Take Me Out

Traveling Sock celebrated Father’s Day by going to the ballpark.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

It was a beautiful day for a game. Especially when the home team won 6-0. Sorry, Camden.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

The Long Island Ducks are my favorite baseball team, because they are a semi-pro team that play in a reasonably-sized stadium where you can see what’s happening on the field no matter where your seat, because you will not go bankrupt buying crackerjacks, because the first base coach (Buddy Harrelson, for you Mets fans out there) will sit at a table during the fourth inning and sign autographs for kids, because half of the starting lineup is from the Island and I like supporting my community, and because the mascot is a gigantic duck.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

Since it was Father’s Day, Quackerjack’s dad Papa jack flew up from Florida to join him (get it?) Their antics never fail to amuse.

I didn’t get much knitting done, since I was coated in sunscreen and still somehow managed to get burned in a few spots. But it was a great afternoon. I love a good ballgame.

The Return of the Traveling Sock

Traveling Sock took a little trip today. My friend Vhary has been in town this week (in advance of a move out to San Francisco for grad school) and we met up today in the city and wandered around the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, as I had never been there before and Vhary felt it necessary to rectify this.

I took some pictures, as one does.

St. John's Cathedral 5/28/11

St. John's Cathedral 5/28/11

I love grand cathedrals and churches, and I had a wonderful time wandering in all the chapels and corners with Vhary. Afterwards, she agreed to hold the Traveling Sock for me while we were walking around the grounds:

St. John's Cathedral 5/28/11

(This was supposed to be March’s socks. I’m a little behind.)

Once the heat got to be too much, we repaired to a coffee shop and had lunch and lingered over coffee and tea, and then we went to Knitty City, to look at the yarn and the colors. Now, Vhary can knit, but she doesn’t do it often. Her hobby is blues dancing, which is a horse of a slightly different color. But she fell in love with this yarn:


so she bought it, and I am going to make her a shawlette. We discussed patterns briefly. I had one of my Simple Things with me, which she liked but declared not lacy enough. She was fond of the sample Shetland Triangle[rav link] hanging up, but I’m thinking this is not a good yarn for that pattern. Anyone have suggestions, before I hit the Rav pattern database?

Yes, I bought myself yarn too. It’s Madtosh.

Madtosh Lace

You are not surprised.

Old Mr Kringle, he’s soon gonna jingle…

So I have had to prioritize a great deal this month. Basically? Christmas knitting won over everything else. (Well, that and baking. There was a lot of baking, too.)

I also purchased gifts, like this one:

Meeting Ina Garten

That would be Traveling Sock, waiting with me on line to get Ina Garten to autograph her new cookbook for my Mom. (It’s not a surprise, so I can talk about it; Mom knows it’s under the tree, I’m just making her wait until Saturday morning to open it.) I told Ina that my Mom and I love that she cooks like a regular Joe, measuring straight into the bowl with her carton of milk out on the counter, and she laughed and thanked me, and then Traveling Sock and I went on our way.

That was two weeks ago, and I have only just finished one sock, because there’s been so much else to get done. Here, I’ll brag a little, because I’m rather proud of these:

Becky's Mittens

These are part of my sister’s present, and they took forever, and there’s a story to them. Once she’s had a chance to open them I’ll tell you.

In the meantime… all the cookies have been baked. The lights are all aglow. Presents are (almost all) wrapped, and the tree is trimmed and waiting:


If you’re celebrating this weekend, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Feel the Burn

Traveling Sock went to the beach today.

Traveling Sock Goes To The Beach

While Traveling Sock sat back and enjoyed the view, its knitter braved the waves and wiped out several times. (Strong surf, today!) She then proceeded to acquire a delightfully tender patch of sunburn on her left knee. The sock is not sympathetic, because clearly the knitter should have paid more attention when she reapplied her sunscreen.

The knitter had such a nice time that she’ll put up with it. Next time she will be more conscientious about her sunscreen.


I’ve got a backlog of things blocked and finished to show you…

Traveling Sock

…but the Traveling Sock and I are in Vermont until tomorrow, soaking up the beautiful views. Traveling Sock says hi, by the way.

