Saturday, November 24, 2007

Back from the great beyond

It's been 3 months since I posted! I really do tend to go through fits and spurts.

I've been busy knitting in the meantime, and have some results to show off.

First, my finished sweater!
Front view:

Back view:

Also, I finished my mystery stole back in October but didn't get around to photographing it until yesterday. Here are a couple of pictures:


That's all for today.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Birthday Surprise

It was my birthday this week. As I get older, my birthday starts to become less and less exciting. I'm now officially on the downslope to being 40 - I just turned 35. Turning 30 was much more fun than turning 35. Turning 30 was like, "woo, I'm a real adult now!". Turning 35 is like "oh shit, I'm gonna be 40!".

However, I managed not to dwell on that too much. I enjoyed a nice night with my knit group, and when I returned home afterwards, I found my husband had assembled a great big pile of gifts for me. The first gift was a new brown summery purse, which I'd been fruitlessly shopping for on and off throughout most of the summer. Since it's the end of August now I won't switch to it immediately, but come springtime I'll be using it with glee. Inside the purse was some weird mystery yarn he bought at the market in Spain. It has a label on it, but the label doesn't discuss the fibre content, the weight of the ball, or the number of metres of yarn in the ball. It does, however, tell you how many balls you'd need to make a sweater. Um, OK. Doesn't that kinda depend on the sweater? So it's probably acrylic, and it seems to be somewhere around DK weight. I'll investigate further before I actually start knitting anything with it.

Then there were some books.

1) Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave - This sock book looks fantastic, and it has a spiral binding so it'll stay open easily while working from it. Does he have good taste or what? He picked it out all by himself.
2) Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk - I really enjoy his books. I've written and rewritten a second sentence here trying to describe his books in a nutshell, and I can't do it. So I won't even try. This book was on my wishlist.

And the third book was the icing on the cake. The most shocking gift I've received in years (after the strange artsy glued-together book with a French poem on it we got as a wedding gift). See, when I was a kid, I read a lot. Jaws was actually my favourite book as a child. I read it about once a week, I feel like. I know it wasn't really THAT often, but I've probably read it at least 20 times. But Jaws didn't really scare me. The scariest book I've ever read was The Mystery of the Glowing Eye, which was a Nancy Drew book. In fact, it scared me so much that as soon as I read the scary part, I had to put the book down, and I never picked it up again. I still don't know how it ends. All these years later, I'd forgotten even the name of the book, but I guess I mentioned to Kenneth how much it scared me, and I must have mentioned that there was a glowing eye. He managed to track it down, and bought it for me. And I have to admit, when I saw that glowing eye staring up at me from the cover, I felt a little frisson of fear in my stomach. I'm kind of afraid to read it again. I'm sure nowadays, it won't scare me, but still... what if it does? I don't want the glowing eye to get me!

See, even the cover is scary:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Vacation Pictures

Newfoundland & Labrador was just gorgeous. Absolutely, unstoppably gorgeous. Even the "big city" of St. John's was lovely. The amount of wilderness they have there is amazing. The entire province only has about half a million people in it, and it's not a small province.

Here is the Tablelands, in Gros Morne National Park. It's a barren, rocky place, where the rocks are thought to be millions of years old, brought up from the lower levels of the earth's crust by the collision of the continental plates.

Newfoundland 046

Here's Battle Harbour. It's a fishing village in Labrador, which was abandoned during the 60's because the government offered the residents incentives to move to more populated areas. Now they're restoring it, and you can stay on-site in some of the restored cottages, and there are other restored buildings you can tour, with lots of artifacts and so on. The island is gorgeous, and you can see whales and icebergs from shore. The guidebook said this would be the highlight of our trip, and it was definitely pretty close! We stayed in the doctor's house, which was a 3-bedroom cottage. If any other guests had booked in, we would have been sharing the bathroom, kitchen, etc, but since nobody did, we had the whole cottage to ourselves. It was great.

Newfoundland 140

Here's one of the icebergs we saw. Unfortunately, when we saw our favorite one, the camera was out of batteries. But this one was pretty good too, even though we didn't get too close to it.

