Saturday, June 24, 2006

Jaywalking Lizard

Well, okay, so the lizard isn't jaywalking. And he doesn't color-coordinate at all well with my first pair of Grumperina's Jaywalker socks (though you will note that this pair of socks go passably well with his towel-of-the-day).

I'm quite fond of the Eye of Partridge stitch when making heels in variegated yarn, as you can see here (click the photo to see a larger image):

In case you don't want to skip to last week's blog entries to find out what yarn this is, it is's Sock Memories, in Rocky Mountain Dusk. This 100% merino yarn is quite lovely to feel as the fabric grows in your hand. The socks themselves are very comfortable. They are shorter than I usually make my socks, but there was also a little less yarn (195 yds to the 50 gm hank) than I'm used to. I could (and shall next time, when I use KP's Yukon or Red Wood Forest) make them an inch or so longer.

Now, I just have to wait for temperatures to fall below scorching to give these socks their first outing!

Monday, June 19, 2006

No scarves, no butts, just part of a sock. And tattoos.

All of the socks I have knitted have followed the same pattern, only the yarn and needle sizes changed. I work K1, P1 rib for 9 inches, work the heel flap, turn the heel and work the gusset, and do the foot in stockinette stitch for 7-8 inches, then decrease for the toes, and graft them together with the Kitchener stitch.

Sometimes I make it real exciting by doing the Eye of Partridge pattern on the heel flap instead of the usual *sl1, k1* on the right side, and a sl1, purl back.

I have lots of sock patterns I've collected, but haven't made any of them because I make socks as a sort of therapy, helping to relieve pain, something I do when I'm doing something else, like reading (a book, or news or blogs on the computer) or watching TV. Or, reading and watching TV. Or in class, where I listen, answer or ask questions, and take notes.

So, keeping socks simple also means I can do other stuff while I'm making socks, which is why I haven't done socks with multiple yarns, or slip stitch patterns, or lacey cabley patterns.

After 3 years, I need a change.
Fortunately, I bookmarked Grumperina's Jaywalker sock pattern. I finally really read the pattern yesterday and found that, aside from the confusion of it being written for smaller needles than I usually use, and written for four needles (I prefer three), the pattern is just two rows! That means I can easily memorize it and make it while doing other stuff!

Since a new sock pattern is something special, it deserves a new yarn. Quite a while ago, I bought a couple of colorways of
Knit Pick's Sock Memories 100% merino sock yarn. I'm making this first pair of Jaywalkers in Rocky Mountain Dusk.

The chevron pattern is just starting to emerge, below the 1" of K2, P2 ribbing and the fabric is feeling absolutely yummy:

Along with covering my tired, worn, and numb (can you spell peripheral neuropathy?) toes, my socks also cover two of my tattoos:

On the left (which is really the right) you see my marine mammal/ocean sphere tattoo, and the calligraphy lines on the right (which is really the left). Not seen, because they dwell in different, uh, ecosystems, are my tropical rainforest (macaw on flowering tree branch) and temperate rainforest (stooping bald eagle) tattoos.

Some will note the absence of a reptile tattoo. I just never found a design I really liked. During a talk given, many years ago, by herper and animal wrangler Julian Sylvester, he showed a slide of a gaboon viper that was just exquisitely marked. Now, a design like that, running down my spine, from C1 down to my tail bone, would be quite lovely. Well, lovelier before I got sick and, uhm, old.

Ah, well, that's another purpose served by making socks and scarves and blanket squares and things: it helps sublimate the residual frustration of losing the me that I once was.

Missing your daily lizard fix? Check out Always out of step...

(And, yes, my mother would be horrified that I got tattooed. She probably is horrified, twirling around in her crypt, making room for a few more bodies. Hi, mom!)

June 21 Update...

Look! Sock update and lizard fix, all in one!

Here's a close-up of the sock, where you can see more of the Eye of Partridge heel:

By the way, you did know that you can click on any of the photos in my blogs to see the full-sized image, right?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

No scarves, just socks and a butt.

I spent some 20 hours in CERT training in May and June. During the lecture part of the classes, I, of course, knit. My project of choice for classes and lectures is socks. I completed two socks, one each in two different yarns. On June 6, election day, I started a companion sock to the red/orange/yellow/brown/blue one seen below, as well as knit up some blanket squares for the Sonoma Blanket Project.

I actually do not like the red/orange/yellow/... yarn, and so, while I was working on the foot part, I decided to give them to Karen, who said she liked the yarn. Since her foot is longer than mine, that is a decision I need to make before I get to the end of the foot!

Tonight, Tobago, my little (full grown) Vietnamese leaf turtle, was standing on her rock enclosure for some reason - perhaps because I emptied out her "pond" and refilled it, and the water ran around the western part of her enclosure, including into her 'cave'. Or, perhaps it was because she decided that a third worm would be quite nice for dessert. Anyway, since she already had at least one worm (which is her usual semi-daily feed), and possibly two (I don't know for sure whether Worm #1 got away or whether 'Bago ate it faster than usual), there was no way she was going to get a third.

So, I moved her pond around, and placed her in front of her other 'cave'. She immediately went in and hasn't emerged since.

The little flecks of beige on the soil are various types of grass seeds from a pasture mix I periodically toss in there and mix around in her soil. In a few weeks, there will be some sparse green shoots in there, which she will trample down. Ah, life's cycle of renewal and destruction.

Okay, here's the obligatory lizard shot:

Taken with the camera's night backflash on, this gives a bedded down Mike a rather dreamy look, don't you think? His rostral scales shed last week, and his bottom 'lip' is white and so should shed soon. Other white patches are forming on his head, so he's going to be real happy camper as his shed progresses. (Can you spell crankyassed?)

For those of you who haven't met Tobago before, here's a shot of her other end.