First of all, thank you to everyone who extended their well wishes to DF's family and me over the past week. It was very much appreciated. We returned from Ohio last night in a haze, so I guess that means we're back to our regularly scheduled programming.
When we last left off, I was traveling and having a fantastic time (an anomaly for travels involving work, I must admit). I hopped up to San Francisco for the week and managed to make it to TWO knitting related events: Chicks with Sticks and Knit and Wine at Urban Knitting Studio. The ladies (and gentleman!) at Chicks with Sticks were very open and friendly and two are even fellow knitbloggers. Cristina has tagged me for a meme (I swear I'll get to it) and Beth made sure I didn't get lost on the way back to my hotel (she also managed to find a way to stretch a turkey from here to Friday). Go check out Cristina's and Beth's blogs to find out what the heck I'm talking about.
The Urban Knitting Studio hosted a great little get together. The owner Helen has fabulous taste in yarns and I've never seen that kind of selection of yarns before. Helen stocks more than just the standard Debbie Bliss/Rowan/Cascade mix, so if you're in the SF area, go by and check out her store. I managed to extend the non-yarn purchasing stretch just a bit longer. I scored back issues of IK (Fall 2004) VK (spring/summer 2004, winter 2004/2005) and Rebecca (25) for half off. I also picked up Rowan 37 for full price, but the LYS around here don't have any in stock, so I figured that was a find. I'm not sure that I actually like the Fall 2004 IK, but since it was sold out on the IK site, I figured that it must be a commodity of some sort. Heck, if I didn't already own the FBS pattern, it would have been cheaper to buy the whole magazine at this price rather than just the pattern anywhere else. I may put it up for trade at some point, but I'm debating about trying to collect the whole library of IK magazines...
Since I had the opportunity to stay in SF for an ENTIRE WEEK, I did get a chance to breathe a sigh of relief at the return of common sense. For example, when your parents told you as a young child to look both ways before crossing the street, what did they tell you to do in the following scenarios?
At a crosswalk with cars coming:
a. step out in the street and hope the cars have good enough brakes (which are never required to be formally inspected by the state) so that they can slow down from twice the speed limit to zero within 20 feet
b. wait for cars to pass, then cross
At a red light with no cars coming:
a. wait for walk signal, then cross assuming that all the cars who run the light will swerve to get out of your way
Not at a crosswalk with no cars coming:
a. Walk over two blocks to find a crosswalk and step out into traffic
I'm happy to report that pedestrians in SF tend to choose B in most of the above scenarios. I can't vouch for LA pedestrians.
Speaking of the road rules, I did manage to finish DF's birthday present and only be a few hours late!
Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Materials: Vesper Sock Yarn by Knitterly Things (100% merino wool, 440 yards). 1 skein in Neapolitan (test batch so it's different from what's available now) gifted from Keohinani. 2 Size US1 Addi Turbo circular needles (24", 32")
Gauge: 10.5 sts/in in pattern
Finished size: 8" circumference, didn't measure length of foot and cuff, but fits SNUGLY on DF's size 11 feet
Started: December 26, 2005
Finished: January 29, 2006
Worked as 2 socks on 2 circs. Cast on 38 sts with Turkish cast on and turned short row toe (decreased to 20 sts unwrapped). Knit one round across cast on row and toe sts then increased evenly around to a total of 84 sts. Worked in stitch pattern as for larger size. When length looked "right", turned short row heel on half of the sts (decreased to 16 sts unwrapped) and continued in pattern. Started ribbing when DF complained the yarn left over wouldn't be enough to make ribbing as long as he'd like. Kept going until I ran out of yarn.
I think I get why everyone in blogland is making a pair of these. First of all, they count for my J in the Sock-A-Month KAL (thanks Chrissy for posting these pics for me in time). More importantly, they really show off self-striping yarns and make it look like you did a whole lot more work than you really did.
For the knitpicky (ahem, *me*) there were some things I thought worth pointing out. First of all, I still can't quite close up the hole at the ankles when turning a short row heel. The toes don't have this problem, but it's a whole lot more noticeable on the heel. SEE?
If you didn't notice so much from the picture above, somebody up there decided to align the sun, the moon, and the stars so that the striping went completely uninterrupted across the cuff and the instep despite not doing an afterthought heel. Makes the OCD knitter in me extremely happy. And for the thrifty knitter, the beauty of knitting toe-up:
Yes, that's less than 1/2 yard of leftover yarn. A word of caution though, binding off takes a whole lot more yarn than you think it will, especially if you go up a needle size to avoid the tourniquet effect. I thought I had enough for one more round before the bind off, but the bind off ended up taking what seemed like twice as much yarn. So I had to tink back ON THE NIGHT OF DF's BIRTHDAY. I tell you, if it weren't for that, they wouldn't have been done on time!
Clearly, I didn't really follow the pattern as written, but I'm still calling them Jaywalkers!
I'll leave you with one last pic of how DF feels about his new socks...