Newfoundland 199

And finally, my favorite picture. We took a whale watching trip in Trinity with Ocean Contact. The owner is a bit of a kook, in my opinion - he had all these bizarre ideas about how if you look at something across the room, that means your mind is as big as the room. He also kept bragging about how he worked with Stephen Hawking, and did his PhD at MIT, etc. And he claims to be able to communicate with whales. So we had to sit through an hour-long talk from him at the inn before we actually got into the boat. The talk was interesting in parts but I often had to refrain from rolling my eyes. Anyways, then we suited up in these bright orange exposure suits which were supposed to protect us from the wet and cold. Mine didn't. The good thing about the trip was the boat was really small and close to the water, so when we got near a whale, we got a really good view. We saw one Minke whale from far off (nothing to write home about), one sperm whale from really close up, and one humpback whale from pretty close up. The humpback even breached (jumped completely out of the water) twice. That was really something to see (but of course we didn't capture that on film). So overall, despite the kooky owner and the leaky exposure suit, I'd say the whale watching trip was the highlight of our vacation. Maybe just because we managed to get *such* a great picture.

Newfoundland 285

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Back from Vacation

We got back from a 2-week vacation to Newfoundland last Monday, and it's been go-go-go ever since.

Newfoundland was fantastic - so much wilderness! It was amazing. And there are so many small fishing villages where you really wonder how the people can live there, so far from civilization. We hiked a lot, saw the ruins of a Viking village, went whale watching, and saw icebergs. It was all good. And we had no cellphone reception (with the exception of the 3 days we spent in St. John's) and no internet.

When I got back, I found out I had an invitation to join Ravelry! Very exciting! It had been sent on the first day of my vacation, and had gotten sorted into my spam folder, so I didn't realize right away that it was there. So I've been minorly obsessed with Ravelry ever since. I kept planning to start a knitting journal, but I was always too lazy (or too busy knitting) to actually get around to it. Now I have one, and it's all online. Score. (I guess I might want to back that stuff up somehow, in case Ravelry ever goes away.)

My big knitting project at the moment is the Mystery Stole. For those who don't know, it's a lace shawl pattern, which the designer is releasing piece by piece, so we don't know what the finished product will look like until it's all knitted up. Unfortunately due to my vacation (I didn't want to bring a complex lace shawl with me, I thought that would be a recipe for disaster), I fell behind, and I'm still working on Clue 2 while Clue 4 has already been out for over a week. That's OK, though. I may be able to catch up this weekend since I'm planning to visit my parents, and that always entails a lot of knitting time.

Here's the progress to date:

Nice, eh? It's my first big lace project - previously I'd only done a lace edging on a tank top, and a lace dishcloth. It's also my first attempt knitting with laceweight yarn. Well, maybe my second attempt. I did try to do last summer's Mystery Stole, but I gave up after about 10 rows because I was having such a hard time with the laceweight yarn. This time it's going much better.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The big storm, first veggies, and stitch markers

In my last huge update post, I forgot to mention the big storm we had here a few weeks ago. It was a wicked thunderstorm, and it brought down a whole bunch of trees in my neighbourhood. Including our side-yard neighbour's tree, onto our car!

Tree on car

Luckily, we have a huge grapevine trellis at the side of the driveway which caught the tree, so we only have very minimal damage to the car. A small dent in the trunk, and some very minor surface scratching. Nothing worth worrying about. But imagine our surprise when we came home from an evening out to find our driveway looking like that!

Tonight I picked the first veggies from my garden. We'll be having lettuce & spinach (shh, don't tell my husband) salad for dinner along with some free frozen pasta dinner I got from work. It's my first veggie garden ever! I promise I won't post pics of every single vegetable I pick.


And, when I got home from work, I found that my stitch markers I ordered from Etsy had arrived. They are so nice! I got them from Hide & Sheep. I got 2 sets of the needle-hugger designs, and 1 clearance set of regular round dangle-free markers. And they each come in their own little tin. (Personally, I would have been fine with getting all 3 sets in one tin, save the environment and all that, but the tins are adorable so I won't complain.)

Stitch marker mosaic

And now, off to make the salad!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

I know, it's been forever. I have excuses! Kenneth went off for a month and took the camera with him, so I was handicapped. What good is a blog without pictures?

So, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (Bonus points for anyone who gets the reference.)

In May, I finished my Dulaan knitting and sent off my 5 pieces to Arizona for the Mongolians.

Dulaan Package

I hope they like them! I really enjoyed knitting the little sweater - it's the Debbie Bliss sweater from the summer Vogue Knitting. I think it turned out adorable!

On June 5, my mom had her hip replaced. More on that in a minute.

