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Little Child’s Sock

You guys are great for moral support! With test day approaching in two weeks, I’m a mess. I feel confident and prepared one minute and nervous and stupid the next. One thing that should help is that Aaron will be taking Beatrix to visit his mom and stepfather in Montana for the week before the exam. I will be alone for an entire week, a prospect that both relieves and sickens me. I’m trying hard not to think about it.

All of this reviewing, studying and preparation has resulted in a lightning fast pair of near knee socks!

Little Child's Sock
Pattern: Little Child’s Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Aqua
Needles: US 1 1/2

Pam and I traded some yarn back in Philadelphia and this is what I received. I thought lacy and/or cabled patterns would be too much for such a pastel so I found a neutral Nancy Bush pattern for the yarn. I’m slowly making my way through Knitting Vintage Socks and with this pair, I can cross off another pattern on my list.

Little Child's Sock

The texture comes almost exclusively from different alignments of 2×2 ribbing, which makes for an easy yet still interesting pattern. I always knit my own heels and wedge toes so those were the only modifications I made to the pattern.

Little Child's Sock

Isn’t the texture great? I could not be more pleased. However, let me tell you that this was by far the ugliest WIP I have ever had. The ribbing pulls the sock in at funny places when it is not modeled on an actual foot. Consequently, the WIP looks like this:

One ugly sock

It was beyond ugly; it was truly hideous, actually. And since I was knitting mostly at the coffee shop where I study, I spent altogether too much time answering the question, “WHAT are you knitting?” and explaining to non-knitters that no, really, it will be a lovely pair of socks. I almost cast on for a second, more appealing looking pair just to avoid having to talk to people about my fugly knitting. But see? A lovely pair of socks!

I already have my next pair of knee socks going, Gentleman’s Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern, also from Knitting Vintage Socks:

Gentleman's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern

Actually, I just turned the heel on this sock so perhaps I’ll have another finished pair by the end of the weekend.

Alright, that’s enough fun for now, exam prep calls.

Shhh! Secret knitting underway!

Babies! Swaps! No way are you going to even manage a peek at all the knitting going on here! I offer you a drive by post on the socks I just finished for my mother-in-law.

Stockinette Socks with Picot Edge

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in “Violet”, a gift from Christine
Needles: US 1 1/2

This is a basic 68-stitch cuff deceased down to a 60-stitch foot. I’ve been studying like mad so I needed a project that was even more mindless than usual (why bother knit, really?). I like how these look but I admit that stockinette socks always end up being more work than I anticipate because I count rows to match the second sock to the first one. A few people from my knitting group laughed and suggested a tape measure would yield more or less the same results but I prefer to match my socks to the row!

Stockinette Socks with Picot Edge

Next up is a great stashbuster! This is the beginning of the Aspen Neck Cowl (Rav link here) with Posh Yarn Emily.
Aspen Neck Cowl

This is actually inside out. I prefer knitting this pattern inside out because I knit faster than I purl. Here is the other side (the right side) of the fabric.

Apen Neck Cowl
Lastly, somebody has learned to knit! Or, sort of. We caught Beatrix “knitting” shoe laces last week. How old does she have to be before she gets her first pair of needles?

Knit, baby, knit!

Springtime distractions

The more I think about the San Francisco Marathon, the more I think it’s a bad idea. Perhaps I’ll run the half marathon. I could aim for a better, faster race instead of slog my way through 26 miles. A few of you mentioned that you’re running too, which I think is fabulous! I fully support the runner’s high addiction. And let’s not forget the yarn addiction! I think we should all get together and run a nice half marathon in a city with great yarn shops. It would be the perfect marriage of two dangerous hobbies!

Progress on the knitting front has been less than perfect, however. I’m almost to the armholes on one of the fronts of the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan. I look forward to the other half of the front because all of the cables will go the other direction, which I find easier to do without a cable needle.

Katharine Hepburn cardigan front

While knitting the other day, I found myself wondering about why the yarn cake deforms the way it does. I’m pulling yarn from the left in this picture but as I pull out the innards of the cake, it bulges to the right. Why is that? I would expect it to explode in the direction I pull. Anyone? Erin? Adam? People who know physics? You now know what absurd things I think about as the semester draws to a close. I’m studying for finals and the MCAT but hey, what’s up with my yarn cake? I am easily distracted at the beginning of May.

