Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't pay the Ransom! I escaped!

No, really, I wasn't really kidnapped. I've just been hostage to the lingering effects of the nasty flu that had me dazed, confused and vertically challenged (and from which I am still slowly recovering three and a half weeks later - ugh). Now I am SWAMPED with all the work that got delayed and piled up while I was sick. I have FOUR concerts coming up in early November and a load of NEW music to learn for them, lots of it contemporary artsy stuff, which is both rhythmically and melodically difficult to grasp. AAACK!!!

But don't feel sorry for me. I'm just thankful that my debilitating month-long bout with respiratory histrionics had the decency to situate itself in a period between important artistic engagements and not during the height of my upcoming concert season. All in all, if it had to come, this was a very considerate time for it to choose. Now let's all go and send some lovin' to the Yarn Harlot who is battling the mother of all colds as she heads out for speaking engagements in New Jersey and the annual pilgrimage to Rhinebeck. I feel her pain. Go on. Really. I'll wait here.

So I have done very little knitting since beginning to recover and I still haven't entered anything on Ravelry, though I accepted my personal invitation three whole weeks ago: I am MezzoDiva over there too, but there's nothing to see yet. I am alternately looking forward to and dreading cataloguing my overwhelming stash, among other things. It's very likely I will find more than a few things that will need to be destashed to a loving home... Sigh. So much yarn, so little time to knit.

And blogging has been, well, not so much on the to-do list either for the last few weeks. Heck - I haven't even had the time or energy to post my personal agenda for Socktoberfest 2007. So without further ado, here are my intentions for this wonderful month-long celebration of these amazingly addictive accessories that we make to provide warmth, style and comfort for our feet and the feet of those we love:

- Make a pair of sock that are for ME - and actually keep them this time. (What a concept!)

- Finish the Ravenclaw socks and gather all the extra goodies and mail out the package to my Hogwarts Sock Swap pal.

- Finish the pink socks for my friend Stella (these requested and promised a year ago - sheesh!)

- Develop a sequel to my surprisingly successful Campanula for the Cure campaign, ie: formulate a NEW sock design as a fundraiser for The Weekend to End Breast Cancer 2008 (because I am inexplicably insane enough to do it all again).

- Knit a pair of socks from the cuff down (for the first time ever)and graft the toes (because I really should do this at least once as an exercise). Hmmm... Okay - what with the current time constraints, this one might be a post-Socktoberfest project. But I'm stating it here anyway just to affirm my plan to do this in the not-too-distant future.
Okay. Now for the progress reports:

I did manage to finish a Campanula sock that I am making (gasp!) for myself. No, you can't have them. That's right. You heard me. These are MINE! Just keep your hands where I can see them and step slowly away from the Campanulas, Ma'am. Nice and easy... In the 15 or so months since I began knitting socks, I have made numerous pairs and I still have none just for me. So indulge me.

This was photographed by the marvelous Marla early last night at Knitomatic SnB (which I attended for the first time in a month, and got to see the lovely Lisa who is here visiting from her temporary work posting in Calgary and is the model for the other socks, pictured below). I completed another half pattern repeat and the twisted ribbing for the cuff last night, so all I need to do now is cast off and make another one. Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, it's actually a perfect fit. It's modelled here by the lovely Shelna whose feet are a half size longer and whose ankles and calves are much slimmer than mine are.

And here's the first of the socks I am making for the stellar Stella:

They are Cookie A's Pomatomus pattern, but worked from the toe up with short row tows and heels, and modifications including some gussett increases to compensate for the narrower gauge yarn on size ) (2 mm) needles. This is Regia 4-ply in a brilliant hot pink. Stella is a very outgoing and fun lady, and she requested pink, so she is getting PINK! If she wears these while biking at night she can probably skip the reflective gear.

Ahem: Warning! Spoiler Alert for Patonga Finnegan: If you don't want to see your forthcoming socks, please skip the rest of this post!

I also have a lovely (if I do say so myself) completed pair of Pomatomus to show you. My Hogwarts Sock Swap2 pal, Patonga Finnigan, is in Ravenclaw, so her house colors are blue and bronze (book) or blue and silver (movies), and though she expressed a slight preference for the movie colours, I just had to make these for her. This is a Koigu KPPPM multi (I lost the ball-band so I don't know the number) and I haven't seen anything else like it. With its interplay of blues with bronze, purple and teal and a hint of green, it is possibly the most beautiful colourway I have ever seen - and that's high praise indeed from a self-confessed Koigu addict.I must admit these were a challenge. I almost considered taking a remedial sock-spells elective, but it wouldn’t fit in my class schedule (I would have to drop potions because, unlike Hermione, I can’t be in two classes at the same time).

It wasn't that the pattern gave me trouble. Not at all. The sock spell worked almost too perfectly on the first sock. Then for some inexplicable reason, while whipping up the second sock my wand tension seemed to change dramatically. First it was much too loose and I actually ran out of yarn before the cuff, so I had to rip it back and start over. Then I must have overcompensated and held my wand much too tightly: I couldn’t even get the completed sock onto my foot (and since we are of a similar size I knew she wouldn’t either)... back to the pond.

Ultimately, after several attempts to adjust my wand tension, I believe I finally got it right. They fit me, so I think they will fit her nicely. Now I'm just waiting to receive a couple of things for her package (the muggle mail is SO unreliable), and then they'll be off to Patonga c/o her muggle alter-ego, Ellie) by Express Owl.

BTW - Ellie has a new Etsy shop for her fabulous hand dyed yarns. Go take a look. I bought some recently and it's absolutely gorgeous (and delivery was super speedy).


Carol said...

Canadian muggle mail is particularly bad....

Lisa said...

Nice feet. And socks :P

Ellie said...

I hope you are on the road to recovery. I skipped the bottom part of the post like a good little student. The owl left here last week with your package. Have you sighted her yet?

Suna said...

Wah, I can't see some of the photos. Must be blocked from work. But I am glad you are better--it's rehearsal season here (two choirs, one folk quartet for me), and I am betting you have it worse than I do, since it's your profession!

I wish you luck on the Socktoberfest and with coming up with something fun for next year's KAL.