On June 9, I went to the TTC Knit-a-Long to celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day. We met at Starbucks at 9 for some caffeine, and then travelled from yarn shop to yarn shop on public transit all day. It was tons of fun. Here's a mosaic of pics from the day:

TTC Knit-A-Long

It was a long and tiring day. You can see by the last pictures that we were all worn out by the end. I spent about $16 on yarn - I got 4 balls of laceweight mohair for $2 a ball (!), and a 100g ball of sock yarn for $6. Score! And then, at the end of the day, they gave out prizes to the participants for various categories such as "Needs a Sherpa" (most yarn bought), etc. I won a prize for "Most Interesting Knitted Object" (or something like that) for my sock yarn log cabin blanket. The prize was 4 huge skeins of bulky cotton, in a gorgeous royal blue colour, from Americo. I definitely scored big on that!! They don't say their gauge on them, but it's *really* bulky, so I'm thinking it will have to be some kind of outerwear. I'm hoping there's enough for a short-sleeved cardi, or maybe a vest. They came with a pattern for a kind of hooded shrug, but I don't want to make that. Oh, and at Knitomatic, Haley gave us all surprise patterns as a gift! I got 2 nice patterns and 2 hideous ones, which seemed to be about the same ratio that everyone in our group got.

The next day, I headed off to London (Ontario) to help my mom recover from her surgery. When we got there, we discovered that she was still in hospital, but she got out the next day. So the week was spent working remotely from there (love the modern age - can still be 99% as productive from 2 hours away!). My help to her basically consisted of me bringing her drinks, moving her pillow & footstool from the kitchen to the family room and back, and changing the dressing on her incision once a day. Not too hard. So since I had no commute, no cats to feed, no chores to do (aside from the aforementioned helping, and doing dishes, which doesn't take much time), I got lots of knitting done.

I decided to take my yarn from the previous sweater that didn't work out, and make Rowan Air, from the Calmer Collection by Kim Hargreaves. I made one sleeve before I left for London. While I was in London, I made the second sleeve, and much of the back! Here's a pic of the back, suspended over my vegetable garden on the chicken wire.

Rowan Air back 1

You can also see the keen stitch markers I got from my secret pal when I did the Summer Fling exchange last summer. I'm really pleased with the way the cable is coming out. I can't wait to do the front!

Well, that's enough for today. And I'll try to post again within a week.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I... have made watermelon! (sprouts)

Remember that scene in Cast Away (it was in the trailer too, so even if you haven't seen the movie you may remember it), where Tom Hanks finally manages to make fire, and he is so proud of himself, and says "I.. have made fire!"? Well, that's how I feel. Weeks ago I planted some seeds in little seed-starting pots and put them on the windowsill. Nothing happened. Then finally I got the idea to put them on top of the fridge and see if they'd sprout up there (cause it's warmer up there). And lo and behold... the watermelons have sprouted!

Watermelon Sprouts

No action from the red peppers or green peppers, though. I may have to give up on them for this year.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The frog pond

So this morning, I was randomly surfing around, and I found someone's knitting blog (sorry, I can't remember who!). She mentioned she wanted to make Nothin’ but a T shirt. Since the warm weather is officially here (second day in a row of over 20 degrees!), I thought a T-shirt sounded like a great idea. So I clicked through to the pattern and discovered it uses Rowan Calmer. Which I have lots of, currently in the form of an ill-fitting branching rib pullover.

I got out my trusty friend the ball winder, set up my computer to play Cast On, and after a couple of hours, I had this:
Frogged Calmer

Free yarn! Woot! Let's hope this sweater turns out a little better than the last one did.

In other news, I recently acquired a new toy.

That's me playing DDR at my friend's murder mystery party, still in costume. The dress was floor-length (even in heels) so I had to hold it up off the floor in order to play. Everyone tried it. The funniest part was this one couple would play in tandem - one of them on the mat, and the other one behind, doing the moves as if they had a mat. The floor was really shaking! No permanent damage done though, I think. Writing about it is giving me the urge to play... think I'll go do that now. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sorry about that...

I know, it's been forever since I last posted. Please forgive me. I've had the worst blogger's block. (Wow, I just went and looked, and my last post was Feb 25?? I didn't realize it had been THAT long.)

So, let me see if I can sum up all the exciting things that have happened since the last time I blogged.

