Saturday, October 18, 2008

June, July, August, September ... is it really October?

I'll just whoosh through June, July, and most of August because there's nothing noteworthy in muddling through oppressively hot, unbearably humid days, and the less said about summer in Texas, the better.

At the end of August, I became an empty nester, but not before transporting the fledglings to their respective schools.

The girls say goodbye to the pooches minutes before heading out.

My poor little Subaru was packed airtight, the roof loaded with Liz' bike, and behind balancing a cargo carrier with Claire's scooter, with only a 22" wide slot for one of them to squeeze into behind the driver. Claire said it was even too small knit! The girls took turns riding there; about the only thing one could do was nap, or watch one State after another roll by. Usually it was a retreat for the one who finished driving a leg, so even though it was a close fit, it was a snug little nest for resting.

Three days later, we arrived at my mother's in northwestern PA, for a two day layover to rest up and finish school shopping. The Subaru couldn't begin to hold what they needed, so we raided discount stores in Erie for lamps, bedding, electronics, batteries, art supplies, books, and goodies.

Claire, Grams and Liz

Liz was duly delivered to her apartment she's sharing with three other girls in Philadelphia, then Claire and I repacked the Sube, heading west 90 miles to her college in Ohio. Move-in day was gorgeous: In the low 70s , with nary a cloud in the sky. 

I thought we were going to be in for a long morning of lugging boxes up three flights of stairs, but the college organized teams of returning students to unload cars, running boxes, baggage, and keepsakes to the the rooms! It was AWESOME! 

The scooter attracted a lot of attention, creating a small stir and some head scratching among students and faculty alike. "We've never had one on campus before!" exclaimed the Dean of Students. Everyone wanted to take it for a spin. Campus security wasn't sure if it should be classified as a car, sit in a remote lot and pay a parking sticker fee, or if it should be considered akin to a bike, parked next to the rack of Claire's dorm. After two days of leaving it on the front lawn of her dorm, they decided it was so cute and small that it could go next to the bike rack.

Cuteness wins every time

Now, after a week-and-a-half of being shoehorned into the car, it was absolutely empty. I was officially an empty nester, with a long roundabout drive back to Texas, where a newly landed job awaited my return.

No grass grows under my feet.

So went all of September and more than half of October. This interminably long summer may just be beginning to winding down. A summer where water bills ran to high three figures each month, more than double the cost of electricity. Yesterday, for the first time since mid-March, it was in the 60s for a daytime high, and only a tad cooler overnight. It rained an inch earlier in the week, which was almost 20% of our total rainfall thus far this year. Mother Nature's been messing with us for months, and is finally cutting us a break, however temporary.
So where'd I leave off? Socks. I've been a sock knitting fool since my internal porch light went on, all six of my brain cells feverishly cementing the concepts into variations on patterns. Definitely toe-up, and definitely some sort of pattern.

In July, the resulting socks, a pattern called 'SPRING FORWARD', which I knit toe-up. 

After one pair of plain stockinette socks with a ribbed leg, I called it a day. If it ain't interesting, I won't knit it. Besides, if I am crazy enough to knit socks, they should be challenging and noteworthy.

Letting the yarn do all the work is what plain stockinette socks are all about. Knit Magic Loop, toe-up, two balls of Regia Crazy Color #86 on US size 3 circular needles, matching the yarn striping placement on both socks.

Socks in OnLine's SOXX APPEAL, 'Los Monos Locos.' For me!

'Scion' is my own pattern. Great guy socks, if I do say so myself. Sean will be getting these for Christmas. One hank of DREAM IN COLOR Smooshy, color "Midnight Derby", knit toe-up on US size 2 circular needles, using Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On.

'Little Pumpkins' by Sabine Rupert. Knit in a 8 ply, DK weight Regia Uni 6 Fadig yarn, in the color-- what else?-- Pumpkin! on US 3 circular needles, toe up, Magic Loop. Very dense and warm! A Halloween Treat, I loaded them up with chocolates and sent them on their way to Claire today.

Double Eyelet Rib Toe-Up Socks, pattern by Wendy Johnson. 

My Halloween surprise for Liz, made from the same Regia DK weight yarn as Little Pumpkins (I got a great deal on the stuff : less than $3 a ball at Jimmy Beans Wool). I may have gone overboard a bit, buying 10 balls, but I'll have Halloween sock yarn for at least three years. Anyway, they are knit toe-up, Magic Loop, and I eliminated two pattern repeats for a total of 48 stitches on US size 4 needles. Yes, these were stuffed with chocolates, too (second pic), and sent off to Liz a few days ago.
Which brings me to gift knitting, which is consuming all my off hours. I never claimed to have a life.
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