Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm not even pretending anymore.

Now I'm killing with Glee.

Death Hat #3, destined for Charisa.

I knit this one from start to finish, because the original Charisa-destined weapon disappeared in the mail.

I thought about bringing the hat to the Obama meeting, because the idea of bringing a weapon-in-progress to hang out in a building full of Secret Service agents really amused me. But I didn't think she'd find that as cool as I would, so the hat got delayed a bit while I finished the Zombie Socks, and Charisa gets to spend a few more days alive in lieu of getting an adventure-having hat.

Beware! Fuzzy Green Death (made from Cascade 220 wool) is on its way! I am becoming a killing machine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Boss

Does anyone still call him that?

Aaron's back in town, and, by delightful coincidence, so are Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band! In the interest of treating Aaron's jet lag, we went to the concert with my brother and my sister-in-law, who are BIG Springsteen geeks.

Anne got us awesome seats. The coach of the Indiana Pacers was sitting just a few rows in front of us. Some of the Pacers were actually behind us, but since they were in a box, I suspect their seats were considered better. Since we were only 18 rows up I'm willing to debate that - the show had been going on for awhile before I even realized there were TV screens, since our view was so good.

I took knitting, of course. (The pictures are bad because they're with my cell phone camera.) I put some thought into coming up with a project I could get in the building, and went for one that matched my winter coat, so it would be less noticeable. The project is yellow, but beyond that it's kind of a surprise - more on it later. It's a good thing I succeeded in my yarn smuggling, because the concert started about an hour late.

We got our money's worth, though - a 2 1/2 hour show, without even an intermission. And these guys are old - I don't see how they can go on that long. The regular keyboardist is out being treated for melanoma (Aaron points out that you know the rockers are aging when they get cancer treatment instead of drug treatment), but he showed up to play a handful of songs - for the first time during the tour, which was a real treat. (Did I mention that Jimmy & Anne are Springsteen geeks? They knew all these things. They knew all the band members by name, and noticed when one had taken up a new instrument. They knew all the songs. I recognized 3, and was feeling pretty good about that.) You can see that the yarn had a really good time. I hope its intended recipient is a Springsteen fan.

The venue was very hospitable, too, with yarn holders provided at every seat. How cool is that? Is there a basketball version of Stitch-n-Pitch?

I didn't knit during the concert. I danced, and Aaron stayed awake, so it was a success for both of us. This is the first concert I've been to where no one was smoking - not even pot, much. And people flash their cell-phone lights for an encore now instead of lighters. I thought that was just a joke for commercials. I'd feel old, but I think we were the young people in the audience. Maybe the knitting keeps me young.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It's Tuesday night, and I've finally finished my Zombie Socks for Sock Madness!

Normally, I'd be pretty impressed with myself for finishing a pair of socks in less than a week. But Sock Madness has left me pretty humble - the first to finish had her socks done in just over 12 hours. I think I'm lucky to get through Round 1, and now have pretty serious doubts about Round 2. I'm trying not to get too worked up about it, since knitting is supposed to be a break from all of the things I Have To Get Done. Having knitting become Stuff I Have To Finish kind of takes the fun out of it.

Besides, I need to return my attention to Hat Attack. I have a new murder victim, just waiting for her parasite-laden fuzzy hat death.

I really like my new socks, and not just because they saw Barack Obama. (I've had people coming up to me all day long to say they saw me on TV. People I don't even know. It's kind of cool. And just for the record, I wasn't vetted before I asked that question - he called on me with no idea of what I was going to say.)

I like the look of the socks. I like that they're fun and easy to knit (as long as we don't talk about frogging the heel flap because I forgot a significant part of the directions). I like the garter-stitch edge on the heel. And I love the yarn. I think I'm going to call them "Mermaid" socks, since I think they look more scaly than zombie-like.

I wonder what's next?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I'm just back from a trip to Indianapolis, where I saw Barack Obama at a town hall meeting. Wow, it was cool.

I am not normally the type to get giddy about much. The only other time I've been tongue-tied by a celebrity was when I met Tom Carnegie - my father talked to him, while all I could do was blink a lot and say "wow...oh, wow..." But I've been pretty wound up today - I started grinning as soon as I walked into the Plainfield High gym, and I haven't really stopped. I wasn't expecting this.

It was a small group - I think they said about 3,000 people, although that may have included the overflow space. The tickets disappeared in about half an hour, so I'm lucky that I was stalking my e-mail waiting for the Sock Madness pattern, and saw the announcement as soon as it arrived. Obama spoke for about 25 minutes, and then took questions for another 45. He lingered for a long time shaking hands, and collected a whole bunch of books to autograph, but I never got close enough for that.