1) We caught the squirrel!
Captured Squirrel

And then we extra-super-squirrel-proofed the attic, so hopefully we won't have any more uninvited guests. And I cleaned out his stinky, stinky squirrel toilet. Let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. Not in the least.

2) I learned how to plumb. I have no pics of this - you'll have to trust me. But with the help of a DIY book and the nice man at Home Hardware, I managed to fix the leaky hot water tap in the bathtub. Go me! Kenneth did help a little as well, but not that much. I think I may plumb again tomorrow - the cold water tap is leaking a little bit (not nearly as much as the hot one was) - and if I do, I'll photo-document it.

3) The weather turned gorgeous! It was so warm today, that when I was working in the yard, I was worried I'd get a sunburn. I have turned off the furnace, and had the windows open during the day. (I wish I hadn't gone to look up the weather for this post. I just learned it will turn cold again by the end of the week.)

4) I finished the socks I posted about in my last post, and started another pair with some yarn I won from SarahJanet's blog. She had a contest, and I was the winner! It's too dark to take pics now, but maybe tomorrow.

5) I finished the branching rib pullover, and I hate it. It's too baggy. Baggy works for my favorite sweatshirt, but not so much for a knitted sweater. Plus, I hate how the collar turned out. It's currently acting as my headrest on the couch until I get up the nerve to rip it out so I can use the yarn for something else.

6) My laptop died, and I had to frantically buy another one online with the last few remaining shreds of battery it had. The old one worked great, except for the minor problem that the power cord wouldn't charge the battery unless you spent 10 minutes wrangling it into the correct position. At least, for a while. Eventually it got to the point where the only way we could charge the battery was by putting the laptop on the floor, and wedging something under the power cord to hold it in place. So now I have a shiny new Dell. So far, so good with this one. (And it has Vista. I feel all modern.)

7) This isn't really an update item, but I wanted to share. I found this picture today on my computer. It's from our January, 2004 vacation to Cozumel. Doesn't it look just like a painting? It reminds me of "Starry Night" for some reason. It's my new desktop background.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I may have been wrong

Today I was all set to make a big post about my Branching Rib Pullover, and how despite the many hours I toiled over it, it turned out way too big. And how I was going to frog the entire thing and turn it into something else. And for fun, I decided to lay it down with my favorite sweatshirt, and show how insanely huge it was in comparison to it.

Branching Rib Pullover

Only... it looks like it's just about perfect! I don't know if it shrank down since it's been sitting balled up on my shelf since the fateful day when I blocked it and discovered the hugeness, or if it was always this size and I screwed up when I measured it, or if I've just lost my mind. But I'm definitely going to put it together and try it on before I frog the entire thing. Maybe by the time the Oscars are over I'll have it done.

In other knitting news, I'm working away at a pair of garter rib socks, from Sensational Knitted Socks. I love that book so much. Seriously. These socks are a really quick knit, at least compared to my last pair, which had cables and eyelets. I'm using Regia yarn, in a faux fair-isle pattern with green, blue, and purple stripes. It's pretty.

Garter Rib Socks

I recently swapped for Mason-Dixon Knitting, and honestly, on first reading I wasn't too into it. But I think it seeped into my subconscious. I had this brilliant, original idea of how I would take my leftover sock yarn scraps and knit them up into a blanket. And then I remembered the log cabin blankets in the book, and looked them up. They are constructed exactly the way I envisioned my sock yarn blanket. So I'm not original, I just think I am. But I figured I was kind of original anyways, for using leftover sock yarn. And then I stumbled upon Wendyknits' blog, where she discusses her brilliant plan of using her leftover sock yarn to make a log cabin blanket. Hmm. OK, so I'm not the least bit original. But I still think my blanket will be cool. Here's how it looks so far:

Sock Yarn Log Cabin

And I had to buy some Addi Turbos to be able to make it, since I knit my socks on DPN's. I gotta say, everyone is right, the Addis are fantastic.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The house strikes again

We've suspected for a while that we had squirrels in the attic. We'd hear running, or scrabbling. But we always said "oh, maybe they're just on the roof". Poor deluded souls, we were. Last week, I was sitting at work, and the phone rang. Kenneth says, "There's a squirrel in the house and the cats are chasing it!". Apparently, the squirrel had managed to come inside the actual living area of the house, we think through a hole under the bathtub. It tried to attack him before it escaped back into the bathtub hole and disappeared.

