Travels to the cottage...
I packed the car early Friday morning with a question I frequently ask myself...am I getting away from it all or taking it all with me?
Travails at the cottage...
A mere 7 hours later with the drive and boat ride behind us, everything was unpacked and we were all installed on the dock in the gorgeous summer sunshine. I'm a "delicate flower" and sit in the shade, wearing long sleeves and a hat but everyone else was enjoying the first real summer sun we've had up north this year. Naturally I was knitting - and unfortunately once again dropped a dpn which rolled and fell between the cracks of the dock. No problem - we have all seen this before! In no time the cordless drill was whirring and the boards were coming up for an "easy" retrieval of the needle from between the rocks that fill the dock's cribs.
(Crib dock construction uses big 5 or 6 foot square "boxes" of cedar posts with crude plank "floors" sunk and filled with rocks to hold them in place. The deck is built on top and often spans several such cribs. Its a bit of a crap shoot as to whether objects that fall beneath land on a crib within reach as my needle did or between two cribs where they must be retrieved using mask and fins. In this case, once the hole was opened up My Beloved just had to lift a massive concrete filled cinder block straight out of the hole and there was the needle!)
With instructions from Confessions of a Knitting Heretic I have made several attempts at every element of the toe up, afterthought heel and toe sock.
Actually the toe came out perfectly on my first attempt.
Not so for the other elements of the thing - I played with gauge and tension, alternative methods of casting off, left and right slanting decreases,
mixing varying weights of yarn, holding them double and single. I knit that first sock 3 or 4 times over - all the while trying hard to see and understand how the stitches were facing, how the yarns were responding, how needle size was affecting everything. Without ever really bothering to pay such attention in the past it made a pretty boring knit quite interesting.
I have used these two balls of Debbie Bliss white Baby Cashmerino on two previous sock patterns, ultimately ripping them and tossing the yarn back in the stash. It performed very well this time despite the past abuse. The toe and bind off at the cuff are DB Cashmerino Aran. The heel is fingering weight left from the Retro Rib socks. I may rip it out and replace it with an Aran version. This iteration of pattern and yarn finally meets with my expectations for a slouchy, cozy bed sock and will very shortly be joined by its mate -
Second sock is flying along - above is the knitting from the two hour car ride home yesterday and an hour or so total between last night and this morning. It is from the working notes borne of all those experiments. (Yes, I will work to avoid a nasty hole at the junction of heel and instep that I clearly did not avoid in Sock one.)
I have two more colourways of Baby Cashmerino awaiting similar treatment when this pair is done.
Literal illustrations of the circle of life abound at the cottage. A great example came late Saturday afternoon with the "arrival" of a rather small snapping turtle (8 or 9 inches across), just off the end of the dock, essentially riding along chomping on a rather huge, recently deceased fish. We have a big snapper that cruises by late in the afternoon keeping things neat and tidy by eating dead stuff. He's either very good at his job or generally hungry because we rarely see anything dead along our beautiful lake front. This fish on Saturday though was 18 or 20 inches long - probably fatally injured being caught and released by a fisherman.
The little turtle looked like he had won the lottery. He'd found this massive prize before his giant relative had a chance to chomp it down! The little guy could not get his mouth open wide enough to get a good bite!
He would peck and nibble away until he was exhausted and then just use the thing as a floatation device and rest up for his next attempt.
Now back in the city I am whipping the garden back into shape and getting the laundry done and packed for a return north in the morning.
My Beloved (on holidays this week) and Number One Son are right now out getting a new stylus for our old turntable - they are excited to take it up north with us along with a couple of milk crates full of old LPs. Everything old is new again - the circle of life is in evidence everywhere I look!
P.S. While out with the turntable the guys are also going to Romni for me to pick up something for an unexpected baby knit I need for a cottage neighbour. It will be interesting to see what they come home with - both the yarn on their list and the story of finding it in that cavernous store!