I took a sock with me, of course - my first Zombie Sock for Sock Madness. I got there about 12:00 for an event that started at 2:30, and by the time I left at 4:00 I'd gone from just having finished the gusset to almost completing the toe decreases. My socks even appeared on the local news. (If you click on the "Barack Obama Campaigns in Plainfield" story, you'll see me knitting about a minute into the video.) So it was a pretty exciting event for the sock, too.

And I got to ask a question! I got to ask the next President (I hope) of the United States a question! I'd thought about it in advance:

"This may seem like a trivial issue, but I think it's metaphorically important. From the Lincoln Memorial, to the White House, to the Statue of Liberty, we've closed off access to some of the greatest symbols of our nation - you can no longer walk around the Lincoln Memorial, or go up in the Statue of Liberty's crown. We've given in to paranoia and called it security. (There was a round of applause here. I am so excited, even now.) What can you, as president, do to reverse this trend, and to return us to being a nation that values freedom more than fear?"

Barack responded by talking about his first trip to D.C. in the '80s, and how impressed he was that you could just walk up to the White House. He said he knew the need for security was important (and asked for a round of applause for his Secret Service agents), but that our openness was one of the things that made America great. He also said that the security policies should be reviewed, and that a related concern is the violation of civil liberties in the name of security - the warrantless wiretapping, and the suspension of habeas corpus. He said that one of his first acts as President will be to sit down with his Attorney General, go through all the Executive Orders that had been issued, and rescind those that were unconstitutional or violated civil liberties. So I was pretty I just want a president who will tell the TSA where to stick their 3 ounces of liquid restriction so I can carry wine on airplanes again.

I didn't manage to get a picture of Barack with the sock, but the sock did get to meet Nels Ackerson, who I hope is a future member of Congress. He's running for the 4th district of the House of Representatives, against a guy I've been wanting to see knocked out for quite a while. He has something of a local reputation, because he represented the NK Hurst Bean Company when the city of Indianapolis wanted to take and demolish their factory for the Colts' new stadium. He also seems like my kind of Democrat - tough on national defense, strong on civil liberties, and has a "don't be stupid" economic approach. Aaron says "isn't it funny that someone who's spent all these years working for Republicans is talking about voting for all these Democrats?" But he'd be my kind of Republican, too - I'm not picky about the party.

He said this was the first time he's had his picture taken with a sock. I resisted the temptation to tell him, "well, you've really hit the big time now." It's clear that he respects the sock, so he must be a good guy.

It's now time for me to sit down with a glass of wine, in hope that I can collect myself enough to get some sleep. Zombie Sock II will have to wait until tomorrow. Will it be jealous, one day, that its partner got to go see the President?

Friday, March 14, 2008

May I Have a Large Container of Orange Juice Now?

Happy Pi Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I am not one of those people...

you know, the ones who wear shorts every time the temperature gets above freezing? But today I almost wish I were, because today I'm wearing an elegant pair of socks by Debbie. It's even a nice enough day that one might get away with wearing shorts.

Debbie's socks are the product of a class she took with Nancy Bush - the pattern is called "Stovepipe Socks," and the yarn is Bush's own "Footpath." The socks are shaped around the calf, and have a seam-like line of purling up the back - and they're the last of my Sockday socks. It's kind of fitting (although coincidental) that I should finish with Debbie's socks, because she's the most senior member of our sock group.

It's also appropriate that I should blog about yesterday's socks together with today's, because Sheryl and Debbie wound up having a joint sockday thanks to planning difficulties. So here are Sheryl's beautiful "Winter Garden Socks," which I wore yesterday, on our last day of lingering snow. I've privately dubbed them "Sheryl's Sampler Socks," since there's a bit of everything in this pattern - lace, Fair Isle work, and the cool stripes.

Sheryl packaged my socks in this fun box, knowing I'd appreciate the design.

Perhaps that's why they had to be subjected to such close inspection before I could photograph and wear them.

My delay in blogging about Sheryl's socks is not for lack of appreciation - it's just that I'm a bit overwhelmed by knitting right now. I spent a lot of time yesterday, and even what I could this morning, trying to finish my Jacobean socks before the Sock Madness pattern arrived. I woke up early to squeeze in some knitting before work, and I knit as I walked around campus. But it wasn't quite enough. I came so close to finishing, but now these socks will have to go on hold while I knock off Sock Madness, Round I.

