Friday, November 23, 2012

That time of year

That time of year came around again and kicked me in the rear end, as it always does.  November is, I think, probably my most crazy month of the year, in no small part because my big academic conference always falls the week before Thanksgiving, so I spend the last two weeks of October putting my paper together for the panel discussant, then early November putting together my presentation and my report for the executive board of my conference section, and then mid-November getting to and from the conference (and surviving it), followed immediately by Thanksgiving (17 people to cook for this year, whew!).  In order to get everything done, I am either working my way through the list of things that need to happen for me to make it to today, or, when I get a spare moment, I can decide whether I'm going to spend it with my family, or sleeping, or on the internet.  Guess which two I tend to choose?  Thus, blog silence.

The sad thing is, I find myself writing posts in my head, while I'm doing things like driving through the Mojave at dawn on my way to Tehachapi (that is something that only happens at very specific times of the year - this time, it was the day before the time change, when the sun was still coming up late enough for me to leave the house at 5:30 and get into the desert - an hour and a half away - before the sun could come up over the horizon).  That may become a post someday, actually.  Or while working my way through the heel of one of the pairs of socks I finished; that, too, should be a post.  But as I said, during this month, it's either do things or write about them, and the doing had to come first.

Speaking of doing, I have been doing knitting.

And done.
(Since these were knitted toe-up, I used a reverse heel-flap, with an eye-of-partridge stitch; I like the way those turn out.)
And done.
Almost done.
(I know; it would have been better if I could have said: Done.  But the stitches are picked up for the second sleeve, so I'm on the home stretch.)

Quick information about these.  That first pair of socks (as you no doubt know by this time) is my second pair of Silk Road Socks, my own pattern, which I hope to write up sooner rather than later, now that I have finished knitting them again.  The sole of the second one is different than the first, but I think that it will be clearer to knit (I hope).  It means that I can't submit these to the county fair next year (which I'd thought of doing), since they don't match, but I can live with that (because I'm not going to knit a fifth one of these).  They are knitted out of Spud and Chloe Fine, a wool/silk blend with a lovely sheen.

The second pair of socks is also my own pattern, knitted out of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20, which I love.  I have worn them once, and you may be able to see from the shot of the heel that this yarn definitely shows abrasion, but that's to be expected of a yarn that is a blend of merino/cashmere/nylon (70/20/10).  I can live with that.  It gives the squishy luxurious feeling that I wanted for these socks, of which I'd like to do a series.  This pair is called Long John Socks I, and I'm hoping to get this pattern written up, too (which may happen faster than the other; this is easier to put together).  The basic idea for this is a series of socks all knit toe-up in a squishy stitch pattern, to maximize a skein of luscious yarn.  I've already gotten another skein of the Serenity 20 to start thinking about the next one (at my LYS's Black Friday sale today; the only Black Friday shopping I can imagine doing - and that was crazy enough!).

The hat is a pattern from the latest KnitScene (the Lucy Hat), knitted out of Malabrigo Arroyo, which is another yarn I love.  I did make one modification to this pattern, which you can't see in the picture above - I'll try to get another one for my next post; I picked up stitches on the inside of the hat from the purl bumps left by the color change, and knitted a lining layer so that this would be warmer than it would have been (especially since I was using a finer yarn than that called for in the pattern).  I don't have my needle size and yarn colors up on Ravelry yet, but I do know that I used the needle size called for in the pattern.  I really love this hat, and wore it a ton in San Francisco (where I was for my conference; more on that in another post).

Other things from this month?

Walking on the beach: done.
Spotting starfish: done.
Admiring a hermit crab's home: done.
Spending time with my family: done.

More later, now that I've made it through my crazy month, but for now let me just say happy Thanksgiving to all of you - I hope that your day was as good as mine, a day of plenty, both in food (fine enough), and the company of those you love (the best).