Traveling Sock Kicks Off 2010

The Traveling Sock and I went out to Lancaster with my friend Melissa and her husband today, because Melissa was showing two of her pictures in a show.

The Sock loves to hang with celebrities. So I made Melissa take a picture with it:

Traveling Sock Goes To An Art Show

(That’s one of her photographs behind her, in the black & white frame. It’s one of my favorites of all her work.)

Melissa’s a terrific photographer — she took all the photographs for Holly & Ivy and October Leaves. Her pro website is at MelissaJaarsma.com, and if you’re in the Philly area and need a photographer, you should keep her in mind. Tell her Abbie sent you, and congratulate her on an awesome show.


The Traveling Sock is not going out today.

Traveling Sock watches the nor'easter

This is because there is a nor’easter raging outside. When I took that picture a few hours ago it was just flurries, but now the wind is howling and the trees are creaking to and fro. The radio is using words like “blizzard warning” and “possible whiteout conditions” and urging everyone to stay home, so after a brief run down the street this afternoon for provisions (provisions meaning shampoo, wrapping paper, and a bottle of Bailey’s) I am all tucked in where it’s warm. My plans involve knitting and wrapping and after dinner that Bailey’s is going into my cocoa.

Since Traveling Sock doesn’t want to go out either, we poked around the house instead, where the Christmas decorations are all out.

Traveling Sock at the Nativity

This is the family nativity set. My mom used to do ceramics and she painted the figurines, and then my dad built the stable to match. As a crafter, I approve of this sort of thing, and I love this nativity to bits.

Traveling Sock and the Santa collection

A couple of steps to the left takes you to the Santa Collection. (Also snowmen, teddy bears, and gingerbread men.) Winter holidays require fuzzy cuddly things, after all.

Traveling Sock meets the tree

And of course, the tree. Well, one of the trees. We actually put up two. That is because we love Christmas that much.

And now, back to the knitting. I’m done shopping now, and just have some smaller bits of knitting to finish and I’m very glad for the excuse to curl up and surround myself with wool. Tomorrow? Shoveling. Ugh!

Traveling Sock Sees A New York Christmas

It’s been a while since my socks took a trip, hasn’t it. Well, last weekend my dear friend J. came down for the weekend to see a little Christmas, so I brought a sock along.

The Sock went to Radio City Music Hall:
Traveling Sock Goes To Radio City.

I have seen the Christmas Spectacular quite a few times now (one of the benefits of growing up near the city) and I adore every last kitchy, high-kick moment. The Toy Soldiers routine is my favorite, and I have found for you all a video on YouTube so that you might understand why:

A lot of the office buildings in New York decorate for the season, so I showed J. and the Sock my favorite one:
Traveling Sock Takes In The City's Decorations.

And then we saw the tree:
Traveling Sock Visits the Tree.

I love the Rockerfeller Center Tree, but my favorite part is actually the walkway from Fifth Avenue into the plaza. Every year they put out these beautiful angels with trumpets who line the walkway leading to the tree.
Rockerfeller Center

The Sock stayed in my bag, as it was raining pretty hard by then (and even snowing a little!, but nothing that stuck), but Sock agreed that those glowing angels are wonderful heralds.

And before we called it quits on account of lousy weather and tourists smacking us in the heads with umbrellas, we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
St. Patrick's

Perfect end to the day. We got on the train and promptly took some very well-deserved naps. I can’t speak for J. but I will admit to dreaming of sugarplums.

Green Mountains

Vermont is lovely in October. You should all get yourself a sister in Vermont so you can visit her and see things like this:

Traveling Sock Waits For The Ferry

This is the view from Grand Isle when you’re waiting for the ferry over Lake Champlain.

Traveling Sock Meets Eeyore

And this is the view of my sister’s new Basset puppy Eeyore, investigating my sock while we wait. He’s a sweetheart and a snuggler and likes to drool.

The reason for my visit was to have a road trip to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival. So naturally it rained. Buckets and buckets of rain. (I’m sensing a theme for 2009 fiber festivals, which concerns me for Rhinebeck…) Our visit was short, since rain doesn’t really encourage lingering to watch llamas and our driver was pretty tired after a long week, but I got a few nice pictures in between raindrops:

Vermont Sheep & Wool Vermont Sheep & Wool
Vermont Sheep & Wool Vermont Sheep & Wool

I picked up some sock yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery and the Periwinkle Sheep, and even found a vendor whose name I stupidly neglected to note who had a pile of Opal Harry Potter sock yarn — so a skein of the Ron colorway might have found its way into my stash at last.