That pattern arrived about 1:00 this afternoon, but I wasn't able to start knitting until I got home around 5:30. This is the result of an evening's work on the "Zombie Socks" pattern. It's a "scary" pattern due to the dropped stitches, but is fairly simple - and I'm not sure if my new Tofutsies is very Zombie-like.

I'm learning that intense knitting stops being fun after awhile. But I'm going to keep going, because I'd hate to get knocked out in round 1!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Every Day's a Holiday

The Ravelry Valentine exchange was so much fun that we're doing it again - regularly, for those who want to participate. So I've signed up for March - to send out cards for the holiday of my choice. It's a bit difficult to pick - but I finally decided, and spent last night making cool cards (which I'll show off in a couple of days).

My friend David took a "Circles and Triangles" class when he was in college. At the time, I thought that sounded like a pretty silly topic for a math major. But take a look at my clever handmade card. And take a look at the envelope that's sitting on top of the card, while allowing the card's edges to show. Looks like I haven't mastered the rectangle yet. So I spent the morning with a paper trimmer, skimming tiny strips of the edges of my cards. Now I'm ready for one of the many holidays that falls during March!

That may have been the most exciting part of a day of laundry and errands. But every day's a special day when you're wearing beautiful handmade socks! I thought about postponing my sock-wearing for more special events, but the sheer joy of a week of new socks is a special event all by itself.

Today's socks are by Elizabeth, and are Leslie's Double Eyelet Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport - one of my favorite sock yarns ever. They're just a little bit lacy and dainty, but still warm and sturdy - perfect for a day like this, when spring and sunshine are just peeking through the lingering snow. These will see me through those spring and fall days of not- quite- barefoot weather, and still be toasty enough for when I need something lacy in the winter.

I've learned that the sock excitement will continue after I've worn all my sockday socks, because Sock Madness kicks off this Thursday! We're told to think "scary" for the first colorway. I'm not sure how scary any of these are, but these are the possibilities I have in mind for the first socks. I've spent the evening getting everything balled up and ready to go.

I've had the enjoyment of watching CNN (with a little South Park thrown in) as I wind yarn - and watching Barack Obama win another primary. I don't know if the primary is lookin' as good as he claims to in briefs or boxers, but I'm optimistic. And if you'd like to get in on the Obama action in a fibery way, one of the Ravelry knitters has opened the Knitters (or Crocheters) for Obama online store. If you use the coupon ZAZZLE08VOTE, you can get 15% off your order. Looks like I'll be adding to my knitting t-shirt collection again!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Allow me to introduce you to one of the most wonderful places in the world - Therme Erding. It's a "Thermenparadies" - what I would call a "water park" - on the outskirts of Munich.

Getting there requires a bit of bravery, or faith, or confidence in your information. You take a long train ride to an empty outdoor platform, and find yourself in a purely residential suburb. A tiny sign at the edge of the station guides you past houses and over a highway, and another steers you onto this remote path, past forests and through fields. If there's a nowhere in Germany, this is the middle of it. If this is your first trip, this is the part where you start wondering if the webpage was real - especially if you don't speak German. If you've coaxed a bunch of people into going with you, this is the part where they start wondering if you're crazy.

But suddenly you come across it - jewel-like on a cold, dark night. (Always at night, because it's open long after the museums close.) You stumble across a parking lot, hand in the "kombi-ticket" you managed to purchase at the train station, and change into a swimsuit (or nothing, depending).

And then you find this. A giant, warm room with a giant, warm pool, decorated with fake rocks and tropical plants. There's a "lazy river" section where you can play in the current, a fake cave to play in, and a huge collection of bubble loungers and massage jets. There's a sauna section, with baths from all over the world replicated. And then there's the bar - a swim-up bar, so you don't ever have to leave the wonderful warm water to get your daiquiris and coladas. Can it get better than this?

Yes, because the whole thing is fueled by a hot spring, so there's warm water to spare. This means the outdoor part of the pool is open all year - something I've never seen before. You can float on your back, enjoying the crisp winter stars, and watching snowflakes fall, but not quite make it through the steam to you. There's even a separate tub of unfiltered water, so you can get the health benefits of all the minerals - and the outdoor trip from one pool to the other makes the warm water that much more enjoyable.

I discovered Therme Erding on my first trip to Munich, and took a group of students the second time around. They'd spent the day walking through the snow from one museum to another, then I showed them hot water and daiquiris. But I spent the train ride talking about hot springs, public bathing, and oil - so was sort of educational.

