Grand Prix Knitting

Today we’re leaving for Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix. So…what kind of knitting DOES one bring to a racetrack? Answer #1: Socks (2 pairs). I’m packing the Gentleman’s Socks with Lozenge Pattern (which I’m making with the lovely Schaefer Anne yarn). These aren’t a quick knit…The yarn is light fingering weight, and my brain is having a hard time grasping the pattern. Don’t ask me why.

So, for mindless pleasure, I’m also packing the plain old stockinette pair I cast on this week, using Online (summer colors, wool/cotton/nylon). Not my typical yarn choice, but the colors are pretty, aren’t they?

And–ta da!–my “major” project (though also somewhat mindless): The Chevron Scarf.

After much debating and playing with my stash, I’ve decided upon the Cherry Blossom yarn I bought from Sundara (love it…that chocolate color is so rich against the peachy pink) and the brown/charcoal Koigu I’ve been messing around with for a year. Funny: Last year at Indy I was working on Jaywalkers with it! But I ripped them out. Must have been Bad Yarn Karma (BYK).

We’re off this afternoon…”leavin’ on a jet plane,” for 6 days in Indy and the best freakin’ steak dinner in the WORLD at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Their shrimp cocktail (shrimp in Indianapolis???) is TO DIE FOR. Honestly! And, of course, the lyrical rumble and whine of Formula One engines, the smell of oil and tires in the sun, and–hopefully–a podium that doesn’t include Raikonnen or Hamilton ;-) Oh, Juan Pablo Montoya…Why did you leave F1? I’ll miss you this weekend. Sigh.

Oh, by the way, here’s a little something I whipped up one evening…It’s a felted iPod holder, with room for the earbuds and cord. The closure is a crocheted flower “button” with I-cord loop. It’s very water resistant, and strong enough to protect my Pod in the black hole of my purse. I’ll post the pattern if anyone’s interested.

Have a happy weekend everyone! I’ll post some pix when I get back. A bientot!

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Secret Garden

If you keep your eyes open when you walk around the District, you’ll see many beautiful little nooks and crannies like this. My grandmother would have said these are the places where fairies live.

On another note: The thing about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is that it saps your ability and desire to do anything at all. And focusing or concentrating can sometimes be a real chore. Unfortunately, my health has been declining a bit in this area…I’m pushing myself way too hard.

That’s why the Gentleman’s Socks with Lozenge Pattern are taking me a bit longer than usual…I’ve been feeling particularly ill, so I’m not enjoying keeping track of the knit/purl pattern. Too much counting involved, and I keep losing my place. For now, I may just cast on a plain old sock–the kind I can knit without having to count anything at all.

Well, there’s lots of rest in my immediate future (like, this weekend!). I hope yours is relaxing, as well, and that you have lots of time to do the things you enjoy with the people you love. Happy Friday!

One sock, two sock…

I promised photos of waving lace, sock #1…

As I’ve said, I finished this sock, then needed to cast on for a gift (which you’ll see below). These are made with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Watercolor. Overall impressions after my first sock with this yarn: I miss the glossiness of most other sock yarns–LL is very “matte.” But it’s also incredibly comfortable because it’s stretchier…kind of hugs your feet.

As for color, all the LL colorways are delicious, but the striping and pooling drives me mad. I know, I know, I’m supposed to switch from one ball to another every couple of rows to prevent that, but this is a “purse project,” one I’ll knit on the bus, in the park, during spare minutes here and there. Not only would switching balls be inconvenient, I just don’t have the patience to fiddle around like that. I’ll definitely use LL again, but probably in a solid or semi-solid colorway.

Here’s a top-down view next to the little invalid.

To be honest, I’m really concerned about Maggie. The vet said that if she continues to have these “attacks” of rasping open-mouthed breathing, the next step would be to sedate her and go down into her throat for a look. Antihistamines seem to have helped, as does running the A/C to clean the air (we don’t have an air cleaner yet), so I was hopeful that it was all allergy related. But early this morning, at 3:30 a.m., she came up to my pillow purring loudly and breathing through her mouth again.

