It took me a minute to remember how these socks were born. We drove Girl to Indiana more than a year and a half ago to leave her at the mercies of a freshman dorm. I knit a lot along the way. I say "we" drove, but in truth Mr. Wonderful drove. My sole responsibility on road trips is to say things like "You missed that exit" and "Are we ever going to stop so I can pee?" and "You drive like crap." Generally at that point he references the fact that I never drive on road trips, and would I like to now. I decline and return to my knitting. I did once drive across South Carolina.
But about these socks. They didn't start as this colorway or this weight. They began as fingering weight socks in a colorway called Scottish Highlands. This is one of those "vision + yarn choice + stitch pattern = fail" moments in which I discover that while the concept is sound, something just isn't right. Maybe swatching for a pattern when you've just tearfully and forcibly dumped your youngest child and only daughter off at a college halfway across the country, cruelly wrenching her from home and Gerbil, isn't such a great idea. Maybe, based on circumstance, the poor Scottish Highland socks were doomed from the first moment the swatch was cast on. Maybe parenting is the hardest, worst, best, scariest, most painful, most rewarding job I've ever had. I stuffed the swatch to the bottom of the bin, grumbled, and moved on to something else - I don't remember what now. Denial is my favorite defense mechanism in yarn and in life. Stuff it to the bottom, forget about it and move on. It never happened.
Home again, just the two of us - an odd thing, feeling both empty and full at the same time, when has it ever been just the two of us? - I hauled the swatch out and began the quest of the yarn box. This is where I poke and dig and try to find something I think will work. My hands found a yarn. Wrong weight. Wrong colors. But perfect.The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock heavyweight; the colorway is Lunasea. I love them. These are wonderfully thick, warm socks suitable for cooler weather as a hiking sock or a house sock. I love thick wool socks in cold weather. The stitch pattern is quickly and readily memorized, and knitting them up is a relaxing and peaceful act. Well, I think it is. Mary Kubasek-Haber actually knit them. We could ask her. Regardless they are sort of phoenix socks; from the ashes of my stitch pattern denial and yarn angst rise these beautiful, simple, peaceful, methodical woolies. Come May, you can knit a pair for yourself - just snag a copy of Toe Up 2-at-a-Time Socks from your local library, yarn or book shop, and cast on.
If you are in the Boston area next weekend, please come and join us at The Wellesley Booksmith for a wonderful full-day knit-a-thon event. There will be presentations and demonstrations, signing of books, and general fibery goodness. I will be there, along with Gail Callahan, Kristin Nicholas, Judith Durant, Wren Ross, Jill Stover and Roseanna Means. 10% of proceeds of the charitable book fair will benefit Women of Means which seeks to provide "...free, patient-centered health care to women and children". Worthy. Also, anyone looking for a job? The need a nurse case manager. I'd apply but it would cut into my knitting time, I think.
I have also updated the 'where I'll be' thing in the sidebar (I think it may need it's own page soon) to include book signings at both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festivals - Sunday (Mother's Day) in New Hampshire from 11am-2pm and Saturday in Massachusetts, same times. I will once again be signing books for Barb Parry at Foxfire Fiber booth. There will be books available at both events, and I look forward to seeing you there! I think a new sock book would make a lovely Mother's Day gift, don't you? (insert grin here!)
On the home front - apparently in spite of our best attempts at apicide (I made a word!), the bees are not only alive but thriving. We've done so much wrong and they still soldier on. We're taking it a little more seriously now. We're even going to add on a second hive this spring.I am hopeful that this will ensure honey in a quantity greater than a pint come fall.
Spring is springing - baby garlic is poking it's slender green top out to take a look around.I love garlic and I planted a couple of new varieties this year thanks to my Garlic and Arts Festival quest. What is not to love about two days of eating garlic raw? If you're in or near Western Mass in October, I cannot recommend this event highly enough.
I also found one tiny gray asparagus spear blinking against the light.These beds should have good yield this year, as it's their second in full production. We eat it like there's no tomorrow, so it will be nice to grow our own. I am hoping to have enough to freeze, which although so wrong will allow us to extend the season.
And then I found this one lone onion,overlooked in the fall harvest, too small for much of anything, but struggling to make a go of it. I pulled it, and added it to dinner - sauteed mushrooms and chard from last year's garden, plus the chopped sad little onion, a bit of garlic and some clarified butter. It was all quite excellent.
I am glad that winter is heading out trailing green growing things in it's wake. In four days spring will officially be here. In three Girl will be 22. About that denial thing...