, using size one needles. This was a fun pattern, and they're so lacy that they're not too heavy to wear in a warmer place; Younger Daughter is delighted with them.
So on Saturday morning, I picked up the conference socks, determined to finish them. As I knit, I came to the conclusion that the right thing to do would be to give them to Older Daughter. They fit her beautifully, and I just got my new pair of socks; if these were to go to her, then a pair of socks for Rick would finish this round of sock knitting fairly for all. So, the decision was made, and I set about with a will. I didn't get as far as I'd hoped on Saturday, in part because Rick and I went out to dinner (while the girls stayed home with a babysitter) and for a walk along the coast, which is our favorite kind of date. So the socks were finished yesterday in time for Older Daughter to wear them to dinner with Rick's family at his cousins' house.
These are dusk shots; the light isn't so good.
That's truer to the richness of the colors. These are my own concoction, toe-up, reverse heel flap with travelling stitches to make a small pattern. The Ravelry link is here. I used Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Willow yarn, in the Forest colorway, and size one needles. I adored this yarn, in ways that would be difficult to describe. Before deciding to give these up to Older Daughter, I tried and tried to find another skein so I could knit a pair of socks for myself, but no go. Not on Ravelry, nowhere. Yesterday, after handing them over, in a fit of optimism, I gave it one more shot online, and darned if I didn't find one last skein at Crown Mountain Farms. Can you believe? In the Forest colorway, even. Talk about luck! I'm happy as a clam; this yarn is a lovely weight for a warmer climate (it's a superwash/merino blend), and the colors are stunning.
With that pair of socks done, my knitting decks feel cleared to me. I'd like to start a pair of socks for Rick, but I'm waiting for a pair of size two metal needles to show up in the mail (I'll share when they do, I promise). So as far as I'm concerned, this means that I can wind the yarn for The Sweater and start swatching. I have high hopes that I'll get that done before I take the girls to the movies today as a lot of that sweater will be plain stockinette, so I should be able to knit in the dark. The plan, such as it is at this point, is for a waist-length, v-neck pullover, inset sleeves, with a quiet lace motif on the bottom hem, and a nifty twisted thing (hard to describe; I'll show you a picture once it's swatched) along sleeve hems and neckline.
The plan was actually to get the swatching done last night while watching a movie with Rick. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. We got home at a reasonable hour, the girls got ready for bed quickly, and I sat down to read to them while Rick took the garbage down. Not three minutes later, he walked in the door and said, "The dumb dog" (as opposed to the smart dog, who would be Kia), "found a skunk." And indeed she had. (Note: Kia has not, in fourteen years, ever managed to be sprayed by a skunk. Tilly is clearly of a different ilk.) I went racing to Google, Older Daughter went racing to The Daring Book for Girls (I kid you not), and within minutes, we'd come up with the same answer. People, that formula is a miracle. I had to run to the store for hydrogen peroxide, but it was worth it. Ten minutes after dosing her, we had a stink-free dog. But between the running around and washing and drying, there was no time for swatching. Sigh...
So, I'm off to get that done. But first, I did have one advice question for all of you. I realized recently when blocking something that the one downside to all of our room-rearranging over the holidays is that the erstwhile guestroom bed/blocking station is now Older Daughter's bed, and therefore unavailable to me for blocking purposes. I used the rug, covered in towels, in the study, but it doesn't hold pins well. (On a sidenote, I did discover that it hurts my back a lot less to pin things out on my hands and knees than bending over a bed. Interesting.) So, I'm in the market for blocking boards, of the sort that can be disassembled and stored somewhere inconspicuous. Does anyone have and use such a thing and have recommendations or thoughts? My birthday's coming up, so I figure that it might be time to drop some hints...