Tuesday, Not Mewsday

The good news: Melissa and I are still married.

The bad news: the California State Supreme Court has upheld Prop. 8, meaning that all gay and lesbian couples in California are now constitutionally prohibited from marrying. (To add to the injury, it was a 6-1 ruling.)

Melissa and I feel lucky to have friends, family, and coworkers who celebrate and honor our commitment to each other. Please stop and think about what you can do today (and tomorrow and next week and next month) to see that the handful of us who were able to marry in California between June 17, 2008 and November 4, 2008 are not the last.

I’ll be at tonight’s vigil with the sign I made last fall—”Knitters say K2tog: it’s a good thing.”

Sock Update

The pair of socks I was working on is done.

Now, I have set a challenge for myself to knit a pair without looking at any books or patterns (although I do get to ask my friend Chris questions).

Tuesday Mewsday: Archy Plays the Alpha

After much, much operatic posturing on his part, Archy is being allowed out for the occasional daytime ramble. Maggie would prefer to stay in, thank you. And Damian has no clue that “out” even exists. But Archy is a former street waif, and he knows about fresh air and sniffing things and gopher hunting and chomping on grass (and then waiting until he’s back inside to throw up). He has been bucking for an exit visa almost since the day Melissa moved in.

Archy’s new indoor-outdoor status means he and Miss Timmy have been meeting up. We have not had any actual fighting, but we have had posturing aplenty.
I am Alpha, hear me roar
Poor Archy. As soon as he gets his alpha on, one of us scoops him up and walks him back inside, tutting and saying, “if you can’t play nice, you won’t get to play at all.” We don’t even act the least bit frightened by his growls and hisses. The indignity of it all!

Pre-Summit Socks

My BKFF (best knitting friend forever—as well as pretty much every other kind of friend you can think of), Chris, is an amazing sock knitter. You should see the way they whiz off her needles, all beautiful and intricate and even-stitched.

My relationship with socks is a bit strained. First off, ever since my toddler days (or so I’ve been told), I was one of those kids who didn’t want things on her feet. I go barefoot whenever I can, and the first thing I do when I get home is kick off my shoes—there’s quite a pile of them near the front door giving testimony to this habit. And socks just add to the torture… one more layer between my feet and the fresh, fresh air they long to breathe. So things have to get pretty frigid before I’ll put on socks.

And when I do put on socks, I’m fussy about fit. I hate shloompy socks that slide down my feet. If the heels aren’t just right, I get to tugging at them until they’re halfway up my shins—and there’s no right fit for a heel once it’s all the way up there. I want them sung, but not tight, with heels in exactly the right place.

So, given my general distaste for footwear and my persnickitiness when it comes to fit, you can see why I haven’t knit many socks—two pairs to be exact. They’re complicated enough (at least they seem that way right now) that I can’t easily give them away, yet odds are slim to none that a pair I knit will actually satisfy me and find use.

All that having been said—Chris and I are going to Sock Summit in August. It’s a perfect fit for her… and I love Portland and knitting, so it’s not really off the mark for me. But going means I need to knit some more socks, so I’ll have at least a little footly cred by time I get there. So I took a break last night from some of the patterns I’ve been working up to cast on a pair of socks.

I’m going with “Little Child’s Sock” (a woman’s sock actually, the original was for a child) from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.
Knitting Vintage Socks
They’re pretty darn cute: about an inch of ribbing, a 2×2 check section, more ribbing, then stockinette with a 2×2 check panel down the front and a mock seam up the back. I’m knitting them in Trekking Hand Art, Fire colorway, and am having a lovely time working my way from one section to the next.

I plan to check them regularly against favorite pairs of socks in hope that I will, despite the odds, wind up with something I’ll actually wear.

Tuesday Mewsday: Little Miss

As I’d said earlier, Miss Timmy seemed to know that her trip to the vet—unwelcome as it was—meant that she finally had a for-real-and-for-true home. Not long after that, Chris bought her a cardboard scratching pad, which has been the joy of her existence. She slept on it at nght, rested on it during the day, and scratched and scratched and scratched. You could almost see the wheels turning in her head: I OWN something. I never had a MINE before. MINE is good. It has scratchy-yums.

Well, we’ve been having heavy rain lately, and Miss Timmy’s scratching pad has taken quite a hit. But that hasn’t kept her from loving it. She continues to sit on it, despite the rain, all draped out as if she’s trying to keep it dry.

Chris decided to buy her a new pad, which she takes in when it rains to keep it intact. Miss Timmy made it known that she appreciates the thought (she even scratched it some to be polite), but she still prefers her first scratching pad, her MINE.

Chris snapped this pic yesterday evening.
Timmy and her prized possessions
Oh, how Miss Timmy loves her MINE, bedraggled as it is.


Melissa’s been a dear and done some photos for me, so I can begin to share a few of my recent projects.

First up are two versions of Sourwood Mountain.

Version one is knit in two strands of DROPS laceweight heathered alpaca. The color is one of my absolute favorites, and these babies are soft, soft, soft.
Green  handwarmers
Unfortunately, they came out a bit tight—which is what I get for swapping out yarns and choosing a pattern size without swatching. Normally, I am quite happy to give away finished knits and don’t worry about size (“Every knit will fit someone.”) But as I worked on these babies, I knew I would not be parting with them. The fit my hands ok, but are too tight for the overpping button closure on the wrist, so I just sewed on a decorative butting to help keep the wrist opening from pulling too much and left them at that. I am occasionally haunted by the fact that they didn’t come out exactly as they were supposed to, but then the color and comfort distract me and I am nothing but pleased, pleased, pleased again.

The minute I finished my first pair, I cast on for a second pair using Argosy Yarn’s Jo Jo, an absolutely delicious wool/cashmere/angora blend. Argosy was one of my finds during Stitches ’08. I believe the owner/dyer Melissa originally planned to run a wholesale business, but she now sells her yarns via on-line retail. You absolutely must check out her yarns. These are some of the finest quality fibers I’ve ever worked with, and the colorways are rich and striking. (The prices are also quite reasonable for goods of this quality.) She has a knack for coming up with colors that stand out from the usual crowd—witness my mitts in the Cherokee colorway, which moves from burgundy to brown to black and also back and forth between dusty and clear hues.
GMaroon  handwarmers
Every stitch of this project was a pleasure, and I had to stop after every round to pet them and coo at them and marvel at the softness of the fiber and the joy of the color. These mitts do have enough overlap for the button closure, though I haven’t yet found the perfect buttons.

And here’s the yummy neckwarmer I gave my mom for Christmas. I knit this out of Plymouth’s Mulberry Merino, which is soft and glossy and comes in wonderful colors.
Red neckwarmer
I’ll be publishing this as a free pattern when I get a chance, although that probably won’t be until sometimes after the end of this academic year.