At this point you're wondering what this may have to do with knitting. Well, I'm wearing Sam's socks today. They're "snow owl in the window" socks, and this is probably the last day we'll have snow for awhile, so I thought they'd better come out to visit it.

Still don't see the connection? When Sam designed the socks, she thought the German word for the pattern meant "owl" - so planned this snow owl scheme. Once they were finished, she found out the pattern name really meant "window". But we're sticking with owls, anyway.

So why the Thermenparadies? Because the walk out there, through the fields and past the forest, was the first time I've ever heard owls in the wild. I could actually hear them, up in the trees. I thought this was a pretty cool selling point for the whole visit - hot springs and owls! How often do you get to hear wild owls? I was really excited.

Aaron thinks I'm a hopeless city girl. But the snow owl socks that aren't about owls reminded me of the trip.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Break

I don't have to go to work today and
it's the first day of Spring Break and
it's actually getting a bit warmer and
Daylight Savings Time starts today, so we get to enjoy more sunlight (and the dogs will sleep later)!

What better way to celebrate than by wearing colorful socks?

These are my new socks from Michelle. It's hard to get pictures that show off the beautiful patternwork on the cuffs when dogs are trying to stand on my chest and lick my face, or sit on the ottoman that's holding the socks, or fight on the ottoman that's holding the socks - but I'm doing the best I can.

I haven't had a chance to talk to Michelle, but I suspect the yarn is Socks that Rock, and I think the pattern is a shorter and bobble-less version of these socks. She has a beautiful pair of Fair Isle Socks that Rock socks of her own, and it's possible that I may have said one or two admiring things about them. Whatever they are, they're lovely. This is day three of my new-sock-wearing binge, and the thrill hasn't worn off.

I intend to be productive over break too. Clean a bit... maybe get organized... or bake cookies. These are Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, from the Paula Deen cookbook Mimiwonton gave me when she was my Secret Pal. So I've been somewhat productive, and now I'll be well-provisioned as I try to Get Stuff Done.

Does knitting count as Getting Stuff Done? If so, I'm feeling pretty good - I finished the first Jacobean sock last night, and started on sock #2.

I keep being pleasantly surprised by these socks. I wasn't thrilled by the pattern, initially, and I didn't think the yarn was working very well. However, when I tried the sock on it looked quite nice and the pattern really popped out. I could even learn to like the magic cast-on toes, although I'm still not so sure about the short-row heels.

But I'm not going to savor this knitting project for long. It's very important that I finish these socks before Thursday, so I'm all ready to go with Sock Madness! I'll run out of my sockday socks then, too, so I have even more incentive to finish - Sockday Round II is a long way away!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ravelry Revelry

Today is expected to be the coldest day we've had in awhile - in the 20s or so - and I'm going to be walking around downtown. But cold means nothing to me today, because Heather's Wisconsin Winter Socks are just waiting for me to take them out to play!

These giant, warm socks are made with Ultra Alpaca and one of the Regia patterned yarns held together - so you get the durability of the Regia and the softness of the alpaca. I felt warmer as soon as I put them on.

They're the sort of socks that want you to snuggle up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and some daytime TV, but they're good for going out, too. They look like they have a lot of loft, but they fit under my Birkenstocks without any difficulty. So I took them out - out to River Knits for the Ravelry get-together.

Wow, was that fun! There was a big crowd of knitters at River Knits, although it wasn't as packed-to-the-gills as I'm told Stitches and Scones was last month. I didn't know a single person when I got there, but that doesn't matter - we're knitters, so we all have something to sit around and talk about - it's easy to bond. I didn't come away knowing many names, but I met knittingdragon (the only guy there, so he's easy to remember), and a cool 10 (or so) year old knitter who was starting her first lace project and who makes stitch markers in a really nifty design.

I also got to meet ShamrockKnits - which is really nice, since this time last month I was trying to kill her with an attack hat. Like I said, it's easy for knitters to bond - we always have something in common, even when it involves knitting with murderous intent.

Knitting was followed by lunch at Main Street Wine & Cheese, where they make a magnificent grilled cheese sandwich and sell wines by the glass. I thought a tasty treat was in order, since I did not buy a single ball or skein of yarn today. Pretty good, right?

(OK, I went over yesterday and spent over $100 getting what I needed before the Ravelry hordes descended. But I was good today, so that should count for something.)