So last weekend, we went on a mission - "Mission Squirrel Elimination". I crawled around in the attic looking for possible entry points.

Here's a very attractive picture of me doing so:
Me investigating the attic

I found the squirrel's toilet.
Squirrel poo??

Gross. You'd think he'd have the common decency to go outside for that.

I found 3 possible entry points, but the way the roof is, it gets ultra narrow towards the edges, which of course were where the entry points were. It's impossible to reach the edges with the holes from inside the attic. Outside, it's still very snowy and icy, so again, we can't reach them. We're talking a 4 inch thick layer of ice. We have to live with the squirrel until spring. We did block up the hole under the bathtub so he can't come into the actual living area of the house any more.

And in other news, the basement started leaking, thanks to the snowmelt we had the other day. Great.

I still love this house, but boy, is it ever a lot of trouble.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Collections hassle, and some socks

I've had an extremely irritating day. When I got home yesterday, there was a letter from a collections agency telling me I owed $576 to a company I've never heard of. This morning, I called and discovered that it was from a fixed price natural gas seller I signed up with in our old house. Apparently, moving counts as "canceling the contract", and they've charged me this amount of money as a penalty. However, they themselves never attempted to contact me to let me know. They never wrote me a letter. Never called. Just sent it to a collections agency! Had they written or called, I would have known, since we paid for mail forwarding, and our old phone number was also being forwarded. Ugh.

So to make myself feel better, I had some toast with margarine and jam (total comfort food). And I took pictures of my latest knitting.

Tiny miniature socks

These are my "tiny miniature socks" as I called them while I was knitting them. The feet are about 5" long, I'd guess. They look a little funky because the leg is ribbed, while the foot is plain stockinette, which makes the foot look huge in comparison to the leg. They're my latest contribution to the Dulaan project, so hopefully some little kid in Mongolia will like them. They don't match, stripewise, for two reasons. The rationalization reason is that I wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn to finish the second sock if I pulled out enough to reach the same starting point. The real reason is because I'm lazy and I tell myself it's a design feature when they don't match.

These are the first socks I've knitted from Sensational Knitted Socks and I must say, I really like them. I liked how the pattern was constructed. I liked how customizable it was. The way she makes the heel flap with a garter stitch edge makes it really easy to pick up the gusset stitches, and there's no gusset hole!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Interview Meme

Interview Meme Rules are as follows: You comment on this entry requesting an interview. I respond with five questions. The questions will theoretically be tailored to you based on what I know of you (or want to know). You copy and paste those questions into your own journal, and write the answers, along with these rules. Anyone wanting an interview from you continues the game by requesting an interview from you.

Here are the questions I got from summerless_year.

What is something you are afraid of?
I'm afraid of getting old and being alone. We're not planning to have any kids, so there will be nobody to take care of me in my old age, if Kenneth dies before me. I'm sure if it happens, I'll be OK, but I still am afraid of it.

What comforts you the most?
My husband. If I'm feeling stressed or upset, a hug from him makes everything better.

To make a big decision, do you consult other people or just go it on your own, and why?
Well, I normally consult my husband, because any big decisions affect him too. But we're both pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions. Both our houses were bought after the very first house-hunting trip. I bought my wedding dress in the first store I looked in. I think I tend to trust my gut. If my gut tells me something is the right decision, then I go with it. It's true that it's not always 100% perfect - I wish the sleeves on my wedding dress weren't so poofy, and I wish our first house had been closer to work - but I don't have any real regrets.

What's the best thing about living in your new house?
Being close to work! I love commuting by foot. I quit the gym, and now I do my yoga & weights at home, and get my cardio from walking to work. And if I'm in a rush or the weather is cold, I can take transit and be at work in 15 minutes.

Did you ever consider keeping the big pole in your backyard, and if so, what did you consider doing with it? Serious or funny.
Hee hee! I honestly did consider keeping it so I could hang my laundry. I had visions of being a very good environmentalist and hanging all my laundry. But the pole was so ugly, it really had to go. And let's face it, although I love being environmentally friendly, I'm also probably way too lazy to really hang my laundry. Throwing it into the dryer is so much quicker.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The one where we cut down a pole

So this lovely house of ours came with a 15-foot tall, 6" diameter metal pole in the back yard.

Here it is, in all its glory:

Huge pole in our back yard

The previous owners had originally put it up to hold a clothesline that ran from that pole in one corner of the yard, to some pulleys they had mounted on the house in the opposite corner of the yard. The diagonal opposite. So the clothesline basically covered the entire yard.