A physics problem

Lastly, once I realized that I was on track to complete one pair of socks per month, I decided that I had to cast on for a mindless stockinette pair for my May socks. I actually started these weeks ago but there has been a shocking dearth of knitting around these parts so they are only now making an appearance. I cast off the first one this afternoon and I’ll probably start the second one later this week.

Simple stockinette sock

While my knitting seems interminably stuck in the pinks and purples, locally grown asparagus adds a nice splash of color to my day! If only my tomato plants would GROW! It is so hard to pick out tomato plants at the nursery because each variety is supposed to be the BEST TOMATO YOU’VE EVER TASTED. I may have planted close to 20 plants. I have no willpower when it comes to the best tomato ever tasted.

Fresh asparagus!

Pink and Purple: A Problem

Thank you for your many insightful comments and observations about my last post. I will entertain the possibility of a regular summer open house, garden permitting; however, I think Amy is right in pointing out the danger of trying to recreate something from one’s youth. Still, Wendy and Nova and Ann have found ways to make open houses work. And Zarah pointed out that Kelli frequently hosts community suppers – Kelli’s suppers were what made me think a common meal could work. Nevertheless, you all brought up interesting points and I appreciate your thoughts. Let’s continue a discussion about this in the community we share: the knitblogosphere!

Katharine Hepburn Cardigan

Let’s move on to the knitting! I have been working on some old projects lately, adding more length to my Drunken Bee sock and finishing up the back of my Katharine Hepburn cardigan.

Katharine Hepburn Cardigan

I started this one last fall but I set it down because the stitch pattern is both mindlessly dull and impossible to knit while reading. Nevertheless, I love how it looks! The pattern is from Lace Style (Ravelry link here) and the yarn is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in “Chuck Berry”.

Katharine Hepburn Cardigan

Taking stock of my recent projects (this sweater, my Newburyport socks) and my remaining sock yarn stash tells me that I have a color problem. Specifically, I have a problem with pinks and purples. Who knew? I always thought my favorite color was blue! Needless to say, there will be a lot of pink and purple knitting coming your way in the coming months. I will certainly return to blue and green yarn once this stash is exhausted. In the meantime, what does one do with 4 oz of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in BRIGHT PINK???

Pink and purple problem

And speaking of that sock stash, it is down to 13 pairs worth of socks (from 21). I used up four pairs and traded away almost all the Knit Picks. This is what remains. There is hope!

Finally, in an exercise bit of news, I finished my second half marathon yesterday and cut about 22 minutes off my time (largely for lack of desperate porta-potty stops). I think I ran about a 9:30/mile pace but I had to walk mile 11 because I got bad cramps. In the end, I think my time was around 2:11. It would really be nice to break 2:00 next time around!

2008 Lawrence Half Marathon

I’m thinking about running the San Francisco Marathon in August but I’m pretty much scared witless. Any opinions? Do any of you lovely knitters want to run a marathon this summer/fall? Tell me all about it! I need to be talked into this one.

Aaron’s Chocolate Pecan Pie

Nova, this one is for you! Aaron loves to bake and a few years ago, he adapted his grandmother’s pecan pie recipe to make the most amazing chocolate pecan pie I’ve ever tasted. And I don’t even like pie. It’s that good.

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1 heaping cup pecans (halves or coarsely chopped)
3 eggs
12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick (8 tbs) butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
And choose one of the two options below:

Version 1:
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup dark Karo corn syrup
1/3 cup honey

Version 2:
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dark Karo corn syrup
1/3 cup honey

Beat eggs until frothy. Melt the stick of butter with about 2/3 of the package of chocolate chips and let stand to cool a bit. Mix the chocolate mixture in with the eggs, then mix all other ingredients in as well, saving the pecans and the remaining chocolate chips for last.

Pour mixture into an unbaked, 9″ pie shell. Cook at 325 for 50 minutes, checking until done. When the top is crusting over and cracks, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out gooey, but the surface is firm, the pie is ready. The pie will set when it cools off.

Be sure to let pie cool off completely to room temperature before serving, or it will be too gooey to cut.