When I got home, I discovered that we have a new friend. Isn't he (or she?) cute? I'm afraid all my pictures are fuzzy, since it was getting dark - but he's fuzzy too, so it's probably ok. He spent a long time sniffing around my living room window before heading home - and now I know why the dogs are so interested in the woodpile.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Spoilt for Choice

It's only now occurred to me that I can wear a brand-new pair of socks every day this week. So I've decided to share them one at a time, in order to prolong the socky coolness. It turns out that the hardest part about getting seven pairs of handknit socks all at once is deciding which ones to wear first. That's a hardship I'm more than willing to live with, especially since I'm somewhat guided by the rather mercurial weather forecast for the week.

Today is a pretty cold day, and also one I'm planning to spend mostly at home, so Amanda's socks are a good choice for the day. These are "Flow Motion Socks," made with Galway Paint yarn.

They're a Cat Bordhi design, and incorporate what seems to be her trademark funky shaping. I hope this picture shows it - the gusset expansion isn't in the normal place on the sides; it's over the top of the foot. So now I have a pair of fun Cat Bordhi socks in spite of all my Coriolis trouble! The yarn is cozy and warm, and while the funky shaping makes them seem a bit tight to put on, they fit really nicely. I may have to return to the funky shaping project.

The dogs think they're pretty nice looking, too.

I want to share something about the dogs. Some people who don't know them might think they're cute little angels with fur. Those people probably think that it's easy to get lots of great pictures when you have cool socks and photogenic dogs around.

Those people would be wrong. This is what I'm usually putting up with when I'm trying to take pictures.

Or maybe it's a matter of what Max has to put up with.

Don't feel too sorry for him - yesterday, while I was trying to take pictures of my toe socks, he stole my lunch. But you'll have to visit my bento album to see what he had to eat.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Socks, Socks, Socks, Socks, Socks, Socks, Socks!!!! (and more socks)

I'm lucky that I haven't walked into any walls today. I can't stop looking down at my feet.

I'm wearing toe socks! I love these socks more than my last pair of toe socks. I love the feel of the Regia Silk yarn, and I love the happy way the color bands worked out on the toes. Notice how the big and little toes on my left foot are striped the same way? That's a total coincidence, but I love it. Wow, I love these socks.

There's a lot of sock love to go around today, because today is my sockday!!!! We've been doing this sock swapping for nearly two years, and finally - finally - it's my turn.

So why is it that today, of all days, some drunk and unlicensed idiot would decide to go driving the wrong way down a busy street and run into a semi causing a diesel fuel spill right in front of the restaurant where we're meeting for my sockday?!?!!? Apparently the thought of me shouting "come on, come on, you motherfu***rs, get out of the way, it's my Sockday, dammit, IT'S MY SOCKDAY!" is an amusing one. But I think it's a completely appropriate response, to finding there's a giant toxic pool and a whole bunch of slow drivers between me and my socks. I don't even want to talk about the ice and the parking lot.

Eventually, everyone who was supposed to be there made it, so we dined on tasty Greek food at The Parthenon, which was my favorite special occasion restaurant when I was living on an undergraduate budget. It's still a nice place now - and they sell Retsina wine, which came as handy for getting over the traffic stress as for drinking toasts to socks. So here are four of my wonderful new socks with their creators. I'll post pictures all of the socks tomorrow - and I'll probably be carrying the socks around with me all night tonight!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March Madness

Traditionally "March Madness" referrs to the NCAA basketball tourney - which may be something we at Purdue get to care about this year - but there's also all sorts of other exciting stuff going on this March.

For a start, this is Tornado Season Kickoff Week, and we had our first tornado siren drill of the year. But it's not really the most exciting week for severe summer weather, since we're still getting more than our share of severe winter weather - the umpteenth snowfall/blizzard of the year last night. We just thawed out from the last several batches yesterday, and here it is again.

More importantly, March Madness means Sock Madness - which is just eight days away! So while I haven't developed my Severe Weather Preparadness Plan, I'm working hard on my Sock Preparadness Plan. The first step is to check all my equipment, and make sure it's ready to use. So I've done that by finishing my toe socks, thus freeing a set of Size 1 needles for other uses. I've also finished these before Aaron returns, which I'd hoped to do, so I'm right on track for my sock schedule. Practice is good. I'll be wearing these socks tomorrow, for MY SOCKDAY!!!!!!

