Friday, June 24, 2011

Knitting in the interstices

I keep waiting for things to slow down, and they keep not slowing down.  The good news is that it's different craziness, instead of more of them same.  (At least, I think that's good news.)  Younger Daughter is still in school - today's her last day - and I've been going in to work to finish packing up my office.  But today is her last day, and as of Tuesday my office is packed (to the tune of six full boxes of shredding, two huge blue recycling bins full of old readers and paper, and twenty boxes of books and files), so things are finally starting to feel like summer.  We're even getting (quiet as it's kept) sun in the afternoon.  Hooray! 

In all of that, there hasn't been as much knitting time as I'd like, but last weekend, on Father's Day, Younger Daughter had a feis to go to, which means plenty of knitting time for me while waiting for her dances to come up.  She has to do some sitting and waiting, too, which is hard when in full regalia, including warm dress and wig.
She concentrating, can you tell?  All in all, though, she's pretty cheerful about it.
And we love getting to watch her dance.
(She's especially cheerful because her hair is now long enough that we can get a ponytail wig for her, instead of always having to wear the full wig - it'll be much lighter and more comfortable.  Question: when did I become the mom who puts a wig on her kid?  Answer: when I became the mom whose kid loves Irish dance.  Life is strange, sometimes.) 

During all the waiting, I finally finished the Rivendell socks, knitted out of my very own handspun, three-ply, sock yarn.  Hooray!
(Note the dog nose in the corner.  Hope springs eternal in the breast of a dog, and when Tilly sees me put my socks on, she becomes convinced that it means a walk for her.)

Here's where Ravelry is so lovely.  By the time these were finished, I'd completely forgotten where I got the fiber for the yarn, or even what kind of fiber it is.  But Ravelry knows all!  It's a superwash Blue-Faced Leister from the Sincere Sheep, bought at the Dixon Fiber Festival last October.  Spun on my Lendrum, three-ply.  Knitted on size one needles, in size small.
I really love these socks.  I loved them the first time I saw the pattern, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to knit a pair.  I'm guessing I'll knit another pair sometime sooner rather than later.  Like the Kimono socks that I so love, it's hard to imagine having too many pairs of these.  I knitted them on the small side, because I'm finding more and more that I like my socks tight - they wear better and feel better in my shoes.  I think I got these just right.

But my favorite part?  It has to be these little droopy leaves, and the way they transition into the little travelling stitch motif.  Love them.
Aw, heck.  I should be honest.  I just love the whole pattern.  And I'm pleased and surprised with how evenly the yarn turned out - it actually felt like sock yarn!  Except more bouncy, somehow, which is nice.  The BFL spun up like a dream, and it's plenty soft on the feet.  I think it'll wear well, too.

I have been spindling plenty (the wheels still sit, sad and lonely, though), and the second round of spinning classes started last night (each round is two sessions).  Everyone was spinning by the end of the night, and I'd bet money that a couple of them will be past the park and draft stage by next week.  The best bit was that a student from the last session dropped off a hat that she'd knitted out of her handspun at the store - it's beautiful!  And I got to show the students in this class what someone can do with two and a half weeks of spinning experience.  I'll try to remember to bring my camera for a picture next week.  Most of what I've been spinning is little bits of things for class, but I have also been working steadily on the silk/cashmere stuff I've had tucked away for ages.  I'm using my new Golding, and getting a very fine singles from it.  I think that as a two-ply, once it's bloomed (and judging by the last batch I spun, this'll bloom a lot in the wash), it's going to be a very nice lace-weight yarn.

Meanwhile, now that school is out and the office is packed, I've been indulging myself in lots of time spent (finally!) learning Spanish with the Rosetta Stone package that we got last year.  We have Level 1, and I'm determined to work my way through it in the next week or so, and then to spend the summer trying to actually use what I've learned.  Meanwhile, I'm talking to myself in "Spanish" as often as I can (I find that I have to use the verb "to drive" quite a lot as I schlep the kids hither and yon); the only way to learn a language is to use it, even if I'm just talking to myself.


