April 05, 2010

Socks on the Brain

Yesterday I was tooling around blog space, mostly because I am on vacation and was tired of working on the maple socks, which are almost finished now--few more inches and I'll be to the toes--and I came across a sock design contest.  Not having entered a knitting contest before, I was particularly excited to come across one whose deadline I hadn't missed.  I always seem to come across contests that I want to enter after they are over, which lends to my defense that I don't spend enough time on the Internet, even though my husband is always giving me a hard time about being on the computer.  So the contest is the Socks Revived contest--deadline April 18.  I don't honestly even know what the prizes are if I win.  Not the point.  It's the challenge of the thing that has inspired a new pair of socks before I am even done with the ones that I'm working on now.

And they are the most frustrating socks I have ever done, next to that pair that lies half-ripped out in the spare bedroom because I came to hate the pattern passionately by the time I got to the heels, but was too non-committal to tear them out completely.  I have written the contest pattern down to the gussets, my least favorite part of the sock,  and have gotten the cuffs and the first few rows of the pattern done.  I thought I'd start with an anklet because time is short and the deadline looms, and then we'd see what develops from there.  But the cable to my needles is totally uncooperative, and I didn't have any solid sock yarn--no yarn stores of merit open on Easter Sunday, so I went with what I had: purple/grey variegated bamboo/merino.  I like the yarn, and I can see the pattern develop as I knit; but my mother was right and I don't think they will photograph all that well.  And the yarn is pre-packaged in skeins, and these two skeins apparently hate one another because I can't do half a row without having to untangle them.  With the cuffs done, I discovered that I can't start my lace pattern right out of the gate, so I had to rip that out and knit a few rows.  And my computer hates me.  The word document I created to write the pattern must have crashed three times due to a virus. And it was Easter Sunday, and probably not the best day to start a new sock obsession.  Good thing we were having the most lax Easter Sunday we've ever had because of my daughter's recovery and my boys being with my ex-husband for the weekend.

My six-year old had her tonsils out on Friday.  Remarkably, two days later, she is acting--during the day anyway--like she never had surgery; but at night she is not sleeping well, of course, so neither am I.  That's why this newest note is being written at 3:30 in the morning.  I can only get up and down so many times before I am just up.  My brain turned on about midnight, and I think I must have had four different dreams about what to write for my next blog entry by 2 am--I guess that's a sign to write something.  So now I'm up for the duration, I guess.  Good thing I'm on vacation.  I don't want to jinx it, but it looks like it will be a week of sunshine and warm weather--Spring took about a day to get here, and now it's 80s every day.  Last week it was 70 degrees if we were lucky and didn't notice the arctic wind.  That sounds a little exaggerated, coming from someone living in the South, I'm sure.  What does warm weather in the South mean at this time of the year?  Jonquils, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, flowering cherry, dogwood, and plum, camelias in bloom, forsythia like fountains of gold, flox on the hillsides, and so much damned pine pollen that the whole world exists in a constant state of yellow fog and allergy Hell!  I'm right there, in allergy Hell right now. So we love the weather and are praying for rain.  We just had about three months of non-stop rain and a crazy number of snow days, and we were praying for it to stop.  It stops, and we can't wait for it to start again.

We put in the garden on Saturday.  I made my husband till up another 5 ft x 16 ft section of the yard for the tomatoes so I would have more room in the garden to grow other things.  I am trying to go totally organic this year, from the compost to the heirloom organic seeds.  I think I am the only person on the planet who can't compost.  I just can't get it to work.  I have been fussing since the beginning of February to get the seeds started, but it kept raining and freezing, and now, two months later, I'm afraid it's too late in the season and by mid-July everything will be under grown and burnt out from the heat.  I ordered seeds late, so I started seeds indoors late, and nothing wants to grow in those darned little pots.  However, when I uncovered the garden from all of the leaves, there was lettuce gone wild, beets that wouldn't grow when I wanted to but that were in full swing, a couple rows of carrots with the biggest one I have ever grown practically climbing out on its own, yellow/crimson calendula budding up despite the obvious frost-bite, and more oregano than I know what to do with.  The Italian parsley is even coming back strong.  My husband planted two blueberry bushes in the new garden space today, and we have muscadine and grapes to plant still. Victory Garden is going to have nothing on me this year!  I'm going to give those darned seeds until Wednesday to sprout, and then I'm just going to put them in the garden and throw caution to the wind!  Sprouts or no.  This year I am planting cucumbers, spinach, 4 kinds of tomatoes, Charleston bell peppers, purple bell peppers, sweet potatoes, beets, orange and white carrots, parsley, sage, rosemary, lime basil, German basil, pink Indian Prince calendula, chives, vidalia onions, bush beans, lemon bee balm, baby romaine, spotted trout lettuce, butterleaf lettuce, red oak lettuce, and dill. I think that's the complete list, but I may have forgotten something.

Alright, well, as 4 am peeks around the corner, I think I will go work on the new socks.  Even the name of the pattern seems wrong.  I never write patterns; I just knit along and invent as I go. That's probably the problem with these new socks right there.


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