Wednesday, June 20, 2012


So this week is my family vacation. I write to the Blog from the porch of the cabin we rented, overlooking a beautiful river.


Top of the state park where we hiked

which is also a part of the Appalachian Trail

DM, DS and I are the only inhabitants of our cabin. We had meant for a few family friends to come along, but disaster struck last week and a deer hit their car (I'm actually more inclined to believe the driver hit the deer, but that isn't the way the story was told to me). Don't worry, their all fine, including the deer, which ran off just after causing the accident. The only casualty is the car, which meant that they couldn't drive to meet us here. Anyway, I've been really excited for this trip for a few reasons.
1. No work. That means no screaming children, no annoying boss, and no coworkers or parents who seem bent on ruining my relationship with NS by pointing out how much of a better teacher I am than she was.
2. I get a room to myself at the cabin. Sharing a room with someone is difficult. DS and I did for about 2 years, right up until we all moved, but we managed it by not ever being there at the same time except for sleep. NS and I are managing because we're good friends, but I'm really a recluse and I like to be left alone most often, so it's hard for me.
3. Knitting/Crochet time. The drive was 9 hours, which gave me lots of time to work on NS's crochet afghan. I chose it for a driving project because the other projects I had were DM's afghan, which I couldn't work on in her presence, and my Green Katniss socks, which had 5 dpns that were looking a little sharp to be working with on the mountain roads. NS's afghan was in hibernation for a while, but at last measurement, it was a little over 2 feet long:
It's now a little less than 5 feet long:
and I've chosen some really intense colors for the last few random color stripes. I'm running out of purple yarn for the stripes between random colors, though. I decided to replace the light purple with a slightly darker purple and the dark purple with a brown in order to finish. I think one more white/purple/white combo should be long enough. It won't be a very large blanket, but it won't look out of place either. The goal here was to use up acrylic stash yarn, and I've definitely done that. There won't be any more of that purple, and very little will be left of the white, along with all the odds and ends I used for the random colors. I still have about 1/2 a skein of that dark deal and 3/4 of a skein of a wine red that almost, but not quite, matches DM's Christmas afghan. I think I'll turn both into Christmas hats to be gifted at random.

In the time that we've been here at the cabin, I've waded in the river, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, hiked some more to see a waterfall (that was worse than the Appalachian- it was like a 45 degree grade and that's insane for a Florida girl who's never known hills), intertubed down a different river, gone to the local yarn shop and bought yarn locally spun and dyed (I spent waaaaay too much money there, but vacations are always more costly than you expect), and got lost multiple times. Did you know that a car with a shoddy transmission has a really hard time going uphill? Well, we did, but we drove it anyway.

The yarn I bought is called Footprints by Blue Ridge Yarns, a Superwash merino sock yarn, and comes in two skeins: 300 yarns variegated yarn, and 100 yards solid yarn in a matching color for the heels and toes of a sock. Brilliant idea, isn't it? Mine was one of the last two at the shop, and it appears to have no name for the colorway, just the number 028. It looks like this:
The shop owners were very kind, and spoke to me about a few techniques while I was there. We discussed blocking socks and sock blockers, tricks and tips for modifying a pattern if your gauge doesn't match, and various yarns and patterns in the shop. DM kindly shut her cakehole while I spent more than my fair share of time there, and way more than my allowance's worth of money there.

While we've been here, I've also had some knitting time. I've worked on the second Green Katniss sock, and I've just turned the heel and begun the gusset decreases on that. Today DM and DS went horseback riding, and I didn't have any interest (citing the excuse that horses are big and scary and smell bad), so I started DM's birthday project. I only have 8 days left to finish it! I cast on for two-at-a-time toe-up socks and it's my first time using either technique. I'm hoping that doing them two-at-a-time will make them go faster, but I'm no stranger to math. 2 is still equal to one plus one but I'll let you know if this new method involves magic. Here's a progress photo of that (keep in mind I started today, and had to frog them twice before I got the hang of it and managed to figure out the right number of cast on stitches):

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