Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Revisions and invasions

After my guests left town, I buckled down and finally finished the sample sock pair for the new self-published edition of Willow Tea Room. They're knit in Simply Socks Yarn Company SSY Solids in Lavender. As a result of switching to a thinner yarn, the pattern has been re-gauged, re-sized, and (of course!) re-edited; the new edition has three sock circumferences to choose from, and instructions for altering the foot length.

By the way, this is an absolutely terrific yarn. It's got three plies (and you know how I love a round yarn!), comes in an extensive color selection, and is put up in 50 g hanks so you can buy only what you need. And in spite of the name, they're not entirely solid-colored; there's just the tiniest bit of variation to add interest.

You only get this lame laid-flat photo for the moment because I need to find a model. For whatever reason, most of my local friends either have really small or really large feet. The socks fit me, actually, but there is not enough Photoshoppery in the world to make my legs presentable right now, what with the blackberry scratches, the insect bites, and the accompanying ankle swelling.

See, we live on a seven-acre plot, six acres of which is wooded. And I've declared war on some invasive species that have moved into it. Just for example, we have large canopies of Japanese honeysuckle vines on top of thirty-plus years of thorny old blackberry canes. For the last few months, I've been hacking down Bad Plants and piling them up to burn. Earlier this year, I had a glorious time setting fire to a giant stickery pile of brush in my driveway.

However, there's been a temporary ban on open burning here for weeks due to extremely dry conditions. (In case you didn't know, the lower midwestern United States is having a serious drought.) So now there are numerous piles like this one, waiting for rain.

By the way, I'm a disturbingly good firebug; this gray spot is all that's left of a pile twice the size of the one above, and I didn't use any accelerants except the match.

Oddly enough, the Honeysuckle Wars have turned out to be related to knitting. The large-motion, non-repetitive upper body exercise has been really good for preventing the return of my knitting-related shoulder pain. (Disclaimer: this is my personal experience only and should not be taken as medical advice. Consult a doctor before reading this blog.) And the fresh air, the improvement of the view out the windows from my workspace, and the satisfaction of doing something good for the ecology have all been great for my mental health.

Today, though, I'm taking the day off from playing Junior Forester to get ready for a short vacation, which will include meeting up with some Awesome Knitting People. I'll be taking along the stockinette sock project for social knitting. It's coming along much better this time around, although I may yet rip back and try a sockitecture experiment. (The yarn is Schoppel Wolle Wunderkleckse; isn't it pretty?)

And no, of course it isn't the only project I'm packing. Don't be silly. Time to wind some yarn.

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