Gwen said...

Interstitial knitting! Sure makes for some gorgeous socks.

We've been too warm, and I'd be happy to have less sun, but that's the way the weather falls.

Manejo pa'lla, manejo pa'ca... Ni te bajas del carro.

I am waiting with trepidation whatever Thing the kid decides he loves doing so much, we have to do it in the evenings and on weekends.

Another Joan said...

Lovely socks, lovely daughter, lovely clear-out of the office!! A question from this Highland dancing mum: does your daughter HAVE to wear a wig? If her hair were long enough, could it be her own hair all curlied up with rags?

Nana Sadie said...

You've been very busy and my inbox has noted that.
DD is adorable in her curls - and I bet you have had a few times of "pinch me, is this really ME?" since she started dancing...
What our children teach us about ourselves...

Jane said...

Our dog is the same, I put my jumper on the other evening as it was getting chilly, and straight away he was up and waiting to go out!
Have fun with the Spanish. My youngest is learning it and quite oftens talks to himself or me in Spanish.

Jo said...

Love the dog nose! All I have to do is touch an object resembling a poop bag and my two go nuts!

How rude--I should have mentioned that your daughter is darling!


lori said...

awww....your daughter is so adorable. that great smile she has, a lot like her mother's. i thought of her when i attended the summer solstice concert, because it concluded with an irish dance by paul winter's daughter. i watched her, and thought of your daughter. and i loved that, that your life touches mine in that way.

EGunn said...

Glad you are still finding some time, in the middle of the chaos. I'm beginning to accept that, at least for now, there's no end of the craziness in sight. It will get better (please?), but sometimes you just have to keep going anyway. Sounds like you're doing just that!

Younger daughter looks beautiful; I hope her Feis went well.

The socks will be perfect for fall...I love those cables!

It's great that the spinning class is going so well! Have fun with the next round. =)

scienceprincess said...

I knitted one Rivendell sock years ago, but I might need to revisit that pattern after seeing yours.

And younger daughter looks adorable in the wig, even if it is hot :-)

Mary Lou said...

Lovely socks. And Irish Dancer, goofy curls and all. There should be lots of opportunity to use Spanish in San Diego I would imagine. Besides 'driver mom' - we have barely seen any sun here, I found mushrooms in the cracks on my deck.

Mary Lou said...

Lovely socks. And Irish Dancer, goofy curls and all. There should be lots of opportunity to use Spanish in San Diego I would imagine. Besides 'driver mom' - we have barely seen any sun here, I found mushrooms in the cracks on my deck.

Kim said...

Me encanta las fotos de su hijita! Que guapa en su peluca! Suerte con el deber de espanol....

Lynne said...

Younger Daughter does indeed look happy - her dancing smile seems genuine: not one of those fake stage smiles!

I smiled at these words: "Ravelry knows all!" I worked on the stand for the Knittters' Guild yesterday and I, who resisted Ravelry for a long time, was promoting it!

Your socks are gorgeous! I need to cast on some socks for myself. I have never successfully knitted "me" socks; now all my commercial socks are wearing out at the same time and it's winter here!

I agree the only way to learn a language is to use it - I can barely remember any of the Japanese I struggled so hard to learn 2005-2006.

Stell said...

I too ask myself 'when did I become the kind of mum that ....(fill in the appropriate blanks)', life and children make their own plans don't they?
I love the socks, and hand spun as well ... fantastic pattern, fantastic knitting, fantastic hopeful dog nose.

Alwen said...

Oh,man,she is darling! Amazing the stuff we end up doing for our kids.

Ravelry is so handy - I used it to double-check the needle size of a project I brought on vacation, when it outgrew the circular it was on.

We're working our way through Rosetta Stone Dutch, for our trip this fall. I have to say, the kid (almost 12) is whipping his dad and me!

Carrie#K said...

Your socks are cute but not nearly as cute as your daughter! Isn't it funny what life does to us? The things that we never thought would come up.....