29 November 2008

Almost Monkeys FO

In the winter of 2007, TechGirl asked me if I would make her a pair of socks if she lost a lot of weight. I said that of course I would, thinking that it didn't matter if she lost weight - I'd make her a pair of socks anyway. A couple of months later, she told me of her plan to have weight loss surgery. After 20 years of friendship, I knew how much she had struggled with her weight over the years. I was proud of her for making this decision, for doing the research to choose the right procedure, and for having the courage to go through with it.

Well, a year and a half after her surgery, she is wearing a size 4. I don't know exactly what her starting weight was, but I'm sure she's lost well over half her body weight. She looks great!

I kept my promise and made her a pair of socks.

almost monkeys

I based them on the Monkey pattern, though they bear only a slight resemblance. First, I replaced all the purl stitches with knit stitches. Then, because I needed to have an 80 stitch instep, leg, and cuff, I did two of the pattern repeats on the top of the foot and two repeats on the back of the leg, and inserted plain knit stitches in between. Also, I did slip-stitch heel flap, and worked the sock toe-up.

The cuff is a little different than what I usually do too. I did a k3, p2, k1, p2 rib. It turned out pretty nice.

almost monkeys cuff

I will definitely be using that cuff again. It's much more interesting to knit than a 2 x 2 or 1 x 1 rib.

My intention was to have the socks done in time for TechGirl's birthday in early October. Due to the Peacock Shawl I gave to my mom, I ended up not getting the socks finished and sent off until early November. She's had them for a couple of weeks now and says she likes them. I really hope they fit. I'm used to making socks for myself and my brother - trying to fit someone long distance is a little more difficult when they can't try them on.

Here are the details:
Pattern: Almost Monkeys
Yarn: Regia Kaffe Fassett in Mirage Storm
Needles: 40" size 1 Addis
Started: 8/25/08
Finished: 10/19/08
Mods: see above
Notes: This is the first time I've used a Regia yarn. It was a bit scratchy at first, but I got used to it after a while. I think it will wear really well. The colors didn't pool much at all. Overall, I was pleased. I'd use it again - good thing because I have another two skeins in the stash in a different colorway.

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16 November 2008

Adventures in cab riding

Oh what an adventure I've had this morning. I'm in San Antonio for some meetings. The first one was yesterday afternoon, the second one was this morning at 8:00. At 7:00, my coworker, J, and I called a cab to take us from the Holiday Inn where we were staying, near the airport, to the Hilton downtown, where my meeting was taking place. The cab showed up, we got in, and then the fun began. See, there's a marathon going on in downtown San Diego this morning and the city has blocked off almost all streets leading into downtown. I was initially optimistic that the cab driver would be able to get us to the hotel, because cab drivers tend to know all the back ways around the towns in which they work, and because one of my cab drivers from yesterday said that the road in front of the hotel would be open during the marathon.

Well, after driving around for 45 minutes, he gave up and told us that the nearest he could get us to the hotel was 5 or 6 blocks away. No biggie - it's a nice day and neither J nor I minded walking. However. I needed to leave the hotel by 10:00 in order to get to the airport in time for my noon flight home. The streets were going to be blocked until noon. I started to worry that a cab would not be able to pick me up to take me to the airport on time.

So I thought about it and thought about it, and made an executive decision - drop off J so that she could get to the exhibit hall (she and I were at the same conference, but for different reasons, and she isn't leaving until tomorrow morning), and ask the cab driver to take me directly to the airport. I called one of the people involved in the meeting I was supposed to be attending and told her I wouldn't be there. She said there were others who couldn't get to the hotel either, so I didn't feel so bad. Thankfully, the group I was meeting with was the same group I met with yesterday, and I was really there in a PR capacity for my company. They could meet without me.

So here I am, 1-1/2 hours down, a little over one hour left to go before they start boarding. Thank heavens the San Antonio airport has free Wifi (Dallas does not - what is UP with that?!?). In another 8 hours, I should be comfortably ensconced in my recliner at home, all of this work travel and customer visits of the last 3 months a faint memory. Life can soon get back to normal (whatever that is).


12 November 2008

WiP Wednesday

It's been quite a while since I did a WiP post. Since the last time, I started and finished a secret project, started and finished a not-so-secret project that is currently blocking (pictures forthcoming), and started three other projects.

First up is the February Lady Sweater. Yes, I have hopped on the ever-widening bandwagon.

FLS in progress

I haven't had the best luck at sweater knitting in the past, but when I saw this pattern, it looked easy enough that I thought it would be a good way to "start over from scratch" in the sweater knitting department. Top down so I can try it on as I go? Cool. No seaming? Awesome. And as icing on the cake, I actually got gauge! I almost never get gauge in any project.

Next is a sock for Socks for Soldiers.

SFS sock

I joined this organization this time last year, and have had the yarn to knit the socks for almost as long. It's been a busy knitting year, and I just didn't get around to starting my first pair until a few weeks ago. I am planning a much longer post on my somewhat frustrating experience with this whole Socks for Soldiers thing, but I want to get a few pairs under my belt first.

And, yes, those are dpns. For my first pair, I wanted to knit them exactly to pattern, which meant using dpns instead of my preferred magic loop.

Lastly (for the active WiPs anyway - we won't talk about the hibernating ones), I am making one of these for a friend.


Most normal people could finish a small stuffed animal in a few hours. Not me. I'm just hoping to have it finished in a couple of weeks.

So there you have it - the stuff I'm working on right now. Next week I may have a new WiP for you, as I am getting ready to start a baby blanket for my cousin.

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09 November 2008

New kitties

Wendy and I went to the Lawrence Humane Society yesterday to pick out a couple new cats for her and Pete. After the pain of Bob's death, Wendy was ready to bring in new cats, with the hope that having new little fur-people to take care of would distract from her grief.

I hadn't been to the Humane Society since I adopted Abbey 8 years ago, but I remembered the layout well enough to be able to direct her through the building, past the dogs, to the cat room without seeing and hurting for the dogs (it is gut-wrenching to see the dogs in cages - it makes me want to rescue all of them).

After looking at all the adult cats, Wendy went back to one of the cages near the door to the cat room. There was a pair of male cats in the cage that had to be adopted together because they were brothers. Neither of us thought much about them when we first saw them because they were both lounging toward the back of the cage and didn't come to front when we were looking at them. I don't know what made Wendy open the cage door, but when she did, the two cats ran up to her and just smothered her, rubbing their faces on hers, hugging her, and purring. That pretty much decided it. A half-hour later, we were taking home Paolo (named after Paolo Di Canio - the greatest West Ham English football player ever) and Churchill (after, you guessed it, Winston Churchill). They're both 5 years old. Paolo is of average size and grey; Churchill is HUGE and is white and grey tabby. Both are just the most precious things ever. So sweet and affectionate. These are two very lucky kitties. They could not have been adopted by more loving and devoted parents. I didn't get pictures of them, as they were too busy wandering around their new home to stay still long enough for a picture. I'll post some pics when I get some.

Knitting content in the next post, I promise.


04 November 2008

I sure did!



And can I say how proud I am of Shane? He voted for the first time today.