Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It Is Supposed to Be the Summer of Socks

Well, I started out strong. My first pair of socks done in just under two weeks. A second pair started right away and going strong. Then I got side tracked.

My cousin is expecting her first baby in October. In June, her husband was offered a position in one of his company's foreign offices. Offered is a polite term. There really isn't a choice if he wants his career to keep moving. So this moved up the baby shower time line to mid-August (Dad-to-Be is moving this weekend, New Mama is staying here to have the baby).

Two little hats for the new little one. The blue is the Pea Pod hat from IK. What a great pattern. And I even made it from the recommended yarn. When one of my local shops closed, she had a going out of business sale and I bought up all she had of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in this color.

The bumble bee hat is based on my favorite baby hat, made with Plymouth Wildflower. There's not real pattern. Just random striping. My cousin really liked it because it turns out black and yellow are her college colors. I just picked them because she's not finding out if she's having a boy or a girl.

Speaking of which, here's my new entry for Summer of Socks.

(Pardon the kinda crappy picture...these are someone else's design, and I was trying to get the color of the yarn, without giving away the pattern, which is a really great pattern...look for it in the SoS Design Contest.) A pair of socks, one pink, one blue, for the New Mama to wear at the hospital. These (obviously) were not ready for the shower. But I'll be seeing her this weekend, right after Dad-to-Be leaves for foreign shores. So, even if she doesn't want to wear mismatched socks, hopefully they will make her smile.

The yarn is the Knit Picks Color Your Own that I dyed while reading Harry Potter. I'm really excited about how it came out. If I didn't already have so much sock yarn, I'd get some more and stock up on Kool-Aid. And I have enough left to make a pair of baby Jaywalkers in each color.

After these are done, I'm going to try and go gangbusters on some socks for me again. After the cool weather last week, I'm really feeling the need to have at least 5 pairs of handknit socks for the approaching cooler seasons.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

It started raining yesterday and continued all through today. It's damp and chilly. The usual capri pants and Birks that I wear almost every day just weren't cutting it today. That, coupled with a staffing crisis at work, could really have started my week off badly. But not so.

The cool weather was a perfect opportunity to wear newly finished Bird of Paradise socks. Anytime the grey got to me today, I just slipped off my shoes and looked at my socks. Happiness!

These are not Summer of Socks socks. I finished them in late May, maybe. The yarn is Sundara Yarn Bird of Paradise, from the Petals Collection. The pattern is the one included with the yarn. I started these socks while we were on our Tall Sails and Ales cruise. The yarn attracted lots of great comments while I was knitting. The captain of the boat asked if the yarn came with its own batteries. While knitting on the plane, a woman commented on how much she loved the colors. The guy she was traveling with said he couldn't believe they let me on the plane "with those things." I told him they actually let me on with 10, since I had another sock in progress in my bag.

Anyway, it was rainy and a Monday, but I had Happy Feet!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Drinking Our Way through Belgium, Eating Our Way Through the Village

Geek Boy and I have had some fun culinary experiences this week. When we took the class with Lew Bryson at the Fermentation School, we put ourselves on the waiting list for the Belgian Beers 101 class. Tuesday afternoon, Geek Boy got a call that two spots had opened up. So, Wednesday night we headed back downtown (driving this time, since it was close to 100 that day). The class was led by Volker Stewart, one of the founding owners of The Brewer's Art in Baltimore. He offered a great selection of beers and lots of great information about the brewing tradition in Belgium.

Most interesting was a conversation we had before class. Geek Boy mentioned that we had been to Lew Bryon's class and Volker mentioned that he and Lew had similar career paths. They had both started out as librarians! I think I may have a new career goal.

Today, Geek Boy faced his fears about public transportation and New York city. We headed to New York and met up with some friends for a food tour of Greenwich Village. Oh, it was so good. We got to sample several pizzas, Italian pastries, cookies, cheese and olives, bread, olive oil and gyros. We came home with fresh coffee and some great olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We got there a little early, and came across this place:

Too funny.

The train ride was great for getting some knitting done. And I did take some photos of the sock on location (our friends actually got the point of saying, "Hey, you need a picture of the sock here!"). Pictures will be posted when the pattern is ready.

Some other random bits. A big thanks to Tina for her suggestion to try Dogfish Head's Festina Peche. I was out with my mom yesterday, and we stopped at the best beer distributer within driving distance in our state. And they had a variety pack of Dogfish Head. I came home and put a bunch in the fridge right away. I'm not a big fan of their IPAs (I'm not a big fan of IPAs in general...the intense hops flavor makes them taste like potpourri to me). But this is wonderful. A great hot weather beer. Thanks, Tina!

And if you're looking for a reason to tip one back, or just take a swig of whatever is most refreshing to you, head on over to The Fairy GodKnitter, and read her beautiful tribute to her neighbor. It's late and it's been a long day, so I'm just having a Vitamin Water in Norma's honor.