The purring might seem to be a good sign, but it’s not. Cats purr for many reasons, including when they’re sick or injured. And I know Maggie well enough to tell one purr from another. Also, the look in her eyes isn’t right. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll probably have to take her back to the vet. OK, if I keep writing about this I’m going to cry, so I’ll just change the subject and keep you posted.

So. Let’s get back to socks. As promised, here’s the Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern I cast on last weekend for my step-dad…

The yarn is Schaefer “Anne,” and I love it! The transluscent color, depth of shades, mohair and nylon content (for strength), washability (it’s superwash wool!), delicate weight, and generous yardage (560 yards in each skein). Anne does have a tendency to split if you’re not careful, but I love it, so it’s worth a bit of vigilance.

A POLITICAL ASIDE (Stop reading here if you’re easily offended.)
Speaking of vigilance…You know, ever since Sept. 11, 2001, that guy in the White House says Amerrkins need to “be vigilant.” (Oh, how I wish I could WRITE the inflection he uses when he says “vigilant.” But I’ll have to trust that to your imagination.) As does the Dept. of Homeland Security (ugh!) and every other official administration under the sun. Vigilance, vigilance, vigilance.

The administration is trying to make us feel “empowered,” so we’ll believe that, as individuals, we have any measurable control over maniacal attacks (key word: measurable…I know we’re not entirely powerless). Well, in my opinion, we don’t. Somewhere, sometime, something is going to happen, and there’s probably not a whole hell of a lot the person like me, sitting on a Metro bus to Georgetown, can do about it, unless I spot a suspicious package that turns out to be more than someone’s discarded water bottle.

Well…Ever since I met Chris, he’s always said, “I love you. Be careful,” when I go out. Now that I’m working from home, he’s the one leaving the house early in the morning, and if I can drag myself out of bed, I’ll lock the door behind him so I can give him a kiss goodbye. But these days, our exchange is a little different: “I love you. Be vigilant.”

Strange how that came to mind while describing sock yarn! But maybe there’s an important lesson in there somewhere…I may not be able to stop some crazy person from doing the unthinkable, but by being vigilant I can sure as hell control whether or not my size 0 needles split my sock yarn. Suddenly, I feel so empowered.

PINK

These six-inch beauties startled me when I was walking to work last Thursday…I looked to my left and there they were, in all their glory. So the next day, I tossed my camera into my bag before leaving the house, so I could share their raspberry-ice deliciousness with you.

CAT EMERGENCY O’ THE MONTH
We came home last night to find Maggie breathing through her open mouth, making a horrible rasping sound, and we both thought her lips looked blue-ish. So I turned on the A/C–the District is an allergy diaster zone–and called the city’s one and only animal emergency room. When they heard what was going on, they said to bring her in immediately. You see, Maggie has a heart murmur, so heart failure is always a scary possibility.

Without hesitation, as soon as I asked, our wonderful, wonderful friends Erika and Karida were on their way to drive us up to the vet, then they stayed to drive us home. True friendship, in my book. After x-rays and exam, the vet couldn’t find a reason for M’s symptoms. (Of course, M ceased all odd behavior as soon as we walked in the hospital door.)

Because the A/C seemed to have helped a little, probably by filtering the air, she could only assume M’s “attack” was due to allergies, which she’s had before, but not seriously. So home we went, with antihistamines in hand. By the time we got home, it was after 9 p.m., and we were both absolutely wiped out.

I swear, sometimes I think this cat is going to be the death of me.

BACK TO KNITTING…
Since this is a knitting blog, I thought I’d also mention that I finished Waving Lace sock #1, and really love it. Last Saturday I went to Stitch DC and picked up a really beautiful skein of Schaeffer “Anne” sock yarn for my step-dad’s socks. Chris’ final pattern choice was Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern, from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

Between work, my sprained knee, M’s emergency-of-the-month, and an overall sense of exhaustion, I haven’t been very good about writing or taking and posting photos lately. To those of you who keep coming back anyway, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU for bearing with me. I love sharing ideas and experiences, and hearing about yours, too, so I’ll try to be more consistent from now on.

For now, though, I’ll just say: I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful weekend with lots of sun, fun, and time for knitting!