Baracking the Vote

8:15 am at the elementary school by my house:

We waited about an hour.  I would say it was a long line but I think the line we waited in for the 2000 election was at least as long.  (Which, interesting side note, that was the same year as the evil dangling chad and we voted on the same sketchy punch ballot and I swear, even with my college education and strong reading skills, that WAS a confusing ballot.)

While standing in line we saw lots of young kids and babies with their parents (ourselves included).  Also many senior citizens and students studying.  Someone thought to put chairs along the hallway which was helpful for some folks.  Coolest thing I overheard was an elderly man behind us in line telling someone about how he built the house he still lives in just a couple blocks away, sometime before 1950 (he did the electrical work for the original elementary school in the 50s).  Back then our pretty typical neighborhood, which is now lined with trees and houses, was mostly empty of houses and this man said he used to get up in the morning and shoot two pheasants before going to work.

How times have changed.

We are anxiously awaiting the end of the day.  Too exciting.  Oh and Legwarmer #2 is almost done.  As is Sock #1.  And those are just the characters to whom I have already introduced you.  I wasn’t kidding the other week when I said I had at least half a dozen projects on the needles.  But I only have two hands.  And these hands have been busy voting and knitting woolly tubes.

Another historic fact of this election is that voter turnout is expected to be very high.  If you are in the U.S. and are registered, please go vote today!

Thermo-Motivation

A week ago the cold seeped into my bones and I began to dig for socks.  I prefer my feet as bare as possible for as long as the weather permits but once the cold sets in, I want good socks.  Warm but not too thick.  My dream came true when I discovered handknit wool socks.  They are warmer than almost anything else I can put on my feet without the sweatiness.  The only downside I have found is that wool socks plus hardwood floors is rather dangerous.  (Answer: slippers; and less wear on the socks).

As I began the sock-cavation, I despaired.  Many socks were holey and mismatched.  I had my first pair of handknit socks succumb to holes.  There was an undeniable dearth of socks.  I could start knitting a new pair for myself but there was a 2nd or 3rd iteration of toddler socks already on the needles and how long could those take to finish?  (Nevermind the multiple iterations.)  Really, I had a lot of projects on the needles.  And my rate is about one sock per week.  Feet cold.  Cash in bank.  Go to store and buy cheap machine made socks.

So I went.

But the cheap machine made socks are all made of acrylic.  Which isn’t warm.  O woe! (Yes, I could go elsewhere to buy socks, even online, but where’s the fun in that?)

I gave in and cast on with stash sock yarn.  It’s the ubiquitous rainbow Opal yarn but special to me because my friend J found it at a garage sale and got it for me, knowing my prediliction for sock knitting.  She is a knitter also and one day will turn to the Sock Side–after she finishes churning out sweaters.

Being all colorful and stuff, it begged for plain stockinette and what’s easier than that?

(CO 64 sts on US 1 DPNs – 5 of course.  Top down, 1 inch of 2×2 ribbing, short row heel which is new to me but made possible by Cosmicpluto‘s awesome tutorial.  Planning on a Nancy Bush-style star toe.)

I went to this party on Saturday and suddenly discovered that I had knit 6.5 inches on my sock.  Woohoo! That’s some kind of personal record. I might be done altogether if it weren’t for the legwarmers.

Ah! The legwarmers. I’m done with the first and a little over halfway done with the second. We’re having a late evening review of Farescape. Rygel just peed fire on the bad guys. Is that a poor endorsement for one of the best scifi series ever made?

Legwarmers kicking my ass

I’m a pretty adventurous knitter but my brother Noah always manages to challenge me, unknowingly. First it was the viking-esque hat with detachable face mask. He was excited, made drawings, touched yarn, talked colors. I was enthusiastic. This was a challenge but not outside the realm of possibility. Except that nothing I tried satisfied me and eventually the project became a burr that was buried in a basket of unloved false-starts, tying up at least two Denise cables with needles. Ugh. Together we acknowledge the failure and my needles were rescued from the dusty basket.

This time it was legwarmers. (If the project described above was not an indication, my brother is not the typical male recipient of knitted goodies. He’s an Artist.) My darling bro and his lovely girlfriend helped my husband paint the bedroom since I am to refrain from such activities for the next four months and so grateful was I that I offered to knit his legwarmers for his birthday (Nov 5) even though I had privately agreed with myself to not knit birthday gifts this year since I am trying to get other things knit and many of my family birthdays happen in the next two months.

How does one complicate legwarmers? Noah wanted vertical stripes and preferred that they did not match. Sure, no problem, I blithely assured him. The next day, my son and I troupe off to the yarn store for the appropriate colors and returned home for lunch. I spend the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out how to knit ribbed vertical stripes. Let me make this short, fast forward a few hours: it’s not possible. I worked out that I could double-knit in vertical stripes but a couple inches of that assured me that it was not stretchy enough. Other possibilities include intarsia and corrugated ribbing but they would also not stretch due to the stranding across the back. Helical knitting, a la Grumperina? But that would take…20 different balls of yarn, if it even worked. I was done.

I took a giant step backwards, realized that I was making myself crazy over something that was not, in the end, that important. Vertical ribbed stripes, that is. The man was willing to buy handknit legwarmers at the fair trade shop, knit by a stranger, so I’m sure these will more than satisfy.

Check back for the results (I am about half done with #1, not counting finishing work) next Thursday. I don’t want to give away the design now since Noah reads this site, newborn though it is. He’s my blog tech support and is helping me to get everything up and running. Actually, that was originally what I was trading the viking face mask hat for. What did we change it to? Do I still owe you something, Noah?

In the meantime, I have at least six active projects to talk about so there won’t be any lack of fiber around here.