At first I was kind of charmed by the thought of hanging out my clothes to dry, but let's face it, I'm a modern woman who doesn't have time for such niceties. I get irritated when 3 of my shirts in the same load require hanging. So we decided the pole had to go.

Kenneth's brother suggested we buy an angle grinder to cut it down with. Actually he suggested we buy some Swedish word neither of us had ever heard before. He google image searched on the Swedish word to get a picture of a tool, that didn't look familiar to either of us. Then I used my deductive skills to figure out that it was an angle grinder.

Angle grinders range in price from $20 to $140. So we headed off to Canadian Tire to look at our options. This was quite an ordeal, since we had no idea really what to look for in an angle grinder. We sort of had one in mind that we'd seen on their website, but it wasn't in stock at the first store we went to. They did have one that was on sale for $20, reduced from $50, but it only came with one disk, and the one we had in mind came with 30 disks. So we trekked to another location, only to find they were also out of stock on the one we had in mind, AND they didn't have the $20 sale one either! So we had to go back to the first place, where we got the $20 one.

Then we went out in the yard, and Kenneth got to work.

Kenneth cutting down the pole

Sparks were flying everywhere! I wasn't able to get a picture but at times they were flying up to 5 feet away. He cut the pole while I stood nearby, watching to make sure he didn't kill himself, and providing moral support. After what seemed like forever, he'd cut almost all the way around the pole. We brought it down and it was still hanging on by a thread, so we twisted it back and forth to try and snap it. After we'd given up and Kenneth thought he'd have to cut it again, I gave it one last twist just for fun, and it snapped! So I claim all the credit for taking it down. :)

I don't have an after picture, but imagine the first picture without the large metal pole.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knitting Update

I finally got off my butt and took pictures of some of my latest projects.

I did not take pictures of the Branching Rib Pullover, because it hurt my feelings. I spent a year knitting this thing (well, I must admit it was on and off, but still). I washed it and laid it out to dry before assembling it. It is way too big. I'd need to gain 50 lbs to be able to wear this thing. And I'm just not THAT devoted to this sweater that I'm willing to do that. So now I will have to rip the entire thing out and start again.

Here's a hat I knit for the Dulaan project:
Not your grandma's double-knit hat Not your grandma's double-knit hat

It was my first attempt at double knitting. Both sides of the hat were knit at the same time, by passing the yarn back and forth. This results in the inside of the hat having the same design as the outside but in the opposite colours. I love the effect. You can tell this is my first attempt, though. The stitches aren't as even as I would have liked. But it should keep some Mongolian kid's head warm, and that's the main thing.

I joined Socktopia, which is a knit-along for socks for the year 2007. This will be great for me, because Kenneth went nuts at Christmas and bought me enough sock yarn to keep me in socks for quite some time to come. They have a theme for each month, and you are supposed to knit a pair of socks that corresponds to the given theme. This month's themes are either:
  1. Celebration
  2. Blue Monday
  3. Snowflakes and Starry Skies
The socks I have in progress seem to fit none of these categories. Here are a few pictures of the first, nearly finished (just need to graft the toe) sock:
Modeled Cable & Eyelets sock Cable & Eyelets sock cuff Modeled Cable & Eyelets sock, top view

It's not blue. It doesn't involve snowflakes or stars. The only way I could possibly think to make it fit the theme would be to say I'm celebrating the fact that it's finally done! But the 2nd sock still hasn't even been started. I think I'm not going to use it for Socktopia, but rather, will knit some socks for the Dulaan project out of some leftover blue yarn I have from a pair of socks I knit for myself.

I love this pattern, though. I think it would have looked better in a solid yarn rather than a variegated, but oh well. It's from a vintage Paton's Beehive pattern booklet I had lying around. It's kind of strange... when I was knitting before, I never knitted socks. At least not with sock yarn! I knitted socks once with chunky-weight yarn, which is a whole lot easier and faster. So why did I have this old booklet (looks like it's from the 60's) on socks? I certainly never knitted anything out of it.

The yarn is Shelridge Farms Ultra Fingering, 100% wool, and custom-dyed in a colourway I invented. I guess I was hungry when I ordered it, because the 3 colours in the colourway are Pumpkin, Nutmeg, and Toffee. It looks yummy, even if you can't eat it!