Saturday, September 19, 2009

When life gets in the way of itself...

Does anyone else ever feel like they're being pulled in a gajillion different directions at once? Welcome to my life. When will I learn that I can not, in fact, do it all? Probably never.

Since I last posted, we've survived the start of school, a deluge of lovely bulk-purchased produce and the first nasty cold virus of the season. I've tried to get the house clean and organized, and I've tried without success to claw my way back up onto the FlyLady wagon. I've attempted to get inspired to start baking again... My attempts at domesticity have been limited to canning. And boy, have I been canning!

We got several boxes of produce in a bulk-buy arranged by a friend of a friend. Tomatoes (since the tomatoes on our own plant are still green, and the few that have ripened have had a terrible case of blossom-end rot), peaches and pears. Here's the result:

Canned peach slices, pear sauce, pear nectar, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, bbq sauce and ketchup. Whew! No wonder I haven't had the energy to bake bread.

I've also been doing quite a bit of knitting. I finished the second sock of a pair on our road trip, but with disastrous results. Silly me, I didn't bother to make sure that the gauge on my second sock matched the first (which was knit over a year ago). Oops!

My left foot is a little bit smaller than my right, but good grief. Now I need to decide if I'm going to rip and reknit on bigger needles, try to give it a good hard blocking, or just throw in the towel and decide it wasn't meant to be. The bigger sock is the original Sakura, designed for the Woolgirl sock club and then reknit in solid red for Toe-Up! I thought it would be nice to have my own pair to wear - silly me!

The other two pairs of socks that I knit recently turned out quite a bit better. The first pair are my road socks (knit on the long drive home from Billings, MT, in the Wild Purls yarn that I bought there).

I did these two-at-a-time toe-up on Magic Loop, which is my new favorite technique (I really don't like knitting two socks at once top-down on two circulars, so I'm over the moon about finding a technique that I like for doing two socks at once). The pattern is a variation of a design I did for an upcoming book, which is why the photo doesn't show it in too much detail. They're worsted-weight, so lightning fast, and I've got enough yarn left over to make a pair for one of the kids, too. I did promise to make them some socks once Toe-Up! was finished...

The final pair was my reward for surviving Sock Summit. All the teachers got goodie bags filled with yarn (I think I posted pics of it awhile ago - I'm too hopped up on cold medicine to remember exactly), and I decided to make myself a pair of Changing Lanes socks out of the lovely skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock.

This is a design I did for the Twisted Single Skein club - it will be available to the general public in Feb of 2010. It was originally an anklet pattern to go along with the single skein in the club shipment, but I added an additional repeat of the back-of-heel pattern for these socks since I had plenty of yarn. Here's a close-up of the back (sorry for the blurry - my head feels like a giant cotton ball right now, which also explains the slightly incoherent writing. In the words of Ralph Wiggum..."Me fail English? Unpossible!").

Next up? I'm starting work on my next book project, working title "Indie Socks". It will feature a number of indie dyers of various scales and specialties, including stories about how they practice their art. I'll be designing a sock for each dyer's yarn and I'll talk a bit about how I came up with the idea for each one. Sort of an inside peek into the entire creative process. I got so inspired by Sock Summit and all the fabulous creativity going on, I decided that this had to be my next book. I'll still be working on a textured colorwork book, but that's more for the 2011-2012 timeframe.

My mother-in-law brought us some lemon cheesecake, so I'm off to eat dessert for breakfast. And I wonder why my pants don't fit me anymore!


Blogger msubulldog said...

Sorry about the different-gauge socks. Ack! 2 out of 3 ain't bad, though. :)

Can't wait to hear more about the book(s)--sounds awesome! I think people always like a sneak peek into how things are made, especially when it's their favorite dyers/designers!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your socks!

I heard a tip about blossom end rot that I'm going to try next year. In addition to being from irregular and/or lack of water, it apparently is lack of calcium. A handful of ground up eggshell when you plant is supposed to help. It's worth a try, and I'm doing it next year.


7:44 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

My tomatoes also had a bad case of BEM this year. Apparently adding lime facilitates the uptake of calcium (it may not be an actual deficiency in Ca) but my own solution was to throw the rotten ones under a nearby bush.

11:04 AM  
Blogger The Knifty Knitter said...

I really like those changing lanes socks, beautiful design!

Also can't wait to hear more about your new sock book :)

10:29 AM  

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