Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Further Into Madness

Yes, Sock Madness 3 began in earnest last Thursday. It began with the receipt of an email containing the never-before-seen pattern for Round 1. After downloading and printing the 10 pages of instructions - the designer did a fabulous job of giving instructions and included photos of specific parts - I didn' t get to cast on till late that night because of some other committments - work and a long-planned dinner with a frien. I cast on both socks and was able to knit the ribbing on Thursday night. Then Friday night, I was able to knit for about 5 hours, Saturday was devoted entirely to knitting, as was Sunday. Then on Monday, I was able to complete the pair. I counted and it came to 25 hours of knitting to finish a pair of socks in fingering weight yarn! That is totally unheardof for me! Now add that to the fact that the cast-on was a totally new one for me (it required about 2 hours of watching a video on You Tube over and over to get it right), and then we have what is called an Afterthought heel - that is where you knit to the heel, cast off stitches to waste yarn, cast on new stitiches with waste yarn (this leaves a hole where the heel will go) and knit the foot all the way to the toe. Then, and only then, do you pick up the stitches on the heel and knit it! I KNOW!!! It was daunting to some very experienced sock knitters in the competition, too. But I decided NOT to let a little fear kick my butt so I just knit what the pattern told me to do and trusted that the designer knew what she was talking about. Folks, I give you - Tropical Mer-Tinis in Spunky Eclectic yarn - the colorway is Walking on the Sun! I am so darned proud of those socks! The competition is divided into 4 groups of 50 people. My group is called For Whom the Ball Rolls. For round 1, they are accepting the first 40 people who complete the socks knit exactly to the pattern and post onto a special site on adult feet (no knitting kiddie socks and putting them on a 2 year old and hoping to get them accepted as a fast knit!). I'm not exactly sure what number I finished at for this round. I know that there were only 16 finished when I sent in my notice, and then I went to bed. The next morning I checked and they had put my name as finished and there were 21 total finished at that time. So I am one of the 21 fastest knitters this round in my group! Not sure when Round 2 will begin. But I am ready when it does. In Round 2, they will take the 30 fastest knitters from the 40 that made it into the round, from each group. I want to get into Round 3 before I get passed by faster knitters. A friend of mine, Lisa. the fabulous knitting teacher and enabler, says she thinks I can make it to Round 6 - We'll see about that, Lisa....keep your eyes peeled to this spot for future updates.

I am still working on another quilt - can't show it yet cause it's still in pieces on the worktable. Will get that one done this weekend, I hope and let you all see the flimsy.

Until next time,
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm a Sock-Knitting Maniac

Tomorrow is the beginning of another sock-knitting competition. Sock Madness 3 includes 199 folks from all over the world - Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, France, England, Canada, and the U.S. I'm not sure what other countries are represented. We are separated into 4 'teams'. I'm in the team called For Whom the Ball Rolls. And then we have Purl & Prejudice, The House of the Seven Cables, and finally, Great Knitspectations. Hoping Papa Hemingway smiles upon me! I only need to be one of the 40 fastest knitters on my team to go on to the 2nd round. I made it to the 2nd round last year easily but had committed to 2 other competitions that started at about the same time and I wasn't able to stay focused on only one so I got axed before making it to the next round.. This year I learned my lesson and will only do one competition at a time. Am hoping to make it to round 3 this more than I did last year. No idea what the pattern is - we all get it at the same time tomorrow morning...then it's knit like the wind! Will try to keep you updated on my progress as things get going.

In the meantime, here is a picture of John putting in more t-posts to make another pasture for the cows.
He got about 80 of those suckers done on Sunday afternoon...that's quite a lot for someone working alone! Once the t-posts are in, he can then put up brace posts and begin stringing the barbed wire and then put in the one gate that he still needs. Once that is done, we can move the cows from one pasture to another to allow for the 'resting' of the pasture.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Remember when I told you about the Battle of the Soxes II? It started the day we left on vacation to Utah and I had to bribe the front desk clerk at the hotel on Friday nite to download and print off the pattern for the socks I needed to knit and send off to kill my target. I finished my target's socks and mailed them 4 days later from Utah and I figured there would be a pair of killer socks waiting for me when we got home and I'd be dead and that would be the end of it. NOT! I kept waiting for killer socks and waiting...and waiting...finally got a package in the mail and they were socks I needed to finish and send off to kill someone else.....then another set came for me to finish and send off to kill another person. Here are the pictures of the 3 sets of socks that I knit for this competition.

Fast forward to this past month since the competition started....Go here to see the rest of the story...

And all I wanted to win was the farthest kill - Utah to Connecticut was 2260 miles. I've been asked what I win for this prestigious honor....I only know that I will get the socks that ultimately were for me in the mail soon - (and I will get to finish them myself) - and a pair of socks knit for me by the Battle Commander, Chesley. As to anything else, I'll have to wait and see. Of course, I'll post when the box arrives!

On another note...John's sister, Kay, has had some really bad teeth for a long time. No, I'm not being mean ; she'd tell you the same thing. Anyway, this year she decided to do something about them - last week she had the last 8 teeth pulled and dentures placed. We had dinner Friday nite and she let me take a picture of her and her beautiful new smile.

Isn't she just beautiful? She said she hasn't been able to whistle for years and spends most of her time walking around whistling. And she can say 'precipitation' pretty well, too. Congratulations, Kay...we love you!
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