Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ginseng Socks and Veggie Progress

I'm eager to tell all 3 of you ;) about my latest project. I'm knitting a pair of Leyburns by Mintyfresh.


As you might assess, I'm flying through these. (Remember that I like knitting my socks 2 at a time, so there is a second one this far along as well!) The gauge is slightly bigger than the "mansocks," so that helps, but I think too the craziness of the yarn and the supercool pattern are keeping my interest super high.


This is my first toe-up sock pattern, as well as my first short-row toes and heels. Luckily, I've got some experience with short rows (remember Calorimetry?) or I would have been seriously frustrated as I had to knit multiple toes and heels to get these just right. It's a testament to my love that I'm still passionate for these guys! Maybe I'll finish these by the weekend.


Pattern: Leyburn socks by Mintyfresh
Yarn: Madelinetosh sock in "Ginseng"
Needles: size 1, 40" addi turbo
Mods: Knit a 27 stitch short-row toe, increased the instep to 37 stitches for a total of 64 stitches to accommodate my size 9s. Did no further instep increases at the heel. Leg is 72 stitches as written.

Summer is in full swing around here. During Leon's nap this morning, Emmett and I headed into the back yard for some shenanigans with his tennis racket. While we were out there, we picked and ate more snap peas straight off the vine (love that!) and thinned more of the yellow onions growing amongst the corn. Then we had to check out all that was growing:


The broccoli is starting to flower. Hopefully we can harvest some decent sized florets before any heat makes them bolt.


Our Red Zebra tomato. Looking good. The Cherokee Purple also has a fruit growing, and the Princepe is recovering, though I'm not sure it will ever have any fruit.


All of the green cabbage is forming heads now. Good, because they need to get out of the way of the peppers.


And finally for today, an out-of-focus Emmett standing next to the brussel sprouts. (I forgot to turn off the macro setting on the camera.) I wanted to give some scale to these beasts. They're taller than the corn! Anyone out there with experience with brussel sprouts? Do I need to remove any leaves for the little babies to grow?

And what do you think of my dandelion bouquet? Emmett is too much.

Monday, June 22, 2009

FO: Ryan's Socks

I am a lazy blogger. I must be getting into it, though, because I'm thinking more and more about what to blog. Hopefully, I'll put the knitting down or get out of the garden long enough to more frequently post about my thoughts.

The main reason why I've not blogged is that I have finished Ryan's socks (!) and have moved on to more exciting knits. Knits that I can't wait to work on. But back to the man socks. What a slog. They are done and finished. Thank you, thank you, thank you. They also fit and Ryan says he likes them, though has yet to wear them. He claims to be afraid to ruin them. How do I convince him that the greatest compliment is not to coddle them but to wear them out? He also makes for a very reluctant sock model, hence the odd photos to follow.




Trust me when I say these look good.

Pattern: Classic Socks by Melissa Morgan Oakes in Two-at-a-Time Socks
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock in some blue color (Can you tell I'm OVER these?)
Needles: size 0 40" addi turbo lace
Start and Finish: 12/20/08 - 6/11/09 ie, WAY TOO LONG!
Mods: The pattern called for 9.5 stitches/inch and I got 8.5, so I knit the men's size small to make a men's medium. Worked great.

Ryan doesn't know it, but I did think of these as a father's day/anniversary gift. Turns out that this year, father's day and our 12th (!) wedding anniversary fell on the same day. Love you lots, big guy.

I've got to send word out to my dad as well. Read an e.e. cummings poem on the Mason-Dixon knitblog this morning and couldn't not link to it. Go. Read it. And then hug and kiss your dad if you can.


I love you, Dad!


Dad and I on my wedding day, June 21, 1997.


Dad with both of his kids, May 2009. Happy Father's day to my brother as well!

I'll be back soon (I really will try, I swear.) with more veggie garden photos and in progress shots of more sock knitting!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Veggie Gardens and Sock Summit '09

OK, it's been a long time since I posted; I apologize for that. The progress on Ryan's socks is SO SLOW, and I'm itching bad to get them done and off the needles. But when you can only knit a few rows a day, nothing is going to happen quickly. I haven't even taken a photo of them, because really, they are two socks half-way down the foot, in a simple rib. Boring socks, boring photos. Pbbbbht.

In brighter news, Mom and I managed by some miracle of WWW to register ourselves for what shaped up to be the most coveted class in the most coveted fiber conference in years, Sock Summit. Laugh now, but you will be amazed at the numbers. Yarn Harlot and Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts have organized an amazing group of teachers around the idea of the hand knit (or crochet, if you roll that way) sock. This group is so unbelievable that the registration server received 30,000 simultaneous connections last Tuesday to register for 4,000 spots. It sold out like a rock concert. Crazier still, Mom and I got 2 of the only 40 spots for the Harlot's Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class; in fact, we believe we were the first 2 to register. Mom had some wacked out (as in very fast) connection to this summit server and was able to register for both of us separately in the time it took for me to even see the registration page. Lots of knitters came away with no classes what so ever, so to get our first choice makes us feel pretty good; pretty lucky, too.

One snafu could have made for a disappointing day; luckily it turned out alright. Mom, in her eagerness to get me registered after successfully self-registering mistyped my email address. And since the site stated that in order for your registration to be complete, you must receive an email-confirmation, I was understandably worried. Mom showed sufficient remorse (I love you Mom!), and we both stayed positive. Luckily, late last night, Rachel H of the SS-2 team emailed me with all of the needed info and assured me that indeed I am in the class. So now I can officially celebrate. YIPPEE!

And because I can't seem to write a post without including a photo or two, I want to show what's happening in the garden.


The "stuff" is for the most part growing in nicely. The two tomatos I got from Patti looked wonderful when I first got them, and one (the Cherokee Purple) still does. However, the Princepe Bourgese (sp?) is yellow, emaciated and lacking all of it's lower leaves. How and why this happened I have no idea. It's not dead, but I need to replant it deeper. Patti also gave me a jalapeno and eggplant. The jalapeno is also quite sad, and I'm unsure what to do with it. The eggplant must be really yummy, because something is eating its leaves and leaving everything else alone. Snail? Squirrel? ??? No idea. At the West Seattle market this weekend my solution (?) involved buying another tomato (Red Zebra, I think) and 2 peppers (Chocolate and Tennessee Cheese). I'm not yet willing to sacrifice the strugglers, but I'm going to need to do something to get these new recruits into the ground.

My potatos (Russian banana) seem to enjoy their location.


I thought it might be fun and interesting to document here some of the front yard vegetable gardens I'm seeing all over West Seattle. My plan is to take photos of one or more veggie plots every week and showcase them here. I'll keep the specific locations to myself; but since these gardens are for all to see, I feel comfortable sharing my finds with you as well.


This house is dedicated completely to the edible landscape. The entire property is given to the vegetable (and strawberries if I remember right). Even cooler is the fact that this year, the neighbor next door is also using the parking strip for vegetables. Or maybe, they're letting the original farmer take over the zone for more space in trade for free food. Hmmmm.


I'm also curious as to why they've got the one little plot covered in netting. (Look in the first photo in the center.) What's it for? And should I do something similar to keep the wildlife out of my lettuce bed?! Some gardeners are so diligent. I'm lazy. If you can survive with my care, you deserve to live.