Or so the rumour goes. We did have snow last Tuesday. And we're getting lots of nasty rain this week. But it's warming up and the grass is coming up.
I'm not sure whether to hold out any hope for the trees. Everything looks dead and sere. I never know from one year to the next whether anything will survive.
I could have blogged last weekend, but there wasn't much to show. I was going to do it yesterday, but my day ended up getting hijacked.
So as usual I'll just go through my photos in chronological order.
Last weekend (or the week before) I was at Walmart buying obscene amounts of pet food at great expense. At the checkout aisle where I was waiting, I noticed this.
How is that even a thing?
Um, who would want to have to clean that out? The joy of cotton swabs is that you can just dispose of them. (Or have the dogs eat them...ahem).
Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me the kinds of garbage they sell at Walmart.
Princess wrote her red seal interprovincial millwright exam last Saturday and is desperately awaiting the results. Here she is in a fit of last-minute studying the day before. She currently has turquoise and sapphire blue hair.
It's finally sunny and warm enough for the pups to go out on the deck and into the back yard.
In terms of knitting (which, let's face it, is the real reason you're all here), I completed a HO and a FO.
I decided to cast on a skein of the Cyborg's Craftroom Assockilate in the Northern Lights colourway. I was originally going to do regular Monkeys, but after the first repeat, I decided I didn't want to do the purls anymore and that I would just do the no-purl monkeys. The traditional Monkey pattern has 80 and 64 stitch options, so I went with the 80. I did the leg in 2.25 mm needles, then switched to 2.0 mm needles for the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I decreased down to 72 stitches for the foot (which meant a wee bit of pattern fiddling).
Here are my observations about the sock. I love the yarn. It's one of those 75/25 blends with 463 yards. I think some of the suppliers must sell them in those pre-cut lengths. Almost everyone who sells 75/25 MN yarn has it in 463 yards. Have you ever noticed that? But I digress.
Anyway, I love that yarn. It's a smooth 4-ply with a good twist, so it's great for nice thin socks. I really prefer thinner yarn for socks.
The colours are also amazing. The Northern Lights is a beautiful dark purple base with pops of green and pink and blue and brown and red and whatnot. It's really lovely.
The photos of sock #1 are a little dark, but here goes.
Yes, this looks very similar to the Hedgehog Fibres Dragonfly colourway. I obviously like this colour. And these will be great work socks.
I had ordered this yarn from Simply Socks Yarn Co. Then I ordered some more of the Hedgehog Fibres from them.
Then after I started knitting this sock, I was looking to see what other colours The Cyborg's Craftroom has. I'm really only interested in the Associkilate and not the Assparkilate or whatever the 2-ply 80/20 blend is.
At $23 per skein USD, you can't really beat the pricing. Even translated into Canadian dollars, it's a good deal. So I ordered a few more skeins in other colours. There are more bases on her Etsy site, but I'm pretty happy with the offerings from Simply Socks.
I'm not sure why I'm on a variegated kick these days.
Here's a shot of the little pergola area on the wharf by my work. This would have been a great photo if my finger hadn't been in the way. Eyeroll.
A colleague took me to lunch at The Bicycle Thief. It was the first time I'd ever been there. Here's a shot of the neat sculpture they have outside the back of it.
The paddle wheel at the back is non-functional. It rotates, but doesn't really assist with movement of the boat in any way.
It was an entertaining train wreck to watch. We played Count the Safety Violations. They were legion.
I finally finished the second Gibbering Gibberellin sock.
I love the yarn and the colour of the yarn. Caitlin never disappoints. This was the February String Theory Colorworks sock club offering. She was only doing a half-year club because she was expecting in early April or late March.
I had decided to do a Fish Lips Kiss Heel in the yellow yarn, but I wanted to expand it a little. I find the FLKH heel to be a little on the snug side. It's a short row heel, so there's no extra room in there.
I did what I did last year with my Rockin' Sock Club socks from January. I added more boomerang rows to increase the pocket depth of the heel. You can see it best in the bottom two photographs. It does give extra heel room, so that's a plus.
But I am never really happy with the look of the FLKH. I know that tons of people just love it, but I always find it a bit lacking. It's awkward. I have tried knitting through the back loop in an attempt to tighten up the stitches, but that doesn't work. I always end up with little holes at the corner of the instep, no matter how many good tugs I give the yarn. So I find the FLKH to be an imperfect heel. It also takes longer to do than a heel flap and heel turn.
I realize that the last 4 socks I have done have all had a FLKH. It helps with yarn pooling, but I really do find it sloppy at the corners. I think for my next cast-on, I'll do a regular heel. Or perhaps I'll try a toe-up sock. Now that I have my Sock Ruler, I suppose I could figure out where I need to be in order to start my heel 2.5" or 3" from the end of the foot or whatever.
But the reason I don't like toe-up socks (or one of them, anyway) is that the leg takes so darned long to do. At least with a cuff-down sock, you get the leg out of the way and you can fly through the foot.
With a toe-up sock, you get through the foot pretty quickly, then futz with the expansion for the heel, and then you have all that leg. And how do you know how many rows of ribbing to do? I hear people saying that the joy of toe-up socks is that you can use up your entire ball of yarn, but that mystifies me. How do you know when to start your ribbing? And how many rows do you need?
I might join the Grocery Girls fancy feet kal and do a toe-up sock. Or not. We'll see.
There has been no yarn in the Arrivals Lounge, but I did get a delivery.
I was watching the Knotty Knit Wits podcast and Michelle pulled out a Dr. Seuss journal. It was love at first sight. I googled them and finally found what I was looking for. There's a man in Portland OR named Jacob Deatherage (do you think it rhymes with feather-age or do you think it's Death-RAGE? I kind of like the idea of a guy whose name is Death Rage...) who makes journals out of recycled hardcover books. They are amazing. He takes the covers and punches them for a spiral binding. He uses interesting pages from the book and intersperses them with about 75 pages of good quality paper.
I thought they would make amazing knitting journals. And if you buy 5 you get one free.
There are children's books and cook books and all kinds of things. I think he goes around to used book stores and buys them up.
I bought One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches and Happy Birthday to You. I got an amazing hardcover copy of Curious George. And the Tawny Scrawny Lion (which I had as a kid.). I think the entire book is in that one. And then I also got two Tintin books in Spanish. They're from the Sprague High School foreign language program. And they're discards. They even have the little library card pocket things in the back.
They're a really reasonable price and they came fairly quickly. And for a change I didn't even get dinged with customs charges.
So if you're in the market for an interesting and different (I won't say unique because I loathe the improper use of the word) journal, I highly recommend checking out bookjournals.com.
That's all there is for this week, folks. I am on the foot of the second Maura sock (the greeny one which was my consolation for missing out on the egg yarn from Must Stash yarns). I should finish that today.
Then I have to write a few opening remarks for NAOSH tomorrow.
And i have to do my taxes. At least I can use Turbo Tax which does all the work for me.
I hate this time of year.
Next week is NAOSH week and I've been up to my eyeballs with work work and NAOSH stuff. I am going to relax next weekend.
After I finish the second green sock, I am going to cast on something new. I am going to alternate new cast-ons between new yarn and old yarn. Since I'm finishing a WIP made with some deep stash dive yarn, I believe I am entitled to cast on something new.
Cheers and happy May.