Supplies are the next step. I'd hoped to go to River Knits last night to lay in a store of emergency supplies, but, ironically, they were closed because of the bad weather. At least I was still able to buy milk and bread. But I conducted a further review (with the able assistance of my would-be Sock Service Dog) and found that I may have enough supplies already. Except for the Misti Alpaca (which I know will be needed for Sock Madness), this is all sock yarn. The good news is that I think this is all of my sock yarn. I think that's good.

I'm also gathering supplies for a second project, which I want to have finished before the Yarn Harlot comes to town. I still need to find some blue and green Sugar 'n' Cream yarn, and figure out exactly how to do an entrelac square with a nice border. Can you guess what it's going to be?

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

One of Five

As I type, Aaron is on his way back to Stockholm, so some leftover wine and half a batch of persimmon pudding is all that stands between me and some serious grumpiness. That and knitting, anyway.

I've finished the wine, and expect the persimmon pudding will only last for a few days, but there's no danger of running out of knitting. The Sock Knitters' Pentathlon started on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to the beginning of Sock Madness on March 15, so it's possible that I'm planning to knit 13 pairs of socks over the next few months - not counting the ones for Sock Club or for Amanda's sockday.

This is the first Sock Pentathlon sock - "Jacobean," by Julie of Knitpickin'. It has some interesting bits, including the "magic" toe-up cast on and a short row heel, and makes a simple but pretty pattern. Julie recommends using magic loop, but that's not something I've learned to like, so I'm sticking with the DPNs. I cast on after work tonight, and knitted through "King of the Hill," "Iron Chef America," and "Ace of Cakes" - so I'm pretty happy with two hours' work.

There's just one tiny problem. (Why is it that thanks to the Capitol Steps, I can't use that phrase without hearing Bill Clinton saying "aw, honey, I wouldn't call it tiny?) Can you see the simple but pretty pattern?

Before the pattern came out, we were told we'd need a solid or semisolid yarn. I'm trying not to be a fiber snob, but I still wanted to avoid the nylon-blended Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, which is the most readily available semisolid. I don't get interested in knitting socks that aren't warm until I actually need socks that aren't warm - which probably isn't the best timing, but that seems to be how I roll. I'd been looking for an excuse to try some Jojoland Melody yarn, and I thought it looked semi-solid enough. But maybe it's not. I don't know if it's the yarn texture or the plied colors, but the pattern certainly doesn't seem to show up very well.

I think I'm going to keep going, and sing the praises of subtlety. Or else I'll offer up my pictures the next time the Yarn Harlot writes about knitterly denial.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I had a moment of terror the other day when Aaron delivered a squishy package to me at work. Was I going to die from a Hat Attack, right in the middle of the library? The return address offered no clues or reassurance, so I very delicately opened the envelope.

And found this. My new "Audacity" Yarn, from Black Bunny Fibers. It's a delightfully soft superwash merino, hand-dyed in gold, brown, and rust. I hope it will be perfect for one of the upcoming Sock Madness socks, or maybe a Sock Pentathlon sock, or maybe just a sock I design for fun. And it's special yarn, because Carol, the dyer, is donating $15 for each skein sold to the Obama campaign. So I'm doing a good deed by buying yarn - it's hard to beat that.

Here's the skein in a ball, so it's all ready to go if I decide to use it for one of the upcoming sock challenges. I have a feeling I'm going to be buying a lot of yarn soon - Sock Madness goes through 8 rounds, and Sock Pentathlon 5 - and since I don't know what the patterns will look like, I'll need to have a wide selection of yarns available. I don't want to use yarn I really love for a pattern that doesn't excite me, but if I'm going to go to the trouble of knitting a weird pattern I want to use yarn I like. It's a good thing I'm not trying a yarn diet right now - although if I were, yarn for a good cause wouldn't count.

And although I've cut back on knitting this week to enjoy Aaron's visit, I couldn't resist finishing this - my "Yes, We Can" hat. Giant Stuffed Catfish like Barack Obama, too. March is coming in like a lamb for the next couple of days, but the local weather guy is predicting a colder than normal month, so finishing the hat is kind of an important project. I want to wear it now while there's still some need to drum up excitement - and I hope it will be much too warm for wool hats by our May primary. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but I'm pleased to report that the hat fits. It's 120 stitches around, on size 5 needles, made from Cascade 220. I've duplicate stitched on the Obama logo, following Jeneanw's chart.

Incidentally an afghan made from the same chart, and all sorts of other fabulous fibery prizes, are available in the Ravelry Knitters for Obama raffle. Check out their page at for details!

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