I wish the weather had been a little better, although it sounds like all the vendors did very well in spite of the rain, and I’d definitely love to try again in the future, if my sister is willing. But even if not I’ll be going back to Vermont as often as I can manage, because it’s so beautiful and restful. Think of all the knitting you can do surrounded by mountains like that…


All right. My mitt pattern has been going like gangbusters which makes me very happy. My Rhinebeck budget thanks you all sincerely, and would you all please put pictures up in Ravelry already so I can see what everyone’s come up with? Thank you.

In the meantime, I have finished a pair of socks that owe their existence to the crazy Battlestar Galactica Viper Pilot socks of doom. Viper Pilots were a crash course on twisted stitches and complicated cables, and I learned from them that I enjoy gnarly charts and watching the cables grow off the needles. So I printed out the pattern and dove in.

Glass Slippers Socks
Pattern: Glass Slippers, by Caitlin Meyer, available in the Fall 2009 issue of Knotions
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Good Luck Jade
Needles: US1/2.25mm
Notes: Oh boy. Let me state this first: This is an amazingly beautiful pattern. The concept is clever and the finished socks are a delight to wear. I enjoyed the vast majority of the knitting of these socks. And these socks got to do quite a bit of traveling. In addition to attending the Steuben Parade, they met Paula Deen:

Traveling Sock Meets Paula Deen

(She’s in the front, under the Book Revue sign, in lavender. Yes, it was very crowded. Yes, I took advantage of the fierce-looking DPNS to get myself some breathing space. Knitting ninja, that’s me.) Anyway! I have some pretty cultured footwear.

But. Somewhere along the line something happened to this patten and got things twisted around, and when you’re dealing with this many cables, extra twists are really not good news.

The biggest problem I encountered was the mislabeling of Charts A and B, which left me utterly bewildered for quite some time while knitting the first sock. It’s a pretty predictable cable, so once I figured out that I hadn’t done anything wrong, I just went on ahead and did what the cables told me they wanted to do, and they led me right into the foot chart like they were supposed to. The second time I kept an eye on the charts and if you use B where it said A and A where it said B it worked out just right. The foot chart, happily was just fine.

Glass Slippers Socks

I also found the given instructions for the heel chart to be curiously short — so I just went ahead and did my usual heel flap of 36 rows, instead of the 20 called for. And on a more personal-quirk level, I found the charts in general difficult to read on my hard copy. Personally, I find it a lot easier on the eyes if things like cables and decreases that stretch over more then one cell don’t have the cell border dividing them in half; sadly, these charts didn’t do that, and I had a really difficult time getting comfortable with them.

The toes on these socks were specifically written to not need grafting, but I went ahead and grafted them anyway. I enjoy a good grafted toe, and I am that odd duck knitter who actually enjoys the act of grafting.

I’m not sure if the issues I had with this pattern are things that tech editing would have helped with, or things got turned around in preparing it for the web, or what the story is. I do know Knotions had already corrected a few errors before I printed out the pattern, but never marked them as errata. (I was a little surprised by that, to be honest.) But the personal lesson I’m taking away from these socks, aside from extra practice in some hard-core cabling, is that I need to give patterns a much closer-read over before I start. Encountering things like this in mid-cable is really not the best time.

And one more personal quirk, if I might? I really wish Knotions would combine everything for printing, instead of making the directions and charts two separate documents, especially when the header information prints out on each one.

Glass Slippers Socks

So, having gotten all that out of the way, I think these socks are worth a knit if you’re into cables, because they look just spectacular, don’t they? You should just be prepared to double-check that you are working off the right chart, and read carefully, so you don’t end up like me, sitting on a friend’s couch at two in the morning, drinking wine like a fish in the hopes that maybe it will make you understand where you screwed up, while your friend laughs at you, and her dogs try to shed on your yarn. (It’s how dogs help.) Trust me, it’s not a pretty picture. I go through these things so you don’t have to.