Packing

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Tomorrow, I make the long journey back home.

Coming out to help my mother and grandmother get things in order has been exhausting, emotionally draining, but ultimately very enlightening. Even more, it has given me a feeling like I have helped in some small part.

Grandma and Grandpa at my mother's first wedding
My grandparents walking down the aisle at my mother's first wedding

My grandmother is trying hard to put on a brave face and take these changes in stride, but watching her cry so much and hearing her talk about how lonely it is for her at night and how much she misses him, makes my heart ache for her. As the week comes to a close, the realization of these changes seems to become more clear to her and it is harder for her to maintain her composure.

For better or for worse, we are helping her start this new chapter in her life. I can only guess how scared and uncertain she feels. Even so, every once in a while she gives me a big smile and I feel like things are going to be OK for her.

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Happy Halloween

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Epona

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It is probably obvious that over the last year I have worked on some rather time consuming projects. I have several as yet unveiled ones as well as the Poet Coat and Giselle.

Something hit me this weekend and I just needed to knit a sock. As a general rule, I'm not much for knitting socks, though there are obviously some exceptions, but this weekend, it just felt like the right project and it is more portable than my larger secret project has become.

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Stats

Yarn: Socks that Rock Medium Weight Superwash Merino
Color: Rose Quarts
Yardage: About 130 yards per sock so a 380 yard skein is more than ample for a pair
Constructions: Toe up, short row toe, gusset, decorative heel flap, tubular bind off
Needles: Toe worked on 2.75MM, remainder of sock worked on 3.25 MM

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I did a few things that might not be totally standard. I worked the toe in a smaller needle than the rest of the sock because the gauge of the stockinette toe is so much wider than the twisted stitch pattern. The smaller needles weren't to match the gauge, just to make it a little more even.

And I decided to forgo the reinforced heel flap that most people like. I realize it's more functional to do a standard slipped stitch heel flap, but I just never liked how it interrupted the flow of the stitch pattern on a sock.

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Both motifs, on the sock, can be found in Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries but I made some modifications to both. The main motif required a substantial overhaul while the side motif was just changed so that it would have the same number of rows in each repeat as the main motif.

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I think my only concern with this design is that anyone with even slightly shapelier legs than my own, will need some shaping at the calf. Luckily, I've thought about how to handle that and will be putting shaping instructions in the pattern.

Oh, did I not mention that I plan to write a pattern for this? Yah, I do.

Various and sundry topics

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Lots more pictures of Giselle, including the cropped version, over here.

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See some beautifully retouched photos here.


Leo has been making jack-o-lanterns and I have been toasting the seeds.

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The pirate is getting a little long in the tooth, after a week outside. The orange one is new. It weighed almost 40lbs before being gutted. That's how much each of the pups weigh.


If the weather stays relatively mild, we'll be getting a lot more cosmos.

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The bees like em

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Is there anything sweeter?

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Interview with Donna Druchunas

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ethnic knitting discovery.jpgI'm Donna's 23rd stop on her tireless blog tour. Here's hoping she's collected a good number miles in the process, and didn't get stuck in a middle seat.

Donna has tech edited both of my Stitch Diva Studios patterns and has impressed me with her abilities to distill my aimless ramblings into a concise and friendly format, while still having a keen eye for detail. All of these qualities shine through in her new book, Ethnic Knitting: Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes, which offers a technically sound and yet beautifully user friendly approach to designing ethnically inspired and custom fit garments. Her writing style is friendly and accessible, and she peppers the book with suggestions and tips that should benefit even seasoned knitters.

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