Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pacific Northwest Love

I have two unlces who have served in the Navy. One is retired. One is still active duty. At one time, both of them were stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. And so over the years, we have all spent some time visiting the Pacific Northwest. And we all love it up there. After my first trip, I came home and started looking for jobs in Seattle (life on an island would have driven me crazy, but having family close by made relocating across the country seem like a good idea).

My mom's favorite thing about Washington is the ferry ride. She can't visit her brother without spending some time on a ferry. She could probably spend all day riding on the ferries, without going anywhere in particular.

This is a particularly hard time of year for my mom. My Grandpop's birthday, the anniversary of his death, my Nanny's birthday, the anniversary of her death, and their wedding anniversary all fall between January 11 and February 14. And it's only a year since my Nanny's death. So, I thought she needed something pretty and fun. On Nan's birthday, I sent her flowers at work. And I started working on a special project for her.

I had some gorgeous yarn from Sundara's Petals Collection just itching to be knit up. And I ordered Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road through interlibrary loan, knowing it had just the right pattern in it.

Friday Harbor socks. Designed to reflect the wake of the ferries around the San Juan Islands. I set a new record for myself with these socks. Knit up in a little over one week. (Previous socks have taken me months to finish.)

The yarn is Lenten Rose from Sundara Yarns Petals Collection. A gorgeous purple and grey. I gave them to my mom a few days after my Nanny's birthday, and told her the name of the pattern, the inspiration for it, and that the yarn came from Seattle. She called me at work the next day to say she had planned her outfit for work specifically so that she could wear these socks, and proceded to show them to all of her co-workers and to tell them the story of the yarn and the pattern. Most of all, she couldn't get over how soft and warm they were.

This was only the second time I did something other than a short row heel. I hate picking up stitches and avoid it whenever I can. But I was trying to stick with the pattern here and finally got it. The second heel turned out better than the first, but I think only I would notice it. (Or my mom is too nice to point it out.) The pattern called for ribbing on the soles of the socks, but the picture in the book shows pain stockinette stitch, and I decided to go with the picture for speed's sake. I had a few other issues with the pattern, for example, the number of repeats called for would have resulted in a HUGE sock. So, I just stopped when I got to the magic "two inches before the toe" place.

I go back and forth on gettting my own copy of this book. I'm not a big fan of lacy socks, and a lot of these socks are lacy patterns. My feet tend to get very cold, and I need my socks for warmth. Lacy holes, to me, defeat the purpose of socks. I didn't realize until I started knitting and really looked at the charts for these socks that they were lacy (the picture just looks like cables). But, interlibrary loan is my friend. And the ILL person at my library doesn't mind reordering books for me, if I decide, months after initially looking at a book, that there was one pattern in there I want to take a second look at.

So, inspired by how quickly I got these done, I'm trying to get a few more pairs done for myself before the cruise (espeically since they specifically recommend bringing wool socks). So, once I finish the blanket and sweater for my cousin to be (ETA, Friday, February 16), I'll get cracking on those.

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